Take a look at this fantastic and inspiring example for students to stand up to bullying from Jennifer Livingston of WKBT News in La Crosse, Wisconsin:
Bullying has been a focus in our school district and in the state of North Dakota. We continue to develop and implement new programs into our schools. It continues to put positivity and belonging into the forefront of our minds as educators.
What really hit home for me in the video above was that this behavior is learned. It is not something that children are born with. We do not come into this world with the sense that skinny is attractive, tall is manly, and being different is worthy of hatred or criticism. These things come from examples.
Children at home hear how parents and adults talk about people on TV, at work, or in the drive-thru line at McDonald’s. These may be unintentional messages to children, but does that make it OK? It is time to start being intentional with our actions and words. How will your example live on in the next generation?
As a teacher who has been given more direction and education in the area of bullying, I feel that it is something that deserves our focus. It is our job as teachers to be examples and take responsibility for what is learned.
As people, it is time to become the examples that are becoming less common. When a young person sees you, what will he or she take from your example of how to treat people?