I am excited! Why? There is steadily growing support and realization that something must be done to stop the bullying that is so negatively impacting our youth. Bullying hurts. It hurts emotionally. It damages self esteem at a time when kids are at their most vulnerable…their teenage years. Bullying causes depression. Bullying has the potential to kill. And this includes cyber bullying.
States like New Jersey are trying to keep bullying at bay with legislation. In fact, 36 states include cyberbullying in their anti-bullying laws. But what I see happening here in New Jersey is that our school systems are struggling with the Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights. What we also need is awareness. Kids and parents alike must all be aware that bullying is an extremely serious matter that can potentially have irreversible consequences. Now with social media so prevalent, with technological capabilities like texting, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube videos, and the Internet in general, we need to consider cyber bullying as a huge concern. Parents need to know how best to ensure their children’s safety while using such social media. Speaking of which, I will be attending an anti-bullying and cyberbullying session for parents in my school district next Thursday night.
Some of my regular blog followers already know how I feel about bullying, as they’ve seen me blog in the past about it. So, what’s it all got to do with postpartum depression (PPD)? It’s important to remember that many cases of depression surface during the teenage years and follow you throughout life. One of the primary risk factors of PPD is a history of depression. I delve into relevant statistics and risk factors in my book. And you may be interested in checking out this previous post about bullying, which includes many links to articles/resources. Here’s another previous post you may be interested in checking out, written in the wake of Tyler Clementi’s suicide in 2010.
If you haven’t heard by now, the Weinstein Company is behind the new movie “Bully” coming to certain theaters throughout the country, starting with New York City next Friday, March 30th! From the bottom of my heart, thank you Harvey Weinstein, for putting a spotlight on such an important issue! You may have heard that there are efforts underway to try to change the “R” rating (due to the use of the F word six times) to a PG-13 rating. I along with the over 463,000 people who have signed the petition started by 17-year-old Katy Butler, fervently believe that this movie must be seen by all middle and high school students!
I love Cynthia Lowen’s Huffington Post article titled “Give Kids the Respect They’re Due,” which supports the rationale for leaving the F words in the movie.
“BULLY bears witness to the violence, intimidation, threats, derogation and abuse 13 million American kids will experience this year. We made this film to give voice to those for whom bullying is a daily reality and to honestly depict bullying in such a way as to make it impossible to dismiss as ‘kids being kids’ or a ‘normal’ rite of passage…… To take away this language, or prevent kids from hearing the words that reflect their own experiences, is to look the other way, to gloss over the suffering and to continue to perpetrate the myth that has allowed bullying to become so entrenched in our communities. To pretend this language doesn’t exist denies bullied kids who wake up day after day, and get on that bus, or walk through the halls of their schools, knowing the gauntlet of harm they’re likely to face, the dignity and acknowledgement of bravery they’re due.”
What I’d like to ask you to do is to join me in the anti-bullying movement today. Here are some of the ways in which you can do so, other than reading my two previous posts on the topic (links in the body of my post above):
- Click here to find out more about the movie and to watch the trailer. Go see it, if it comes to a theater near you! I will be going to see it soon after the New York City premiere happening on March 30th.
- If you haven’t yet signed the petition, please do so!
- Have you taken a photo with the NO BULLY sign yet?
- Become familiar with your state’s anti-bullying laws. Participate in your school district’s anti-bullying initiatives.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for joining the movement!