Bullying Invaded Our Society

August 25, 2018

Editor: As the school year rapidly approaches, each teacher could weigh in on how the name-calling exhibited by our president has pervaded his/her classroom. Last year it was the children chanting and marching to “lock her up” and “build that wall.” This year it will be the boys calling the girls “dogs” and the children saying, “You’re a lowlife” and “You’re a person with a low IQ.” The idiom, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me,” is untrue. It needs to be unlearned and reworked. Everyone remembers every time he/she was called names by parents, siblings, family members or schoolmates. Those words never go away. In her book, “Teen Torment: Overcoming Verbal Abuse at Home and School,” Patricia Evans says, “words can be as damaging to the mind as physical blows are to the body. The scars from verbal assaults can last for years.” Books about bullying are abundant. I recommend “Crow Boy” by Taro Yashima. “The Hundred Dresses” by Eleanor Estes will have you crying each time you look at the cover. “Loudmouth George and the Sixth Grade Bully” by Nancy Carlson gives a fresh practical approach to dealing with a bully. Since October has been designated Bullying Prevention Month, perhaps the First Lady should do her “Be Best Anti-Bullying” campaign in the White House with the president, congressmen, senators and staff in attendance. We teachers would be glad to send in recommendations for bibiliotherapy readings. It is hard to ask children to respect each other if the culture from the top disrespects others. This name-calling bullying has invaded our society. And it is now deeply embedded in the schools. When will we finally say, “ It’s time to go because you have abused our most precious ones on this planet — our children?” Joanne Dahm DUPONT

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