Today, Oct. 10 is National Stop Bullying Day, a day dedicated to stopping bullying and all its forms - wherever it may occur.
With cell phones and iPads in the hands of a lot of middle-school and high-school kids, it seems like bullying is easier than ever. Regretfully, some kids think nothing of teasing and bullying others. So how do we put a stop to this?
Well it starts with parents. It's the job of parents to make sure their kids treat their peers with respect. And it's the job of parents to keep an open line of communication with their kids so if there is a bullying incident the parents can deal with it. And then the parents should deal with it.
It's also the job of teachers to help prevent bullying by not turning a blind eye to it. Teachers who see such warning signs as kids missing school, keeping to themselves or not paying attention in class need to take an active role and ask kids what's the matter - in a private place where kids aren't afraid. And then the teacher needs to go to the principal and make sure the hammer comes down swift and hard on the bully.
And it's the job of kids, too. Kids who are bullied need to realize that NOT reporting bullying is exactly what the bully wants. Fear is the bully's biggest weapon. When kids who are bullied have the courage to step up and ask for help to stop bullying, then they've taken the first step toward ending it.
We can all stop bullying. But it takes a concerted effort. By working together, we can make our schools safer and more secure for everyone.
Bullying should not be tolerated. So let's all work to stop it.