When Miami Dolphin Jonathan Martin complained he was bullied by teammate Richie Incognito, the public chose sides in a way we have not seen before in recent bullying stories.
I'm the one that jumps first and freaks later. But speaking my mind? Finally fessing up to all that was wrong in my life, being a voice for those who hadn't, wouldn't or couldn't? Now that was terrifying.
I'd spent over 10 years playing scenarios of running into TJ in my head, ruminating on how I would confront him as an adult. Still, I was trembling with both fear and anger at the thought of seeing him again.
Those who diminish others to raise their own status can no longer escape criticism because now there's a punitive label attached to it. In the current marketplace, being branded a bully is now taken more seriously in the boardroom, in the bedroom, on the football field in the school classroom.
B-Man leans forward and whispers in my ear, "When we were writing '-ay' words on our spelling boards today, someone wrote 'gay' and circled it as their favorite word. But someone else said 'gay' was a bad word. But it isn't, right?"
October is National Principals Month, a 31-day opportunity to celebrate the year-long work of our nation's principals, a welcome respite -- no matter how short-lived -- from the unrelenting criticism of our efforts by the purveyors of school privatization.
Few children possess the skills to manage their impulses and regulate their feelings. Yet these skills -- the skills of emotional intelligence -- can be taught. And it is youth aged 12 to 14 who most need to learn it.
What is needed are interventions that understand the problem of LGBTQ bullying as rooted in cultural values, not in individual "bad" children, and that see schools as sites where traditional genders and heterosexuality are valued, rewarded, and given positions of power and prestige.
We enable today's leading social media providers, the wizards behind the technology curtain, to put our children's safety at risk online by not using our unbeatable superpower: our voice.
You are not bad people. You do not have cold and heartless souls that are incapable of feeling empathy. You do not need to be sent away and never allowed to set foot in a school again. No, not based on my experiences.
She looked up at me, eyes puffy, the color of pink Valentine sweeties, and said, matter-of-factly, "I hate school." What I did in response surprised me, and, I think, both of my girls too.
Our experiences growing up with bullying affected us in some challenging ways, but it also motivated us to work hard to prevent others from living through what we experienced. While resources weren't available then, it gives us relief and joy to see them available today.
So one day after picking Morgan up at school I asked her if Mary had ever done anything unkind to her. Morgan reached up from the back seat and pinched me hard behind the neck under my hair. Then she told me about the numerous control moves that Mary was using to try and control Morgan's actions. I tried to remain calm but my heart was racing. My child was afraid at school and it seemed to be out of my control.
We need to change society's attitude towards bullying; we have to educate each other about the things that make us the unique individuals we are -- the same things that other people use as a basis for bullying.
As a parent, it is critically important that we let our children know that they can come to us for help. It is equally important that we know exactly how to respond so that we don't make the situation worse.
At least 26-percent of Hispanic students live in fear of being subjected to peer abuse, and that number comes only from those students willing to report their instances of bullying.