This video, created in partnership with spoken word poet Shane Koyczan, is a poignant example of what a child and adolescent feels when they are bullied in school. Shane himself was bullied as a young child, ”My experiences with violence in schools still echo throughout my life, but standing to face the problem has helped me in immeasurable ways,” Koyczan writes on the “To This Day” website.
It all begs the question, if we start in our own homes with teaching our children the tenets of respect, love, and kindness, might we rid our schools of bullying in this present generation? And if we did that, might we in connection lower crime in our communities and make them a safer place to live? Watch the video and then tell us what you think – how do you help solve the bullying epidemic?
This morning as I poured over the latest USA Today headlines, a story about the following video going viral over the last few days caught my attention. And it got me thinking, what is it about kids where they feel the need to bully, pick on, and just down right be rude to other people – whether their fellow classmates or, as in this example, 68-year-old bus monitor Karen Klein? As of the timing of this post the 10 minute-plus video has received more than 1.6 million views and many more video responses and comments. What we’re really interested in from the perspective of the education system is how do we teach kids the importance of respect for each other and what type of discipline is an appropriate response?
While the video is difficult to watch, the feel good story coming from the episode is that one viewer, moved by what he watched, used the popular fundraising site indiegogo.com to start a modest fund to send Klein on a much deserved vacation with a $5,000 budget. The public’s response? The fund as it sits this moment has received $256,498 and is growing so rapidly that the Website hosting it is experiencing traffic overload – http://www.indiegogo.com/loveforkarenhklein.
So what do you think – beyond parental disciplining, what role should the education establishment play in teaching kids about the negative affects of bullying?
By the way, Klein’s response to the pestering, “Unless you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
Looks like Ms. Klein is getting the last laugh.
*Please note the following content may be viewed by some as profane and vulgar.
Yesterday I was introduced to an internet browser created just for kids, Surf Knight. I’ve seen similar products from time to time and I’m not quite sure what to think about them. On the one hand, I can image great benefit for parents and children with a web browser that is specifically engineered for child use and parental monitoring. For example, Surf Knight lets parents control which websites a child is able to access and it provides filtering for pornographic websites, if your child is doing internet searches.
Yup, you read it right. That’s exactly what Lenore Skenazy, Free Range Kids maven, has suggested that we do on May 22—just a few short weeks away. She has declared it “Take Yours Kids to the Park . . . And Leave Them There Day,” and wants us to do exactly that.
If our goal is to get kids back outside (it is), and playing together (it is), and for parents to relax (it is), and to start creating community again (it sure is!!!), then “Take Our Children to the Park… And Leave Them There Day” is a great first step.
Across the country — what the heck, across the world — parents will converge upon local playgrounds and parks with their school-age kids. They will tell them to have fun, make friends and don’t leave with anyone. Then the parents will wave goodbye and the kids will amuse themselves for whatever amount of time they’ve decided with their folks. An hour. A morning. Or maybe even just half an hour, to get used to the whole thing, which, admittedly, sounds radical. But is it?
When we started the non-profit (Community Watch) in 2006, we were told that children were at extreme risk from strangers, and that thousands and thousands of kids go missing every single day in the US. We had law enforcement, safety experts, and children’s books expound on these two ideas, and we were pretty sure it was our job to let parents know that, too.
We were wrong, and we figured it out pretty quick, thankfully.
We want our kids to be safe, to grow up safe, and to learn how to keep themself safe so they’re prepared for any situation. The skills they need to do that are like a toolbox, and one of the most important tools in that box is CONFIDENCE.