Before the advent of social media networks, cell phones and unlimited text plans, young people who were bullied in school could count on hours spent at home as a respite from ridicule. Today, kids are connected to each other 24/7/365.
Classroom teachers have everything to do with stopping bullying. There. I said it. The teachers who are making a difference in the movement to stop bullying are engaged role models of kindness and expert masters of diplomacy.
"Mean Girls" has gone viral because it identifies and names the bullying that we have allowed to upend our discourse and view of one another as Americans. A different future is possible. "Mean Girls" offers some pointers. The choice is in our hands.
By the early school years, most youngsters have experienced unspoken -- but not unsubtle -- acts of social aggression that shake the carefully laid foundations of their self-image and beliefs about friendship.
October is also now recognized as National Bullying Prevention Month. On the one hand, I'm thrilled that we are giving this critical issue such focused attention. But on the other hand, I am deeply saddened that bullying in our nation has reached such epidemic proportions.
While eliminating violent acts is imperative, reducing the concept of a hostile school environment to the acts of individual (troubled) students who can be rehabilitated merely contains and manages the violence, rather than addressing its causes.
The Darnell "Dynasty" Young case is just one example of LGBT students and their parents feeling the need to find a solution to bullying when a solution is not being offered by public school administrations. Situations like Darnell's are not uncommon.
When a parent can keep the child focused on the self-destructive pattern of manipulating reality to suit personal desires, rather than getting distracted by the infuriating behavior and persistent rationalizations, both parent and child benefit.