I don’t know much about bullying except I don’t like it.
Growing up in the 1950s, it just seemed like a “normal” part of life. I think because I was small and didn’t play sports, I may have seen more of it than some other teens.
When I came upon on a scene of some guys throwing around a textbook or binder than belonged to someone else, when it got tossed to me, I’d walk it over and hand it back to its owner. Fortunately I never got beaten up, just yelled at.
I used humor to save my neck on many occasions when I was being picked on.
The point I’m taking so long to make is that I’m now 75 years old and bullying is still an issue, for at least one of my grandchildren. Actually, I think it has gotten meaner. With cyber-bullying, it is possible to bully more and remain anonymous.
My wife was executive director of the women’s shelter program here for 18 years. She has seen her share of the ultimate in bullying, domestic violence against women and children.
We are both delighted that the NFL is cracking down hard on its players who batter.
A local group has scheduled a communitywide forum this Sunday, starting at 3 p.m. The workshop is titled: “Becoming an Ally: Interrupting Name-Calling and Bullying.”
We can no longer consider such activity as “unavoidable traditions in schools” or life. The federal Safe and Drug-Free Schools programs recommend that schools take steps to address this topic. We need to teach students how to stand up for their peers and take a no-tolerance stand regarding bullying when they encounter it.
We need parents to watch for it in their children and put a stop to it, whether it is name-calling or physical violence.
This special presentation by the Anti-Defamation League is free and being held as a training session for those in the community on how to take positive steps to stop bullying in its tracks.
The workshop will be interactive and participatory and provide workable opportunities for us all to respond to bullying regardless of where we encounter it.
If you’d like to attend the workshop on Sunday, it will be held at the Fellowship Hall of the Community Church, 5850 Rosario Ave., just across the street from the back side of the Police Department.
Call 466-9108 to RSVP or for more information, or email the interfaith group at firstname.lastname@example.org.