Category Archive: Bullying

Why Disagreeing or Challenging an Idea is Not “Incivility”

Posted by on February 13, 2011

The latest politically-correct buzzword of the day, incivility, sounds good on the surface.  After all, who could be against a more “civil” society? The Resurrection of “Civility” and the Push for Kumbaya The problem is that the issue has been pushed to the forefront in a political context.  The buzz started with the Obama Administration […]

School Boards Challenge Education Dept Civil Rights Bullying Order

Posted by on December 14, 2010

The National School Boards Association (NSBA) is challenging the federal Education Department’s “expansive reading of the law” in which the Department redefines bullying as potential federal civil rights violations. The Department’s Office for Civil Rights issued a 10-page “Dear Colleagues Letter” (DCL) to the nation’s schools on October 26th in which the Department redefined discipline […]

Study: No Link Between Large High Schools & Bullying Victimization

Posted by on December 8, 2010

An illusion.  That’s how a University of Virginia study describes the  perceived link between large high schools and higher student victimization of bullying. A November 2010 Journal of Educational Psychology article entitled, “Is the link between large high schools and student victimization an illusion?,” reports the rate of bullying offenses was actually lower in larger schools.  Similar […]

Congress, The Nation’s Biggest Bullies: Fix Your Own Incivility

Posted by on November 28, 2010

“Search for civility grows in Washington after midterms,” a recent U.S.A. Today headline reads.  On the surface, the article appropriately details the polarized, hostile, and personally-attacking nature of today’s D.C. politics.  But having testified four times to Congress on school safety, and getting a closer view of the behind-the-scenes nature of American politics, I particularly […]

Gay Teen Suicide Coverage May Spark Contagion, Experts Say

Posted by on November 2, 2010

Suicide experts are criticizing assertions that recent teen suicides are being directly attributed to bullying.  A Harvard psychology professor and researcher is criticizing the media for sensationalizing the media coverage of the deaths of bullied teens. The experts also believe the media coverage is contributing to a suicide contagion: A condition where the glamorized or […]

What a Victim’s Father & a Former Bully Can Teach Us about Suicide

Posted by on October 13, 2010

Andy Lehman was an honor student, scholarship semifinalist, musician, and math whiz.   Andy was repeatedly harassed, pushed, called names, and not allowed to sit down on his high school bus.  In September of 2006, he took his life. The student who bullied Andy, Kirk Zajac, now teams up with Andy’s father, Nicholas, to talk at schools about stopping […]

Bullying & Teen Suicide Requires a Closer Look at Mental Health

Posted by on October 12, 2010

The recent public frenzy about bullying, along with multiple teen suicides, creates understandable grief and stress for everyone.  The word “bullycide” and claims of kids being “bullied to death” have filled the media airwaves and newspapers, blogs, and Twitter in recent weeks. Bullying has been increasingly politicized by special interest groups and all the way up to the White […]

Bullying Label Understates Crimes, Suicides, & Deeper Issues

Posted by on September 30, 2010

A 13-year-old is assaulted and his arms are broken because he wants to be a cheerleader.  Numerous teens commit suicide.  What are these incidents called?  Today, the media, special interest advocates, and others call them “bullying.”  A few years ago, when kids were assaulted and had their arms broken, it was called “assault.”  And when […]

Why One Victim Believes Bullying Starts at Home

Posted by on September 28, 2010

An adult male caller had frustration, and later anger, in his voice.  He described on my voicemail how he was “bullied” from grades 3 through 10.  He went on to note he had been beaten repeatedly by this bully until 10th grade, at which time he (the caller/victim) left home. A Caller’s Personal Story The bully the […]

Bullying: Rarely the only cause of a young person’s suicide

Posted by on September 26, 2010

The media, educational, and political craze around “bullying” focuses on the symptom, not the underlying problem, in teen suicide cases. In today’s opinion section of Cleveland’s Plain Dealer newspaper, I responded to a recent story on teen suicides in a neighboring county in a letter to the editor entitled, “Bullying: Rarely is it the only […]