Stand Down or Speak Up?

We all send our kids to school hoping they will be safe, nurtured and integrated into a learning atmosphere where they are not teased, bullied or made uncomfortable. Now let’s examine what actually happens in the real world.

Our kids enter kindergarten. What happens? They learn, yes. Some learn to tease and bully. If it is tolerated, it continues. Others learn to either fight back or withdraw and try to escape notice. These behaviors become habits, and we all know how hard habits are to break. Many times the bullying and/or teasing follows the victims all the way into high school. Is it right? No. Should people speak out instead of silently abetting the bullies? Yes. Does it always work out that way? No.

Talk to your children about bullying and harassment at school. Let them know it’s ok to complain about it. Tell an adult and don’t stop speaking up until the bad behavior stops. They may end up being someone’s hero. Doing the right thing is not easy, but the self-respect earned is priceless.

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