You may have been called fat, too skinny, ugly, a loser, a slut, stupid or a nerd. Your perpetrator may have been a classmate or a neighbor, another child or an adult. Bullying is about making someone feel less than, not good enough, small, invisible or worse yet, hated simply for being who they are. Enough is enough! Bullying has no place in our society or in our schools. If you’ve ever been bullied, you’ve never forgotten how it feels.
Bullying is typically defined as a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Bullying can take the form of physical contact, words or more subtle actions. I hear from many parents that bullying is a problem in their schools from elementary school on up. I’ve recently read a few informative articles and books on the topic that have really opened my eyes to how rampant bullying has become in our nation’s schools–public, charter and private. No community is immune so as parents it is our challenge to educate ourselves and to empower our children with the skills they will need to protect themselves.
I highly recommend Sheri Werner’s book, In Safe Hands: Bullying Prevention with Compassion for All. http://www.amazon.com/In-Safe-Hands-Prevention-Compassion/dp/1610488105
Sheri is the Founding Principal of The City School, http://www.citycharterschool.org. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am one of the Founders of The City School, so I have a lot of respect and admiration for Sheri and the work she’s done over the course of her 20 + year career in education.
“Bullying is not only a hot topic, but a national problem that demands intelligent attention, prevention programs, and sustainable solutions. Sheri Werner’s In Safe Hands is a comprehensive road map to such solutions. Do-it-yourself books are sometimes boring, simplistic, or both. In Safe Schools is an exceptional combination of sensitive and engaging stories, comprehensive and practical activities, but most importantly—as its subtitle states—“compassion for all.”
— Paul Cummins, Ph.D., Co-Founder of the Crossroads School and the New Roads School in Santa Monica, CA; Founder of New Visions Foundation