Brandon DeMarco is an average teenager in an ordinary High School that becomes the target of relentless harassment and vindictive cyberbullying. His story’s been seen by thousands of students all over the globe.
Pop Culture- Music, Entertainment and Media- are powerful forces with the young generation. This STOP BULLY PSA is a response to this epidemic. How can this help? Please consider: Music is the soundtrack of many people’s lives. Songs have “hooks” that inspire repeated listenings. This “STOP BULLY PSA” includes a NEW short song made up from two “anti-bully theme songs” on the national multi-award winning Youth Under Construction CD project, which has promoted anti-bully awareness for well over a
Whether it is Cyber, Mental, Physical or emotional, It hurts, Oh so much. And it NEEDS to stop. These are just some of the stories and points I have seen. Bullying is pathetic, It sickens me. Critism is acceptable, aslong as it isn’t Mean, or racist or horrible… ~ Jacki Brown PS The signs read. And the signs say from the start. ~Bullying. ~Whether it’s cyber or not, Doesn’t matter… ~It hurts people… ~ But there can be many sides to a story… ~Just Remember to speak out against it… ~ Wit
I just got a call from someone regarding an anonymous bullying reporting outlet for kids/teens. I’ll check it out and let you know. If it looks good, I’ll be promoting it.
Did you know, that even if there’s an anonymous way of reporting bullying, dangerous bullies can often still find out who the “rat” is and target them. How do they do this? By elimination.
Once bullies have been caught out by someone in authority and they know they can’t manipulate their way around it, they’ll take their punishment and the authority figure/s will assume that’s the end of that. They’ll still be keeping an eye on the situation, but they often believe that once caught, the problem is gone.
But, for serious/dangerous bullies, that’s not the case. They’ll just get sneakier and better at covering their tracks. Revenge is now their driving force and they’ll start eliminating suspects. Most kids/teens will talk when threatened and the one who reported the bullying has often confided in someone, making them more at risk of being caught.
Serious bullies do not deal well with accountability. He/she blames the victim and rat(s) for having been punished. That self-centered mindset is what enables them to bully in the first place with little or no guilt.
Once caught, the “rat” will be exposed and suffer bullying based on not just insecurities (as most bullying is), but bullying based on anger and revenge, which is usually even worse than the initial bullying that was reported.
Why am I writing such a dire article? Just as a warning that if you have a son/daughter who is going to report a dangerous bully, make darn sure they don’t tell their friends, making them potential targets that could crack under pressure from the bully.
This is one of the toughest subjects I teach as each case is so individual. When I coach teens about how to proceed to tell on a bully, they’re often in tears and terrified. I have even suggested to some that they don’t tell as I worry about their welfare. Then I can’t even go to the principal or police as it could potentially leave a trail leading back to them as often only a few individuals even know about a bullying incident.
I never recommend bystanders tell if it’s going to potentially risk their safety. But, if I can get a large group of kids to tell together, then I certainly recommend that as there is power in numbers. That has to be done out in the open or else there are still going to be targets singled out.
I know all this as I worked with bullies, I know how they operate. I could stop the cycle as I was dealing with the bully … that’s easy. It’s dealing with the victims that’s difficult as you can only stop a problem at the source: the bully.
Bullying – Cyber Bullying, school bullying, etc. This video was necessary after yesterday’s news article about a 3rd grader bringing a gun to school to protect himself from a bully. 3rd Grader Brings Gun to School: goo.gl CyberBullying Article: goo.gl TUMBLR About Me/Equipment: wilsontech1.tumblr.com DAILY iPHONE VLOG Channel: youtube.com LIKE me on Facebook: facebook.com FOLLOW me on Twitter: twitter.com AUDIO Podcast: lifepluggedin.com OUTRO performed by Charlie Puth Music: Bas
<!–Saxotech Paragraph Count: 14
“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
This is probably the worst quote I have ever heard.
Bullying continues to be a big problem in America. This intentional act of aggression is meant to cause embarrassment and physical or emotional pain.
This school year alone in the U.S., several teens have committed suicide because bullying was too much for them to handle. These suicides have been called “bullycide” — suicides committed because of bullying.
Bullying can be more than just physical harassment. It can take on verbal, nonverbal and digital forms, too. Words can hurt as much as, if not more, than physical action. Bullying causes anxiety, loss of self-esteem and confidence, depression, suicidal thinking and fear of going to school.
Every day, 160,000 students in the U.S. stay home from school to avoid being bullied.
The pain and embarrassment of bullying can follow victims throughout their lives.
Kids are bullied for many reasons. They can be bullied because of how they look, their clothes, sexual orientation, religion, beliefs, weight or sometimes for no apparent reason at all. Often victims are afraid to report the harassment.
Unfortunately, unless bullying is reported, school staff and parents remain unaware of the problem.
The Montana Legislature is currently considering a bill that will make sure that schools do not ignore bullying incidents that are reported.
Pam Kampfer, school counselor at North Middle School, feels the intention of such a bill is to promote safe schools, to assure that prevention programs are in place, and to make sure reported incidents are taken seriously.
I feel this will help schools and students because it will discourage bullying. This bill also will help provide kids peace of mind that they will be able to report bullying and not have it ignored.
It will also bring light to cyberbullying.
“Schools can no longer ignore cyberbullying just because it may happen outside of the school day,” Kampfer said “Cyberbullying comes to school every day. Cyberbullying is a 24/7 problem. Cyberbullying can cause even more distress than other types of bullying. It is often anonymous and incessant.”
Special report: Bullying: Taunts, Texts, Torment
The story of Ryan Halligan, a 13-year-old who took his own life after being bullied relentlessly by classmates, is rough stuff for any audience to hear.
The students at Schuyler-Colfax Middle School in Wayne sat in reverent silence, heads bowed, as Ryan’s father recounted how his son had been labeled gay and taunted online and at his school in Vermont. Tears ran down a few faces.
Afterward, back in their classrooms, they were “debriefed” by teachers and guidance counselors.
It isn’t always easy to know the right way to get a message across to kids, and in the new crusade against bullying, New Jersey’s public schools are trying just about everything.
The same week last month that students in Wayne somberly filed out of their anti-bullying assembly, the mood was starkly different at Memorial Middle School in Fair Lawn. The auditorium there was filled with excited murmurs as a speaker enlisted volunteers to play Jennifer Lopez and Simon Cowell in mock “American Idol” role-play skits that ended with giggles and the phrase, “Drop the mouse, step away from the computer, and nobody gets hurt.”
In fact, there’s little agreement even among the experts about the best way to teach kids not to victimize each other with hurtful words or actions, or how to get them to speak up when others do it.
Among some New Jersey educators, “the default position is, let’s try everything,” said Andrew Yeager, student assistance coordinator at Park Ridge High School.
Come September, a new law will force New Jersey public schools to have anti-bullying teams in place and to train every staff member or volunteer who has contact with children — from the school board president to the assistant football coach — how to recognize and properly respond to bullying.
Schools will also be required — rather than just encouraged, as under existing law — to establish bullying prevention programs.
The Columbine High School massacre in 1999 and the scores of school shootings that followed it were the catalysts that first triggered a shift in the public mindset about bullying, said Frank Vespa-Papaleo, an adjunct professor at Montclair State University’s Center for Child Advocacy.
When investigations revealed a common characteristic in the shooters — most had been bullied — the notion began to erode that bullying was just an unfortunate but expected rite of passage, Vespa-Papaleo said.
Now as bullying branches out into new digital forms, advocates say prevention programs in schools need to reach deeper into the cultural roots of the problem and to enlist parents, civic leaders and the community at large.
A look around North Jersey schools does indeed find a wide range of anti-bullying approaches.
In New Milford, school counselor Dorene Zacher trained 23 high school seniors to serve as anti-bullying ambassadors who, among other things this year, have handed out “Be a Buddy, Not a Bully” bracelets to peers.
In Ramsey, teacher Roger Quinlan uses the weekly local-access cable show produced by students as a bully pulpit against bullying. The fifth-grade classes at Dater School have taken turns writing, producing and acting in “What Would You Do?” TV segments on bullying, which other students then comment about on a school blog.
One group crafted a tale in which a bully repeatedly sent mean texts to another girl, and then sent other classmates a picture of the victim scratching her head, claiming the girl had lice.
“People really aren’t that mean in this school,” said 10-year-old Cassie Phillips, who played the victim, adding that she hoped that would still be true when she reaches middle school.
In some districts, prevention efforts start as early as kindergarten. Maxine Lawrence, guidance counselor at the Grant and Roosevelt schools in Ridgefield Park, acts out puppet shows for the schools’ youngest students. When “Impulsive Puppy” pushes at the water fountain or excludes “Slow Down Snail” from a game, the little snail stops wanting to go to school.
“The message just has to be repeated time and time again,” Lawrence said. “And as kids get older, we have to change it and tailor it to what they can understand and relate to.”
Some critics say educators need to learn more about how their school’s culture might be enabling bullies rather than just blanketing the student body in anti-bullying messages.
“I think a lot of schools are just casting about for what to do,” said Stuart Green, who serves as director of the New Jersey Coalition for Bullying Awareness and Prevention.
One of the advocates who pressed legislators for what is seen as the country’s strongest anti-bullying law, Green thinks schools have put too much emphasis on auditorium presentations and speakers that can cost thousands of dollars. Rather, Green said, schools should be identifying the bullying dynamics within their school and training staff to properly intervene.
“I have a major problem with auditorium programs,” Green said. “Our message to schools is, ‘If that’s all you are going to do, then don’t do them.’Ÿ”
Others argue, however, that — combined with other strategies — assemblies and one-day presentations that put kids into “what if” scenarios can help them make better decisions.
Telling his son’s story
John Halligan quit his job at IBM a few years after his son’s suicide to travel the country to tell Ryan’s story. He knows it will take more than his emotion-choked voice to turn off “the meanness switch” that clicks on in some kids during the middle-school years. But he hopes his presentations reach some of the kids who serve as the audience for the cruelty on the playground or on the Internet.
“It’s the bystanders we have to go after,” he said.
A community group, the Wayne Alliance for the Prevention of Substance Abuse, paid the $6,000 for Halligan to speak at the town’s three middle schools and to hold two presentations for parents in March.
Parry Aftab, who put on the presentation in Fair Lawn last month, is an Internet privacy expert who founded an organization called Wired Safety. She’s been a fixture at schools around the country. Her not-for-profit organization typically charges schools $10,000 for workshops designed to teach kids how to use the Internet safely and to caution them about engaging in the wildfire-like spread of cyber-taunting.
A Bergen County resident, Aftab donated her time at Memorial Middle School last month, and at Thomas Jefferson, Fair Lawn’s other middle school.
Earlier in the school year, the Fair Lawn students viewed a movie produced by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office called “Sticks Stones,” a fictional story about a teen who commits suicide after being taunted online by a bully posing as a girl he liked.
The Prosecutor’s Office used funds seized in crimes to pay for the film.
Keying on emotions
Like many of the current strategies being used to curb bullying in schools, the film packs an emotional wallop. It’s been shown in at least half the county’s schools and others around the country. Some schools have stopped the film before the ending, thinking their kids wouldn’t be able to handle the suicide.
Yeager, of Park Ridge, who wrote the 75-page teaching manual that accompanies the DVD, said the emotional intensity of the film is by design. The writers want kids to connect to the teens in the film — the victim as well as the bullies and the bystanders — in the hope that they will then be better equipped to make better choices in their own lives.
“Teenagers’ brains aren’t always wired to connect behavior with consequences,” Yeager said. “We need to give them practice in making better decisions when they’re not in the heat of the moment.”
Sue Heguy, who heads the team of counselors who come into Bergen County schools after a tragedy, worries that too much linking of bullying with suicide might cause victims to despair. She thinks students would benefit more from being trained in “self-help-seeking behaviors.”
Heguy, who also trains teachers and school staff on anti-bullying strategies, said schools need to make sure students know where to turn if they are being bullied or if they witness someone else being bullied.
Many kids are reluctant to turn to parents, teachers or school officials for help. Advocates say that’s because adults have often taken the wrong approach to bullying.
Telling victims to ignore bullies or telling them they need to learn “social skills.” Putting a bully in the same room with a victim to talk out the conflict. Punishing all students involved with a physical altercation without attempting to determine the power struggle between a bully and a victim.
All are typical mistakes adults make when attempting to stop bullying relationships, said Vespa-Papaleo, of Montclair State’s Center for Child Advocacy.
Vespa-Papaleo says the best thing that may come of the new state law is the requirement that schools better train all school staff. The law also sets out procedures for investigating incidents and makes it clear that schools are also responsible to intervene in cases where the bullying might take place outside the school but makes the victim feel intimidated and unsafe in their school.
Vespa-Papaleo said the law will also force schools to keep and report statistics on bullying, which will finally allow them to gauge whether prevention programs are making any headway.
A major reason schools miss the mark in their bullying prevention and response strategies is because they don’t have an adequate picture of the power struggles going on in their own schools, advocates contend.
Conducting annual surveys and assessments would aid schools in knowing if certain populations — perhaps a minority group or special-education students — are the usual targets, Vespa-Papaleo said.
“A lot of schools are eager to have someone from the outside come in and do a program on bullying for their school,” Vespa-Papaleo said. “But what more schools need to realize is that you have to mold the programs to what you actually find is going on in your school.”