Facebook remains in the news this week, only this time the feature story wasn’t the IPO debacle. Instead while at a mall a Florida mother, Debbie Piscitella, was arrested after choking a fourteen-year-old boy who had allegedly been terrorizing her daughter on Facebook.
Bullying is a hot topic these days. As a nation, we’re grappling with how best to stop bullying and yet more cases are jumping into the public eye. Recently the case of Jamey Rodemeyer has been making headlines, because bullying drove this fourteen-year-old boy to take his own life.
When I saw the article title at first I thought I had misread it. I looked again. Nope. It said what I read the first time. Lawyer wants to ban Pledge of Allegiance in schools; claims it’s bullying.
Wow! I knew that bullying was prevalent in the United States, and I had my suspicions that it was not isolated to the United States, but I found an article today which caused my eyebrows to rise.
Bullying has been around for as long as I can remember… and long before that. It has seemingly been on the rise in recent years, but it may be that our tolerance for bullies is waning, or we are better defining what bullying is. So, what is bullying? Dan Olweus gives us a commonly accepted definition for bullying in his book, Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do:
A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself.
If social exclusion isn’t blatant bullying, it is its first cousin. The reason I say that it may not be bullying is that no one has to hang out with you. You don’t have to be a member of a particular group… but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t hurt. It does. But, as Izzy Kalman of Bullies 2 Buddies points out, there are different ways to deal with the situation…and some are definitely more effective than others.
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