Dignity for All Students Act
There are movies that were made to promote awareness to the issue of Bullying and to visually demonstrate how much of an impact it leaves on the victim. Some notable movies that recently came out are:
1) The Bully (2013): movie was inspired by the hit song "Stop Bullying", written and sung by famed artist, Jiggy Jada (a.k.a G.I. Jayne). It tells the story of a young Muslim girl who transfers to a new school and finds herself to be the victim of endless bullying by a group of teens from her class. Through help from unexpected allies and of course hope, she finds relief as the story proves that there is always room forgiveness and that it is never too late to redeem ourselves.
2) Cyber-Bullying (2011): Starring Emily Osment and Kay Pannabaker (both of Disney Channel fame), it proves that not all friends are reliable and can in some cases, become your worst enemies. It details the harmful effects of cyber-bullying and shows how a girl nearly commits suicide from the relentless torture of online harassment. The moral of the story is do not trust everyone, and be careful who you talk to, especially in online forums.
3) Bully (2011): A documentary film detailing the stories of five individuals who experienced bullying for various reasons.
We encourage everyone to take the time to watch these movies as they painfully depict how painful and traumatizing bullying can be. Do not forget that kids and teens alike have committed suicide in the past (also as depicted in Bully) just to escape the torment of their peers. Together we can make a difference.
Strategies for Parents
There are measures parents can seek/utilize to help alleviate their children's misery from being bullied. Listed below are some steps for parents to follow:
1) It is vital for parents to understand and take into consideration how their children may feel about being bullied. Children may not want to open up as they feel they are best able to handle the situation themselves or feel that by telling their parents, they might seem less of a person. It is the parents job to sit down with their kids and take the time to ask them how their day at school was, engage or interact with them in a slow but steady pace. Children should be provided with a comfortable, stress free, and confidential environment where they can openly and freely talk about their problems without fearing the consequences. Doing so increases the likelihood that children will openly talk with their parents about their bullying issues in a safe and secure fashion.
2) The next step for parents to take is to contact the school and meet with administrator's (i.e. Teachers, Assistant Principals, Principals) to discuss the issue and hopefully the issue can be resolved with the student doing the bullying receiving disciplinary action.
3) In the event, meeting with school administrator's doesn't resolve the issue, parents can seek to sit down with the parents of the student doing the bullying and attempt to reach an understanding where both parties stay away from each other and avoid further incidents. By the way, it is HIGHLY IMPORTANT that parents document every meeting and incident that occurs from the very beginning of a bully incident as that can come in handy in sensitive situations, especially when it is necessary to get the cops involved.
4) If all options fail and bullying occurs off of school property, parents are to immediately report the incident to the cops and file a police report. If left unchecked, incidents such as these can evolve from a mere picking on to violent incidents where people can get hurt.
5) Parents are strongly encouraged to go administrators within the NYC Department of Education to seek the necessary remedies as well as join our support group where parents can meet up and share their respective experiences on how they dealt with their individual situations and provide some necessary recommendations/advice to other parents.
Strategies for Children/Teens
Before discussing ways to cope with bullying, it's imperative to take into consideration that these are just ways to reduce the negative effects of bullying. They are by no means guaranteed to end or stop bullying, but merely to help make life easier for parents and children alike!
1) Ignoring: Often enough, the bully will attempt to bully you to draw out your emotions which could be anger, sadness, or retaliation. For the the person doing the bullying, he/she thrive in that type of situation as it's considered "fun". To take that away from the bully, simply ignore that individual. The bully will naturally get upset as you are denying him/her the enjoyment he/she is looking for and will look for alternative ways to get your reaction. This is the part where the bullying will increase before ultimately leveling off. The key here is you need to remain strong and continue ignoring the individual for this to work. In some cases, this method has proven to work and spare the victim further misery while in others, was not quite successful. This will vary from one case to another.
2) Empathy: This is a method advocated strongly by Dr. Melvin Koplow and Tamer Mahmoud. This is not easy to do, but another way to handle the situation is by confronting the person doing the bullying and talking some sense to him/her. Switch roles with the bully try to have the bully imagine how it would feel like to be on the opposite end of the table. Usually, the bully will some what understand the pain of being victimized and reform his/her ways. In other instances, the bully may not even care and continue with the bullying.
3) Open Up: There are times where the bully will manage to get the best of us. We may start to become emotional, upset, depressed, isolated, angry, or in some extreme cases, suicidal. The best thing to do in this situation is to talk to family members or 1-2 of your closest friends and open up with how you feel. The worst thing you can do is to bottle up all of your emotion. That is a recipe for disaster. Opening up, helps relieve you of all the negative energy/thoughts stored up within you and prevent you from thinking unnecessary thoughts. Life is too precious to waste dwelling on the bully. Build up you inner strength and surround yourself with an inner circle that will look out for you and be there for you.
4) Hobbies/Interests: Some of us have been or are in situations where we feel completely isolated by everyone, as was the case in Tamer. Take up hobbies such as video games, music, etc. Even join local sports teams and participate in neighborhood activities. You will be surprised at how many other individuals are in the same shoes as you. Network and build up friends based on mutual interests. By doing this, you prevent yourself from feeling lonely and see everything that the world has to offer you!
These are just some of the many ways you can cope with bullying. There is no one correct way and everyone's situation is different from one another. For more information on how you can deal with bullying or if you need a specific advice for a specific situation please visit our contact page to reach out to us!
We believe everyone is entitled to the pursuit of happiness. No one, regardless of who they maybe, has the right to take it away from you.