Kids and adults alike often suffer from name-calling, taunting, rude gestures, pranks, and other cruel behavior because of their weight. This handout and audio recording thanks to Healthful Life MD Abby Bleistein provide resources for health care providers and other caring adults who want to provide support and skills for young people who face much higher risks of being bullied about their weight.
The reason we call our programs Positive Peer Communication, is because our approach is to teach the skills we want young people and adults to build for respectful self-advocacy, boundary setting, and effectively getting help. These skills do help to prevent bullying and harassment — and even more importantly: they are the same skills that help everyone to build positive, healthy relationships and a culture of safety and respect in their families, schools, communities, and workplaces.
Last week, I had the honor of speaking at a press conference held by San Fransisco District Attorney George Gascon to kick off their subcommittee’s “Bye Bye Bullying” video contest for middle and high school students in San Francisco, for which I am a Judge and Kidpower is a co-sponsor.
Bullying Prevention Expert and Kidpower Leader, Irene van der Zande, calls for adults to turn anxiety into positive action to stop bullying. Here are five practical and positive actions adults can start immediately to turn the tide of bullying and help create schools, neighborhoods and communities of caring, respect and safety for all of their members.
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.
Bullying Prevention Expert and Kidpower Leader, Irene van der Zande, reviews the “Bully” movie with an eye toward what to do after you watch the documentary – because just watching is not enough to make a lasting difference for kids and families struggling with severe bullying, even in schools and communities where “anti-bullying” policies have been adopted.
Bullying is an ongoing emergency, and emergencies require urgent action. Each week, Kidpower will be featuring an Emergency Action you can take to help protect the young people in your life from bullying.