Talking about Bullying on the Kathleen Dunn Show
This morning, I had the great opportunity to join Public Radio host, Kathleen Dunn, and US Dept. of Education representative, Deborah Tempkin for an hour to talk about what parents, schools, and peers can do to stop bullying and cyber-bullying. While I much prefer being a writer…and being able to liberally revise my responses until I find just the right words…I did love the interaction with Kathleen and Deborah and with the callers who phoned, emailed, and tweeted their questions to the show. It was a lively discussion, sparked by the recent bullying-related suicide of a young man from Sioux City, Iowa.
The one thing I’ve been kicking myself about all day is my response to the two callers who talked about physical retaliations as being the best answer to the problem of bullying. I found myself a little tongue-tied during both conversations. The point I wanted to make–and that I do make when I have the luxury of writing on the subject instead of answering on-air–is that while physical retaliations may seem to solve the problem in the moment, they are not the mark of a civilized society and are never the kind of skill that best serve children in the long-term. I do believe with all of my heart that children need skills to know how to stand up for themselves, but never do I believe that revenge–particularly physical aggression–is an advisable response.