Thousands of people are wearing blue shirts in an effort to wipe out the most minimized and persistent problem in our schools today.
Rachel Sarah: When I first heard that N.Y.C. Mayor Michael Bloomberg had proclaimed October 4th "Blue Shirt Day" in honor of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Week (October 3 to 9), I chuckled.
Not to sound skeptical, but imagine thousands of kids and adults wearing blue "STOMP Out Bullying" shirts as they make their way to school or to the office .... Is this a bit overstated? Will it make any difference?
Bullying is when someone keeps doing or saying things to have power over another person. "It's all learned behavior, and it comes from the home," says Ellis. A child's parents might not be violent per se, but every child learns from his/her parent how to handle conflict.
Having grown up in a home with a "rageaholic" father, Ellis clearly empathizes with children who have experienced name-calling, threats or feeling left out or scared. Children and parents regularly contact her for help.
Bullying has many forms. It might be physical (hitting, biting, pinching, pulling hair, tripping). It might be verbal (teasing, name-calling, spreading rumors). It might be sexual (touching inappropriately, snapping girls' bra straps, staring). It might be cyber (setting up fake profiles or writing abusive things on Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
According to STOMP Out Bullying, "Bullying is one of the most minimized and persistent problems in our schools today. The sad thing is, it's a reality for all children, whether they're victims, witnesses or they're the bullies."
Fortunately, Ellis says that "whatever is learned can be unlearned." Her personal experiences have proven that children can learn to practice kindness, compassion and respect. "It's up to the parents and the kids!" she says. "But it's also up to the schools. The schools have to stop sweeping this under the rug."
Tell us: Have your kids ever been bullied? Or has your own child been a bully?
|Rachel Sarah, a.k.a. "Single Mom Seeking," blogs at SingleMomSeeking.com and cofounded SingleMommyHood.com, the first-ever website to offer "a whole new way to think about life."|