I can teach my students to think critically, question, participate, care, and create a better world. I can share inspiration and truth that will cut through rhetoric and deception. Words have power...in good and bad ways.
Asked to explain his political views, Theodor Geisel -- better known as Dr. Seuss -- once said that he was "against people who push other people around." Were he alive today, he would surely be using his sharp pen to make fun of Donald Trump.
My daughters are only preschoolers now, but the thought of them experiencing half that cruelty at some point makes me shudder. Like any parent, my husband and I strive to raise compassionate girls who practice kindness.
I'm surprised no one's made a sequel to the movie 'Mean Girls.' Because, unfortunately Social Exclusion and its accompanying behaviors aren't always left on the abandoned playgrounds of our youth. In fact, sometimes it seems like it's even picked up a little momentum by middle age.
I left teaching for many reasons. One of them was watching a young man I mentored for four years endure some of the worst bullying I have seen -- and even with mounds of social media evidence, nothing was done.
When I took my girls to see the musical Wicked, I wasn't sure how my 10-year-old and 5-year-old would react to the story of the Good Witch and the Bad Witch. It turned out to be a gorgeous musical that brought tears to our eyes for its honest, important lessons about friendships.
I'll be honest. The instinctive part of me as a Mom, the part that wants to protect my children from cruelty, scrutiny, and humiliation of any kind wanted to scream, "TAKE THE COSTUME OFF, BABY! DON'T GO OUT THERE!"
The nation's official position for the next five years on diet for health is on the line, imperiled by bullies. I am speaking out simply because we don't know how many others, encountering the same forces, have decided doing so is not worth the abuse. I am speaking out because: it is.
Donald Trump and Chris Christie are both brash, egomaniacal, bullying Northeasterners running for the nation's top job. They both seem to derive genuine pleasure from puffing themselves up and putting everyone else down. So why is Trump soaring in the polls, and Christie gasping for air?
Unfortunately, identifying and dealing with bullying is much more difficult for employers (and lawyers looking for lawsuits) than the more overt forms of sexual and physical harassment of the past -- even though the objectives, power and control over the victim, are the same.