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Bullying: What Can You Do?

By Lauren on May 07, 2009

Last week, I attended Anti-Defamation League’s Cyberbullying Symposium along with 200+ students, educators and school leaders. The keynote speaker was John Halligan, a name many of you remember from the influx of TV interviews, news articles and speaking engagements surrounding the suicide of his 13-year old son Ryan Halligan. This happened in 2003 and it’s still happening, most recently with Carl Walker-Hoover and Jaheem Herrera.

Yesterday the mothers of Carl and Jaheem were on Oprah speaking their son’s stories and talking about why school bullying is more than just “kids just being kids”. In lieu of the episode, Oprah.com has pulled together the parents' stories plus some information about bullying: how you can help, signs of depression, dealing with bullies and the bullied, and so on. There’s also Remembering Ryan Halligan, a 3+ minute video featuring John and Kelly Halligan speaking about what happened to Ryan.

At this point, most educators, parents and students understand that bullying is indeed a real problem and are wondering what to do. An important first step is to learn more about bullying, realize that it’s not harmless or fixable by simple conflict resolution, that it’s an exploitation of power that needs to be addressed with both the bully and the bullied. Realize that, as an educator, parent or student, standing by or doing nothing makes you a passive bystander who indirectly permits bullying and often fuels the fire.

To learn more, I recommend starting at these 4 places:

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Engaging the Whole Child

By Lauren on April 27, 2009

Keeping our kids engaged in learning is a major focus of our work with schools, so we at CSEE were very excited to download ASCD's new e-book, Engaging the Whole Child: Reflections on Best Practices in Learning, Teaching, and Leadership. Engaging is 300+ pages filled with inspiration and practical advice for keeping kids engaged in learning, and if you haven't grabbed it yet, I recommend doing so now while it's available here for free download.

The e-book contains articles culled from past issues of Educational Leadership, spanning subjects such as engaging the whole child, inspiring trust and confidence, deepening students' thinking, instilling the desire to achieve, empowering students, and more. As part of their Whole Child initiative, ASCD is also releasing a new podcast on May 7th. They'll be talking about the importance of student voice and how schools can actively engage their students in the community.

For more resources about student engagement, check out the last edition of School Climate Matters for articles from Howard Adelman (UCLA) and a page of recommended resources... and, of course, please share any of your own resources in the comments below!

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Our Call to End the Cycle of Violence in Schools

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on April 17, 2009

Last week, the tragic news of 11-year-old Carl Walker Hoover’s suicide stunned us all.  The victim of persistent anti-gay taunts, bullying, and harassment, young Carl took his own life, underscoring the terrifying yet often overlooked rise in damaging bully behavior in our nation’s schools.  Like Carl’s mother who is pushing for more accountability and action, we at CSEE believe that parents, students, and educators can work together to end this destructive cycle.  It starts with acknowledging the issue (rather than dismissing it as “kids being kids”) and creating an environment where students feel safe enough to stand up – as a victim or a bystander – and get the adult support they need before the situation escalates.

April 17, 2009 is a National Day of Silence to bring awareness to the harmful anti-gay harassment that is all too common in our nation’s schools. Visit the Day of Silence website to learn how you can bring attention to Anti-LGBT bullying at your school.

Read School Safety, 10 Years after Columbine, the US News article featuring CSEE President Jonathan Cohen and folks from Princeton and the Department of Education. Read more about Carl Walker Hoover here, here or here.

Learn more about CSEE’s supports for this critical concern and sign up for our newsletter to receive concrete supports on bully prevention, student engagement, and creating positive school climates. You can also sign up at bullybust.org to be part of our anti-bully awareness campaign launching this summer.

We want to hear from you: What is your school or community doing to address bullying? What do you think still needs to be done? 

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