American Behavioral Clinics has partnered with Greendale Against Bullying. On March 22nd they had a rally to show the movie Bully, listen to former Packer Gilbert Brown and talk about how to defeat bullying. Dr. James Winston gave a speech to the 400 people who had come to take part, here is what he said. The most common definition is a repeated oppression, psychological or physical of a less powerful person by a more powerful person or group of persons. Bullying behavior occurs in schools, sports, youth groups work places, social groups, senior centers or online activities. It takes place between people of all ages and walks of life. Bullying can be physical which can include hitting, kicking or punching someone. It may involve stealing, hiding or ruining someone’s things. Sometimes it can be threats or making someone do things he or she doesn’t want to do. Verbal bullying includes teasing, insulting or name calling. Relationship bullying may include refusal to talk with someone or spreading rumors about someone. Roughly 25% of kids experience bullying, reasons may include: a different size child, smaller or bigger than other kids their age, if a child is a minority based on color, religion, or sex, if a child has a disability that makes him walk or talk differently, if a child gets anxious or upset easily, if a child is usually alone or doesn’t have many friends, if a child shows a lack of confidence and doesn’t seem like she’ll stand up for herself. Bullying isn’t new, but our attempts to respond to it are. Today, the challenges are complicated by kids access to new technologies which include cyberbullies and Facebook thugs. Cellphones and laptops spread gossip quickly. Emotional violence in the virtual world can inflict real psychological trauma. Kids who bully are often resentful or envious. Some bullies are arrogant or narcissistic. A bully may be having problems in other parts of their life. Something may be going on in their family or they are struggling with school. A bully may feel they aren’t getting enough attention from parents or teachers. A bully may have watched their parents or older siblings get their way by being angry or pushing other people around. The bully may be spoiled by their parents and hasn’t learned about not hurting others. The bully may be exposed to lots of violence in movies, tv or video games. The reason why one kid would want to bully another kid is this. When you make someone feel bad, you gain power over them. Power makes people feel like they’re better than another person. That makes them feel really good about themselves. Power makes you stand out from the crowd and get attention from other kids. So, what should children and teens do if someone bullies them? Ignore the bully. Pretend you didn’t hear them, don’t even look at him, walk right past him if you can. Don’t cry, get angry or show you’re upset, that’s the bully’s goal. Telling someone to stop firmly “NO that’s what you think”. Asking to join the game or conversation in a friendly, confident way. Learning and finding someone else to play with. Interrupting adults and being persistent asking for help. Turn and walk away or run if you have to remove yourself from the situation. Use your awareness to notice a problem situation and move out of reach. To prevent future bullying, don’t walk alone and travel with one other person if you can. Avoid places where bullying happens, i.e. take a different route to school or leave at a different time. Sit near the bus driver on a school bus. Don’t bring expensive things to school. Avoid being alone in a locker room or bathroom. Act confident, make eye contact, and stand up straight with your head held high. Practice bullying comebacks ahead of time. Make new friends and develop interest in social or physical activities. One in 10 students drop out of school because of repeated bullying. 90% of 4th to 8th graders report being victims of bullying. Harassment and bullying have been linked to 75% of school shooting episodes. In summary, people have the right to be treated with respect and the responsibility to act respectfully towards others. My 94 year old, living World War II Sergeant, father always told me to get a good education. It’s important that each child stays focused on what’s really important, like education, and not the negative energy of their peers who may try and suppress their spirits. American Behavioral Clinics is here to help when you feel lost, alone or sad. Doctors, teachers, police officers and lawyers come to American Behavioral Clinics. You shouldn’t feel shameful to get help if you need it. We need to be partners in fighting emotional and physical abuse together.