Michelle Kemper Brownlow: When my son entered fifth grade, something changed the life of my super-happy kid.
It started with verbal insults, but quickly ended with, "I will bring a gun tomorrow and shoot you." I say "ended," because all it took was a stern conversation with a principal -- wherein I mentioned the school's policy on "terroristic threats" -- and that bully was out on his ear ... suspended. (Note: The principal had initially been ready to just blow it off.) My son is no longer bothered by this kid -- or any others, for that matter.
Luckily, I have a child who reiterates every second of his day when he comes home from school. Sadly, not every child is as verbal.
Statistics show that 77 percent of children are bullied mentally, physically and/or verbally. In his book "Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do," Dan Olweus, creator of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, outlines the following three components of bullying:
Annie Fox, the award-winning author, teen advocate and brain behind the parent-teacher-teen link AnnieFox.com, has just launched the anti-bullying campaign "Cruel's Not Cool!" "No one solution to bullying fits all," reads the campaign's Facebook page. "Stakeholders coming together can reverse the Culture of Cruelty."
Massachusetts residents Phoebe Prince, 15, and Carl Walker-Hoover, 11, recently lost their lives to "bullycide," prompting the passage an anti-bullying law. BullyPolice.org reports that there are only six states that do not currently have anti-bullying laws in place: Hawaii, South Dakota, Michigan, New York, Montana, North Dakota and Missouri.
Let's hope they get with the program soon. Our kids' lives depend on it!