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During 2011 I am hoping to write more. I want to contribute to the dialogue that has started (finally) about bullying and how it affects students and communities.
One of the things I have been thinking about is, does the increased media awareness lend to solutions or does it obscure the real problem by sensationalizing the traumatic stories? Does it lead to an increase in copycat suicides? Does the increased media presence do more harm than good?
I am not sure of the answers and I do know one thing. The increased media awareness still does not direct attention to the fact that bullying begins in early childhood. I am concerned that the attention does little more than focus on those victims that have already lived past the point of tolerance. Children who have survived, and are either taking their lives, or they are old enough to speak out, are at this point the only ones being heard.
My focus has always been on bullying as it begins in early childhood and our response to children who are bullied or are showing the signs of becoming serial bullies. We do not spend enough time and effort on assisting our children in learning appropriate interpersonal communication techniques at an early age and the result is adolescents who are unable to, or unwilling to, learn new skills.
What do you think the media awareness is doing for the cause of bullying? Has it made it a novel concern? Do you think there is a way to educate people without sensationalizing trauma?
I would love to hear your thoughts and I look forward to the New Year. I hope that you are blessed with love and peace in the New Year.