Last week in Moms Talk, asked an important question: “” Here’s what one commenter had to said and my own response:
I think it is each parent's responsibility to teach our children about giving to those in need. There are many volunteer opportunities throughout the year for parent to teach this valuable lesson. Also a great bonding time for parent and child.
I think the best way to teach children charity is by modeling it. Las Palomas is a great idea, and I'm looking forward to getting involved!
Meanwhile, last week my husband and I attended a special showing of the documentary Bully, organized by Facing History and Ourselves, an international nonprofit organization that combats racism, anti-Semitism and prejudice.
“Bully” follows five children and families who have been deeply affected by bullying, including some families whose children committed suicide after being bullied repeatedly, and one bright, talented girl who ultimately pulled out a gun on the school bus after enduring months of abuse.
According to the film, more than 13 million American children will be bullied this year. For me, the film elicited sadness, indignation, and disbelief, and left me with many unanswered questions.
What can we do? How can we stop it? What can schools do? Why do kids bully each other? How can we teach them a better way? I think we need to have these conversations and, as a community, work together to make our schools and communities safe places. Facing History has published a study guide for use with the film.
There are nonprofit organizations, such as Facing History and Project Cornerstone—which uses the developmental assets to help create supportive communities for young people—that work to change the culture of our schools. We have Project Cornerstone in the , so at least our children have a common vocabulary and some awareness and tools. I’ve heard that Cornerstone has had a great impact at , in particular. Yet I yearn for more help and guidance for our children and our educators. I would love to see Facing History at Fisher and at .
The nonprofit No Bully was a partner in the event last week, so I checked out their website and was impressed by what I read. That also looks like a program that I would love to have in our schools ... how do we manage the many competing demands for our time, our dollars and our mind-share?
“Bully” opens in theaters on March 30, although it’s a limited release and the MPAA has given it an “R” rating, so that could keep a lot of teenagers from seeing it. I think that’s a mistake—I think as many people as possible should see and talk about the movie. In late February, a high school student started a petition asking the MPAA to change the rating to PG-13. In one week, she got more than 200,000 signatures, by March 12 more than 288,000 people had signed.
Katy from Michigan’s petition gives me hope. In two weeks, she got nearly 300,000 people to think about bullying and do something to combat the problem. One person can make a difference.
What else can we do to stop bullying?
—Please follow on Twitter @LGmomDyan.