Anybody out there besides me getting tired of all the lengthy descriptions of what bullying is, and what the research says, and how kids are affected and…?
I doubt that kids feel much safer when us adults attend workshops, or take good notes, or buy curricula. I do happen to think they feel lots safer when a bus driver won’t let anyone use put-downs, or when a teacher confronts a queen bee who’s practicing her manipulations…or when a school counselor creates a bullying awareness week.
Focusing on the power of the silent majority, a school counselor from Kansas named Summer Foster organized this all-out effort that involved bookmarks, posters, banners, high school students, choir, drama club and a human body peace sign.
Exactly what they did and how it works misses the point (well at least my point anyways). It is that they DID something. Sometimes we spend so much time and energy looking at that pile of wood that needs splitting that the chuckle of my grammpa Carl Solumn needs be re-told: “Once begun–half done.”
Students watch what we do–not listen to what we say. And they’ll cut us lots of slack for stupid mistakes when they see that our intentions are good. Recently I was worrying about a song choice–Everybodyby Ingrid Michaelson–that I was going to perform for a student assembly I was conducting when my daughter, Anna, said “It really doesn’t matter, Dad, they’ll think you’re nerdy whatever you do! But, you should do it anyways ’cause they’ll respect you for trying.” So try I did.
Was Summer’s campaign listed in the goverment-sanctioned Best Practices list? I don’t give a rip–kids don’t either. But a week’s worth of local action built by those in the know about their community and powered by the energy of peers? Now there’s something I know made a difference.