If any of you have ever been in a class with me, you’ll probably have seen me use bullying or cyberbullying as search examples. Students have jokingly asked me if I was a bully myself and that’s why I focus on that search. In truth, it’s an example that I find rather useful to demonstrate several concepts in searching. It’s also a topic that’s played into my own studies in education in numerous courses.
But you know why else I use it as an example? It’s because of kids like Asher Brown, or any student who, like him, have been driven to suicide because of the torment of their peers. Asher certainly isn’t the first who has suffered like this, and unfortunately he won’t be the last for some time.
In sort, I like to bring attention to bullying to help bring it back to people’s minds. Especially those who are going back out into the schools and will be seeing this. Far too often it gets ignored or dismissed.
While I don’t know how, in Asher’s case, administration isn’t hearing about these things when parents and students are making it clear that they’re asking for help, I also know that many times people don’t even go for help, whether they believe that people can’t/won’t help or that it’s just something they have to deal with.
The additionally sad thing is that the students who participate in this kind of bullying, or even those who don’t see it challenged are quite possibly the people who participate in it as adults.
In order to help all you education folks out there study, research, and hopefully one day eliminate bullying, I want to highlight a couple new resources.
The Cyberbullying Collection is a collection of ebooks that all address cyberbullying. These are open access resources, so anyone can explore them. In addition, this library also features numerous contributed resources from organizations and government agencies that address issues of cyberbullying.
The Knowledge path is essentially an annotated bibliography of organizations, sites, publications, data and more that are geared towards preventing adolescent violence. This is a great way to get access to a lot of information that can help prevent bullying.
Why is it so important to prevent bullying? Besides the obvious ‘it sucks to be on the receiving end of bullying’ and the ‘it’s the right thing to do’ arguments, consider it a matter of student success.
A study by Lyubomirsky, King & Diener (2005) found that success in a pursuit isn’t what yields happiness. Contentment breeds success.
There are a lot of basic things that can lead to contentment. Things like having a home, loved ones, a full belly, etc. But how content will a student be if they don’t feel safe at school? if they’re being taunted, bullied on a regular basis? Food for thought.
Lyubomirsky, S., & King, L., & Diener, E. (2005). The benefits of frequent positive affect: Does happiness lead to success? Psychological Bulletin, 131, 803-855.
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