As I prepare to attend the ERASEBullying Summit on Tuesday as a blogger correspondent, I look forward to discussion, learning, insight and concrete actions on the issue of bullying in our schools.
It means a lot for me to be present for this discussion for a few reasons:
1) I still remember being bullied in high school and how traumatic that is for a child (read my story).
2) I am upset that bullying is still prevalent today even though there seems to be much more awareness about it than there was 30 years ago;
3) I was incredulous to learn that my 7 year old niece has been dealing with a bully at her school since last year, and that my sister was the only one to tell the parent of her daughter’s bully what was going on. The teacher did not provide the parents of this child with a picture of the problematic behavior nor give them any support to help the child understand what she was doing is wrong and change the way she was acting at school. My niece is the one who missed school, my sister missed days of work, and the emphasis is on my niece – my 7 year old niece – to report the bullying. I have so many questions about what goes on in our schools when bullying happens and why more is not being done;
4) My son is starting kindergarten next year and I am am very protective of him. If he is bullied, I will lose my mind. More than anything, I want my son to learn to treat everyone with respect which is what we teach him at home, and to speak up when he sees demeaning or harassing behavior. But honestly, it seems like a lot for a 5 year old child to deal with. It seems like a lot for a parent to deal with. As I prepare to tour local schools to decide where he will attend kindergarten, the top question on my list is “how does your school prevent bullying.”
5) I am very concerned about cyber bullying and child exploitation. The example that is on all of our minds is Amanda Todd and the tragedy of her suicide. What change is required to happen in our society so that this kind of pain never happens to another child?
Please take part in the Twitter Town Hall by tweeting your questions and/or comments between 9 am and 3:30 pm with the hashtag Erasebullying. If you aren’t on Twitter yet, it is free and easy to open an account.
Together, we must ensure a safe and happy environment in our schools because our children are our hope for the future. Let the discussion begin. Let’s EraseBullying.<