Whoa, What Are You Doing?
After my post went up at I Survived The Mean Girls, I learned that Anderson Cooper had run a television special devoted to bullying awareness and prevention called Bullying: It Stops Here.
The special aired from Rutgers University about one year after freshman Tyler Clementi’s suicide. Clementi killed himself by jumping off the George Washington Bridge after a recording of him having a sexual encounter with another man was posted online.
Cooper has been a strong opponent of bullying. He has spent a lot of time on his show and on other programs speaking out about the suicides among young men and women that were done in response to years of being bullied.
If you can, watch all four parts of Cooper’s video clips below.
Watch with your kids.
Cooper asks students to take a pledge to speak out against bullying.
Because studies show that if even one person speaks up and points out the behavior, bullies are likely to stop doing what they are doing.
All it takes is one person to say, “Whoa, what are you doing?!” or “Hey, that’s really mean!”
As usual, it is silence that is deadly.
And cyber-bullying is a disaster.
Because once words and images go viral, there is no escape for the target.
Only torment and embarrassment and shame.
It’s time to stop using our technology to hurt.
How do we teach our children to stand up against the bullies? How do we get them to risk everything to protect someone else? How do we get them to make better choices? How do we move toward civility and tolerance?
If you have a child who has been bullied, or a child who is complaining about feeling like a bystander (which is how many of us feel during our middle and high school years), please check out I Survived The Mean Girls, which offers a supportive community for people who have been bullied or who have witnessed bullying.