Watching the video of school bus monitor Karen Klein being cruelly bullied by four boys makes me want to stand up and shout, ‘STOP THE BUS!’ Parents and teachers need to teach kids how to recognize destructive behavior, resist peer pressure, speak up when they see someone acting unsafely, and get help. School staff, including bus monitors and playground supervisors, need training and support to stop kids from engaging in bullying of anyone in the moment.
My heart aches with empathy for everyone whose lives are devastated by disasters. At the same time, watching the news over and over, feeling upset, and worrying about the bad things that might happen does not make anyone safer -it just makes us and our children more anxious. Instead, especially when things go wrong, we need to take charge of what each of us can do to keep our children and ourselves emotionally and physically safe.
Here are some ideas about what to do before, during, and after a disaster.
Disasters like the fires now raging in Colorado remind us that we are vulnerable, that the physical security of ourselves and those we care about is not guaranteed, and that our world can change in an instant. As adults, our challenge when a disaster threatens or strikes is to keep finding our balance. In this uncertain world, the truest safety we have is the safety we create within ourselves. If we express calm and determination as we take charge of safety in the midst of uncertainty, our children will follow our lead.
Violence because of someone’s sexual orientation and identify is just as much of a hate crime as violence due to other forms of prejudice. Both during PRIDE Week and at other times, we encourage members of the LGBTQ community and their allies to be proud of who they are – and to keep these seven People Safety strategies from Kidpower.org in mind so they can celebrate with safety and confidence.