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  • stella.scandali

    This is a great start. I would like to see something done that helps the underage victims of adult bullies who are also famiy members. Unfortunately it is very much a reality.

  • allenmendler

    Thanks Elly for making us aware of this program. It is so important that this issue be revisited repeatedly. As I suggested in a recent blog of mine that I wrote after the tragic suicide of the middle school girl in Florida and subsequent arrest of two middle school girls who purportedly bullied her, @edutopia KEEP BULLYING ON THE FRONT BURNER, the primary solution lies with students since most bullying happens away from adults. I offer a few key how-to's that schools can do regularly to make that happen.

    • Elly Bludworth

      Thanks so much for your response! I definitely think that we should keep bullying on the front burner. Too often it is brushed off as something that doesn't happen anymore. While it is important to make sure the responsibility lies mostly with students, it is also imperative that as adults we remember to instill kindness, respect, and understanding into the minds of younger generations. It's certainly up to students to make the changes they wish to see, however, and I hope that we continue to see those changes.

  • Howard

    With the topic of bullying center-stage in the NFL this week, it will be interesting to see if the league or the Player's Association want to (pardon the pun) tackle the issue. Much has been said of the player in question - Richie Incognito - and his past history of being bullied as a kid for being overweight, which has resulted in his behavior as an adult. As with so many of the challenges in society today, It starts here, with our youth. Kudos to City Year for including this with the many amazing things they already do in support of positive youth development.

    • Stef McDonald

      Howard, glad you brought up the NFL story—terrible story on so many levels, but it points to the fact that the effects of bullying are far-reaching. And bullying doesn't always end when you grow up. The NFL hasn't handled a lot of serious issues well (concussions, for instance), but I hope that the mainstream reporting of this story will enlighten those who might not take the issue seriously. And I hope parents and coaches speak to kids about the fact that behavior like Incognito's is cruel and unacceptable.

      • Howard

        Thanks Stef. There are some great youth sports programs that are working on this at the grassroots level:
        Positive Coaching Alliance
        Responsible Sports
        Coach Across America

        And while I am a firm believer in the "bottom-up" approach, it's what goes on at the top - pro sports, in this case - that grabs the headlines. And as you pointed out, the NFL has not done well to address social issues within its ranks lately. We'll see if the same holds true here.

    • Liz Dwyer

      Such a great connection, Howard. It's been so disturbing to see how many adults think bullying and hazing is just part of the NFL (and so many other experiences) and if you can't take it, you're not a "real" man. Changing this absolutely starts with children and youth--and making sure that the adults responsible for them are well aware of how to stop bullying in its tracks.

  • Jeff Hoffart

    It is so important that students stand up and take action. I am proud to have taught a girl in grade 5 who created a resource hub for teachers and parents to help take action on this important cause:

    You will also find her TEDxYouth@BIS talk and song about her own personal experiences. I find that her actions have far exceeded what I have seen many others do as peer role models and youth sharing their stories is so powerful and inspiring!

    • Alessandra Rizzotti

      Her speech is amazing. It's wonderful to see that she felt empowered enough to provide a resource to her elders- people she didn't feel like she could trust anymore. I wonder what made her realize they'd start to listen to her?

      • Jeff Hoffart

        Hey Alessandra, I can't fully speak on her behalf, but I think she began to develop and create mutually trusting relationships with teachers. This took self-reflection and the ability to be open-minded to the fact that people make mistakes and that parents/teachers/adults are human and are fallible and to be understanding of that fact. I also think it was that she gained confidence and truly began to believe and understand that, although young, what she had to say was powerful and could help make a positive social impact to her own life, and the lives of others.

  • Liz Dwyer

    Thank you so much, Elly, from being so willing to share your story. I'm so glad that the students you are working with in Orlando have you there to talk to and mentor them--I wish you didn't know what they're going through, but given that you've stood in their shoes, I'm glad that they have you and the other City Year corps members there to support them. And, I'm glad that so many of them are standing up to bullying instead of just being bystanders. We need to encourage more kids to do so, and we adults need to support their efforts so that another generation doesn't come through school having these kinds of stories.

    • Elly Bludworth

      And thank you so much, Liz, for your comment! I wish that bullying wasn't so readily dismissed and I certainly wish that it was rarely experienced. I'm proud of my students and other students that stand up for themselves and others! It seems that a lot of students don't feel like they have the power to stand up to others or they fear that they themselves might become victims. I definitely agree that as adults, we need to encourage them in making positive changes, because they need as much support as possible! City Year hopes to encourage students to make positive changes in their lives. Thanks for encouraging me to share my stories :)