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Bullying: It Stops Here
October 5th, 2011
10:33 AM ET

Bullying: It Stops Here

CNN, Facebook, Cartoon Network and Time Inc. have teamed up for a special multi-platform effort aimed at taking a stand to help stop the bullying crisis. Tune in to Anderson's town hall “Bullying: It Stops Here” on Friday, October 14 at 8 and 10 p.m. ET, and the special week-long series leading up to it.

Join the conversation by leaving your thoughts, stories and messages in a comment below. Follow @AndersonCooper and @AC360 and use hashtag "#stopbullying" on Twitter.

If you or someone you know is experiencing bullying or harassment, please reach out for help. Here are some organizations that can assist you:

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

The Trevor Project

Pacer Center

Find out more about the AC360° initiative, Anderson's town hall and what experts think about the critical bullying problem:

AC360° study: Schoolyard bullies not just preying on the weak

Bullying study infographic

Who would Peter be today?

Take the Stop Bullying: Speak Up pledge

Behind the scenes at Anderson's town hall

Witness to bullying

Fighting bullying through film

A school that promotes LGBT equality

Bullied students sue over controversial policy

Bullying solutions

The battle to end bullying

What adults need to know to end bullying

These teens stood up to bullies

The reason children become bullies

Bullying: It stops here snapshots


Filed under: Anderson Cooper • Bullying
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Celeste Moore

    About time this receives national attention. Not only do we need educating at all levels, but it has to start with the administration of schools. So many teachers and administrators use various forms of bullying themselves!!

    October 10, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  2. amy

    I feel like the "kid" bullying will not stop until the "adult" bullying stops. When there are public figures sharing their hateful beliefs and express their ignorance in judgemental ways, the examples are constantly out there for bullies to identify with. If adults are closeminded and unaccepting of differences, how can we expect our kids to be. Intolerance is unacceptable. Thank you Anderson...Thank you to the brave kids that I pray will open the minds of our nation and put a plan in action to stop the hate=bullying

    October 10, 2011 at 9:55 am |
  3. Bishal Basnet

    Hi Anderson,
    I have been watching your show for many years. I was really touched about what you have been doing for the public regarding bullying. I grew up in Nepal in a middle class family. I was an innocent 11 year old boy when I went to the big Middle School where financial class still exists. My days of horror started then. I was bullied every day and harassed sexually as well as mentally. There was not a single night I have not cried or thought of killing myself. Now I am living in this great nation of the US but there are still so many children on the other side of the world dying every day. We don’t have any help even from our own parents or school authorities. I am 32 now and still get those horrified dreams. It brought back the reality of my horror days while I watched your show last night. Let’s spread this message globally, let’s wipe out bullying universally. I am with you to prevent this nightmare. No child should go through this. Thank you for listening to me. I have started a group “Bullying Stops Here” in Face Book to support others.

    October 10, 2011 at 9:11 am |
  4. Jim

    Incredible – Thank you Anderson! Brave Kids – Absolutely heartbreaking – Actually infuriating – an Indication of just how terrible our educational system and a significant number of the "leaders/teachers" are. Also, a reflection of the priorities of our government that spends more in the middle east in one day – that could be used to educate the supposed "educators" on how to do their jobs. We should create a Facebook page to list these schools, teachers, principals, etc etc that are not doing their jobs. Where is the ACLU on this one?? Shame on all of us!

    October 10, 2011 at 2:55 am |
  5. William

    Real courage is found in the kids who went up in front of a national audience to bare the wounds they've suffered! Especially that kid who sang Lady Gaga. He wasn't bad, either.
    What disturbs me the most is that these victims, who suffer so much but remain true to themselves, are actually the success stories. The ones who are driven to self-destruction, be it outright suicide, spirals of addiction, or just 'dumbing themselves down' to fit in... I shudder just to recall the people I knew _personally_, let alone have heard of on the news.
    I implore anyone who ever has any contact with children at all to reinforce by word and example that every person has value... not the 'everyone is a special snowflake' line that nobody, especially not children, actually buys into, but the fundamental civilized recognition of everyone's human dignity.

    October 10, 2011 at 2:53 am |
  6. Rita

    There are two things I want to touch on. One is that kids as a whole need to be empowered with the proper tools. In Cincinnati, Ohio, I met a lady who worked in the parochial schools and presented classes on anger management, building confidence, identifying low self-esteem etc. I consider these preventive tools. She even worked one-on-one with kids who were more challenged and helped them identify ways to recognize issues then helped them identify non-violent ways to cope with the identified issues. These preventive measures are empowering and go a long way.
    My second concern, is the epidemic of workplace bullying and mobbing which gets considerably worse when the supervisor is part of the group that does the harassing. With the power of an individual at a supervisory level the group becomes invincible. Daily work products of the victim are torn into and in performance appraisals the victim is projected falsely as below standard. New people are forced into joining the harassment which is draining for them and so causes overall morale to be low. Nobody shows interest in intervening and the harassment continues till the group achieves their goal – to run off the victim from the job. Anderson, I strongly urge you to cover workplace bullying and mobbing because exposure may result in strong anti-bullying laws which in turn may result in improved safety and productivity in the workplace.

    October 10, 2011 at 1:12 am |
  7. Gislene S.-CA

    Anderson, my daughter needed to be home-schooled from January to June because of bullying. She was on 8TH grade and this girl started calling her names, then cutting my daughter and abusing her physically, at the point that my daughter was too afraid to go to school. I spoke to the School Assistant Principal, emailed the principal, even spoke to the school Superintendent, but they just pretended nothing was happening. She is on medication since last December and she thought about suicide at the point that her Psychiatrist added a new medication last August. I thought I was going to lose my daughter. Just God knows how we suffered. I just wanted to know why the school authorities act like that, ignoring what really is going on and punishing the victims of bullying. Thank you for letting us speak up for our kids.

    October 10, 2011 at 12:26 am |
    • Jackie

      I don't know why the schools refused to do anything, it sickens me that this is allowed to continue, quite literally in fact. I wish we could publicly humiliate the parents of these bullies. Make a registry like the Sex Offender Registry for students who bully, hey that's not a bad idea! So the schools will know who they are, and no matter where the parents move, their bully Kids will have a record, and they'll be the ones having to homeschool or find alternatives. They're the ones who should be denied education, not the victims!

      October 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  8. Jenn

    I just watched your bullying show and I can attest to the fact that bullying leaves life long scars. I am now a successful 30 something morther of two, but I was emotionally bullied in junior high some 20 years ago. 2 years of lunches spent hiding in the bathroom still bring me to tears. Despite turning into an accomplished woman that others think has it all together, seeing these stories bring me back to that scared, heartbroken young girl who felt like there was no hope. Parents, hug your children and know what is going on in their day. Teachers, look around and see what's happening in your school. The only thing that pulled me out of that despair was one lone teacher who began opening his classroom at lunch time for kids to "practice math." As an adult, I believe he knew what he was doing- he was opening a safe place for outcasts like me with nowhere to go- who couldnt even eat lunch in the cafeteria without being merciflessly tormented. I will never forget his kindness and shudder to think where I would or wouldn't be without that open door.

    October 10, 2011 at 12:12 am |
  9. Dianne

    Great show Anderson! We need to make this a national movement. No child should be pushed to suicide, depression , or forced to go to school feeling hated. This has crossed a line. Most kids have felt some form of being bullied through out the years, but not to this extent.This is more like sanctioned stalking. yet I wonder what we expect when we are bombarded with our politicians ( and yes news) people with constant comments of hate for some group-pitting one against the other and you have to wonder. We have ONE planet and we have to be ONE people. My heart was breaking for these kids and for the parents who lost their child. I have six grandchildren and I know one has already experienced some of this and changed schools. I wanted to reach inside the TV and give all those kids a big hug and tell them if they hang in there, in the end, they will win.

    October 10, 2011 at 12:00 am |
  10. Jaclyn

    Anderson: Thank you for bringing attention to this topic – it is heartbreaking to hear these stories and I hope there is a positive, significant change in our country soon. I hope the kids that were on your show know that they are wonderful and they are loved by me here in NY and by many, many others throughout the country. And Kyle – you are a fantastic singer! Thank you for singing on the show and sharing your gift.

    October 9, 2011 at 11:46 pm |
  11. liddi

    Anderson, i sincrely think this topic of so many people, children teenagers, adults, and our elderly ot being bullied, is one of your most endearing topics you have done lately. Its amazing how so many people try to belittle us in so many horrible ways without even thinking the consequences of their actions, IT MUST STOP NOW!!! Again thank you so very much for your sincere support. By the way i am a very big fan of your show.

    October 9, 2011 at 11:45 pm |
  12. Nicole

    The clip of the movie where a teacher tries to intervene, unsuccessfully, is a prime example of staff not having the proper training on how to deal with bullying. Even if they have good intentions, if they are not trained properly, they can make it worse for the Victim and enable the Bully. Training must begin with Teachers and Staff first, then implement Anti-Bullying Curriculum in all Schools mandated and funded Federally. Parents must be brought into the training whether they like it or not. The Schools require vaccinations right? This is not about a "belief system" it's about a "civilized society" in which case it is to all of our benefit that we teach our Students and Parents what is acceptable behavior and what is NOT!

    October 9, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  13. Maureen Glover

    Until the federal government stops marginalizing gays, thre will never be an end to the discriminalization. It saddened me to see Jane Lynch from Glee speaking out. Her and her wife are raising a family, yet when she files her federal income tax, she must perjure herself and declare she is single in order to comply with federal regulations. That feels like bullying to me. It feels demoralizing. I was recently married and suppose I will be arrested, because I WILL NOT file as single on the federal income tax. Thanks for all the good work you do!!

    October 9, 2011 at 9:41 pm |
  14. Gordon

    This show brought back some very painful memories for me. I remember in junior high being told that I should be using the girls restroom instead of using the boys restroom, and in high school I remember being called what seemed like everything from A-Z, and having food thrown at me in the school cafeteria, and my high school was in the same small rural town where I lived, and it seemed as though everybody knew everybody's business, so I would be at the local grocery store with my parents, and the bully/s would see me there and start making all sorts of rude remarks and calling me names right there in front of and within ear-shot of my parents, and my parents were devout southern baptists, and I was trying to hide my sexual orientation from them and the rest of my family. Because of everything I went through I vow to do everything within me to make sure that the bullying does indeed stop here.

    October 9, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
  15. Susan H

    I've heard over and over that the scars last a lifetime. I was bullied for being heavy in middle school. It still affects my self esteam to this day. I feel that It has caused depression in my life.

    October 9, 2011 at 9:33 pm |
  16. NjMellie

    Thanks, Anderson, for putting the spotlight on this in a thoughtful way. My kids are older, but it still breaks my heart to see what today's kids are going through. I know we probably can't stop bullying altogether, but how do we lower it's occurrences? It's frightening how many kids are bullied now.

    October 9, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
  17. Dana S

    I am a third grade teacher and it is very hard to discipline bullies due to the constraints on suspension. It frustrates me to no end that so many kids go unrecognized when they are being bullied. I am considerend a very strict teacher in my school...but I thrive on equlity no matter the cost to me. It is about the child and the well being of the child so I stick up for any child at any cost to me. We need more support in the school systems intead of restrictions such as "we can not suspend due to the loss of money or funds" I am sickened that the loss is in reference to money and not the loss of life. I try my best but am very frustrated with what society is allowing to accept! I hope my students will have the confidence in me to come to me and that I will try my best to do what I think is right and protect them and make them feel safe.

    October 9, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
  18. Julie

    My school has enacted the best bullying prevention progam I have ever seen. The Olweus Bullying Prevention program. It strives to create emapthy in students, awareness in teachers and parents, and includes the entire community. It is not a one time assembly it is a program that becomes ingrained into the school culture.

    I was bullied as a kid, if this program was around then, school might not have sucked so much. My hope is that you check the progam out and visit a school that has enacted it and if you love it as much as I think you will, tell everyone about it.

    Thanks for doing this Anderson.

    October 9, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  19. bullies kill

    The only thing that is going to stop bullying is to make it unacceptable, period. This behavior should be no more acceptable than carrying a gun in school. Kids should be punished for bullying by not allowing them to ride the bus to school (parents will be pissed that they have to take their kids to school, so they will make sure it won't happen again). They should be kept after school for group counseling. This will not only give them something to think about, but it will keep them from bullying kids after school. They should have to spend Saturdays doing community service.

    October 9, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  20. Robbin

    Watching right now. So happy Lee Hirsch finally brought up "cafeteria folk." As a school monitor I have witnessed horrific behavior in the hallways & cafeteria. I step in and do what I can and am happy that I have been sucessful at times, but we miss so much. Two major problems.....the kids need to speak up and tell an adult. (This can be done privately, and w/o the bully knowing) And 2ndly, Admistrators, deans, & teachers have to pull their heads out of their butts!!!! I have gone to all of the above and many times literally told, "I don't have time for this."

    October 9, 2011 at 8:59 pm |
  21. liz o

    I'm a successful 33 year old businesswoman; gay, a college math major; nerd and athlete in school; and still remember the name of my middle-school bully. I am fortunate I didn't take my life and forced myself to endure the daily chastising in school. I am also lucky, I intervene on everything negative I see now. To everyone: be empowered; make a difference every day; you could save a life, a soul or a spirit- each is just as important.

    October 9, 2011 at 8:53 pm |
  22. Sue M

    My daughters' middle school has a head on approach to bullying. When bullying starts to spiral out of control, whether in school or out school, the school counselors and assistant principal will call the kids down to the office separately, and then together to resolve a situation. This means if facebook is used, if a cellphone text is used, or if this occurs in school, students know they will receive a referral for bullying if they bully other students who attend the school. This is so effective, and the fact that the students are called down to speak with an adult helps them face what they have done (usually they are embarassed), and the adults broker an apology/resolution between the students. And they MONITOR it afterwards. Every school should have this policy.

    October 9, 2011 at 8:52 pm |
  23. Felicia

    Just another example of how people think that every social problem in America should be dumped on the schools. Teachers are trained to teach..not to be social workers, paramedics, psychologists, etc. There is almost no time to teach anymore because we have to watch every child to report any peculiar behaviors. If we miss anything, our jobs are threatened.

    October 9, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  24. Jerry Kott

    There is something about the shared US Culture that appears to nourish bullying. I am half of a Senior Gay Couple , been together for 40 years and we have been harassed /bullied by a neighbor family for 28 years. The Police and Local Government appear to be encouring the actions by turning their heads, simply because they can. Often when victims are bullied, the quality of the investigations is equivalent to being bullied again. We have a paper trail of events but no advocacy exist for us. We have tried to get support /resolve with little success.
    What do we do?

    Peace

    Jerry

    October 9, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
  25. Cindy

    The bullying epidemic could greatly improve if people like Michelle Bachmann, Rick Santorum and other social conservatives would stop spreading an anti-gay message. Kids today have constant access to news media and they see and hear these people spewing their anti-gay philosophies. Bullies see this as justification for the torment they impose on their possibly gay peers. Gay kids interpret the message as reinforcement there is something wrong with them and they don't deserve equal treatment. My 17-year old son is gay and is very troubled by the things he hears from these "leaders". He is impressionable and unsure of himself, his place and his value in the world. When he hears people say he should not be treated equally, all he feels is there is something wrong with him and he assumes many other people see it that way too since these people are constantly getting news attention.

    October 9, 2011 at 8:21 pm |
  26. Nicky

    The way I see it, sooner or later, Bullying no matter what form it is, will wind up being a court and legislative issue. Where it will wind up being a Crime and the kids who get caught bullying could wind up in juvenile/ adult prison.

    October 9, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
  27. Marni Kell

    I can tell you so many times that bullying has occured in school and the neighborhood. It occurs if you are white foreigner with no accent but are not "American". It occurs if you are smaller than the norm. It occurs if you are not a Barbie doll. It occurs in high school if you do not drink or take drugs. It occurs if you are smart and work hard. It occurs if you are not a football or other major (in the USA) sports player. It occurs in the work place. Inspite of "zero tolerance", it is tolerated and ignored. I applaud those the speak up. They are truly rare. Bullying has become sneakier and has increase with "zero tolerance" and intolerance. This is not an open and individual society. There is great pressure to "conform"

    October 9, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
  28. still4hill

    Let's not forget that gender identity is not the only reason kids are bullied. A friend's son is bullied for his ethnic background and religion.

    October 9, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
  29. dangambolpod2

    I hope this hasn't come in too late but just wanted to share an anecdote:
    In high school, STEVEN SPIELBERG was a target of bullying and soon found a way to end the violence by asking his
    bullies to appear as actors in his after school films. The bullies soon changed their tunes and appreciated his offer and
    actually joined in with his projects. the bullying stopped....

    October 9, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
  30. Aay, Toronto, Canada

    Enough of the talk, it's time to name and shame bullies and their parents.

    October 8, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  31. therese kriner

    my daughter was treated very badly years ago by classmates for being "goth". i get a sickening feeling every time i hear about another young person dying because of bullying. i am so lucky, they drove her to a nervous breakdown but she is still here. she spent two years in therapy and has to take meds but she came through and is doing well now. her school did nothing to help us, they even tried to expel her for having low attendence. she had to transfer to a different school. i think it is so sad and my heart goes out to all the families that have lost their children. please teach your children tolerence and stand up to the school officials who do not address the problem.

    October 8, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  32. Pat Jones

    After coming home from school two weeks ago my 14 year old granddaughter Rhianna of Wichita,KS. took her life.
    We are so sad.
    Her parents and others are trying to help get "Rhianna's law" passed to help stop bullying. Kansas does not have any bullying laws, so the kids involved have no consequences and remain at school. While the school denies any bullying goes on at their school!

    October 8, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Scott

      My 8-year old started a new school recently and stood up for a boy being bullied by one of her new friends. After she stopped the bullying this friend asked if my daughter and her were still friends. My daughters answered maybe. In the end we ended up moving schools because my 10-year old was bullied and treated horribly. My wife and I have decided to take action swiftly with school administration and legally if necessary and are willing to home-school if necessary. The educational system is so poor (financially and educationally) in Arizona that we don't see the value in being part of it.

      October 8, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
    • Christine Pakan

      I have a concern that the elimination of neighborhood schools has contributed to the problem of bullying. I don't think that training of teachers and administrators, passing laws and throwing money at the problem will really solve the problem. I would really like to see a return to neighborhood schools. With the technology available today, I don't think our children need to attend to mega schools to get a good education.

      October 9, 2011 at 11:55 pm |
      • gotacomment

        Sorry, but neighborhood schools aren't necessarily an answer to the problem. In junior high school I was bullied by a girl who lived on the same street. Riding on the school bus was hell, and so was gym class (she was one of the class leaders, or teachers' assistants). It stopped only after my mother consistently and continuously raised hell with the school.

        October 10, 2011 at 9:17 am |
    • broken

      I was bullied. I have to tell you, the teachers and the staff that parents trust with their children are encouraging the bullying. I have lived it. I am now 45 years old and if I could in any way sue or press charges against the teachers and staff that PERSECUTED me I would. My forth grade teacher, a man of 6'2" picked me up and threw me thru a solid oak door, destroying the latch that held it closed because I did not do my home work. I went to the office and told the principal what happened, I was paddled for not doing my home work and for lying about the door. When I came back to class the school custodian was fixing the latch, he grabbed my arm and said. "Listen to me, now listen to me, don't mention this, to ANY one, EVER." as held my shoulders. "Never Ever." he said. The teacher would encourage the other students to bully me. giving them "extra credit" if they did. The teachers ARE guilty. I assure you. talk to the other students, eventually some one will tell you. I have a twin brother, in first grade he could hear me screaming as my teacher had me out in the hall kicking and slapping me. when he said something to his teacher. she grabbed the front of his shirt, rolling the fabric up in her fist, pulled him up to her face and told him thru gritted teeth " Shut up you! Shut up! you don't want to be a trouble maker do you?" shacking him violently "We have ways for trouble makers. Are you a trouble maker?" then she shut her class room door, for the rest of the year she kept it closed. He only told me this story a few years ago. He said at the time he was to terrified to say any thing and the had forgotten about it.

      October 10, 2011 at 12:29 am |
      • Dan

        Dear Broken,

        I felt compelled to send this to you as i am also 45 years old and I've gone back in my mind so many times and wanted to sue or press charges against those that bullied me. I was bullied because the kids thought I was gay and that was because my neighbor was gay and he was my friend. Back then you were certainly guilty by who you associated with. Anyway, my 8th grade Algebra teacher also assumed that I was gay and used to spray me every day with Loves' Baby Soft so that I could smell like a girl everyday. It's funny I ended up trying to overcompensate and becamea a big muscular guy (not anymore) and I thought many times about beating the crap out of him. It's all awful and I still am very uneasy any time that I meet new people or have to give speeches for my profession. I always believe I am being judged and criticized by people who have never even met me – because I deserve it.

        October 10, 2011 at 9:24 am |
    • harmonynoyes

      the answer is never suicide- I think you should teach your children who have all that rage to vent it, at the bully not themselves. Teach them to fight, physically, verbally and win It's sometimes too dangerous to ignore what's happening. Do they pick on people who they know can defend themselves, probably not. Self defense has got to be better than suicide, please..

      October 10, 2011 at 1:15 am |
  33. Amelia

    Exactly one year ago today, my son was enduring bullying in PE that quickly escalated to SEXUAL ASSAULT. On an almost daily basis, the older boys in PE would push my son down, hold him down, put their "private area" in his face while calling him vile, disgusting things. The "pack" mentality scared and intimidated my child and he tried to just "get through it". Eventually, after weeks of this, he broke down and confided in me. These boys, and their actions robbed my son of his joy, pride, faith and hope. We had to pull him from school at the end of the school year because he was still having to deal with what had been done to him. After months of counsel he has built back some confidence but just yesterday, he broke down crying and said that lately, out of nowhere, he has clear memories that pop up and now he's dealing with this all over again. Most state laws DO NOT PROTECT OUR CHILDREN. Case in point: while there was NO doubt from school admin and they were aware that there were several students involved, because my son only knew two names, only those two kids were punished. Their punishment? 3 days of in-school suspension. Change will happen when laws are written that place specifics on HOW a school district HAS to respond to bullying incidents, AND parents learn to PARTNER with educators. Accountability between parents and educators, will then hold a child more accountable, reducing incidents. As an trainer / educator for preschool / early childhood teachers, I speak about the importance of developing policy that requires parents to agree to partnering with teachers for THEIR CHILD'S positive social growth and development. Change HAS TO HAPPEN. We have to be aware, not minimize, and persue change

    October 8, 2011 at 2:36 am |
  34. paul niemiec jr.

    Childhood bullying and it s horrible consequences are what make the news, but adult bullying is never addressed.
    Adult bullies..who skillfully rip organizations, communities, and friends apart by using their bullying tactics, pitting people against people. These adult bullies serve as bully parent role models for their children or as coach role models for their athletes. Child bullies become highly skilled adult bullies through years of practice in use of their bullying strategies.
    It is high time that Adult Bullying in our society is seriously addressed as the stain it is and the harm it causes, let alone the role model aspect for our youth. Bullying Parents, Coaches, Teachers, CEO's. Politicians. Is this too touchy of a subject for the media and concerned adults to address ? See the book "Take The Bully By The Horns". Thankyou.

    October 8, 2011 at 1:28 am |
    • Sandra Schenone

      Thanks for the comment about adult bullying. I grew up being constantly bullied, though not as bad as some. As an adult I see bullies often at work. Some don't last, but it seems there is often excuses, that these bullies are "strong personalities." BS. Management must protect it's employees, but do they have the courage, personality and stamina to do so? One of the worst I have worked with wasn't dealt with until she started bullying management, then it was "we must do something about this." She's gone, and this strong personality isn't afraid to say "never again while I'm here."

      October 9, 2011 at 10:42 pm |
  35. Elizabeth Nunnerley

    Anderson,
    I want to make sure that people know that bullying does not happen to only gay kids or those who are considered nerds. My son attends a very large middle school in south Seattle which mixes every socio-econic group possible. He has been bullied to the point that we've moved him to a private school. He was even blackmailed. In his case, he's being bullied for his I-phone and Lakai shoes. He's small so they can push him around but he's a very middle of the road kid with exceptionally good social skills.

    October 8, 2011 at 1:03 am |
  36. Andrew Hamilton

    People say words are words but words can kill. I live in Waco, Texas and at my high school there is a large amount of bullying. Recently I founded a group called C2Bk( Cool 2 Be Kind). I've seen many people hurt by this rising problem friends have been lost and many have come close to taking their own life. Action is needed. But what do we do when the schools refuse to take matters into their own hands? Kids are forced to fend for themselves against an army of bullies. No help comes from the adults. When it's reported the bully recieves a small punishment but it doesnt phase the problem. In order to break this vicious cycle of bullying we must break this social acceptance that taunting and rudeness is acceptable. The fabric of our society needs to change or we will lose more innocent lives. Kids punished to the limit. The only question is, who will rise to the challenge and help a stranger?

    October 8, 2011 at 12:07 am |
  37. Cheril

    Anderson, If the adults who teach and/or supervise kids have a no-tolerance approach to bullying they simply wouldn't allow the behavior to take root. No tolerance, on many levels: demonstrating love & respect for other "human beings" regardless of race, religion, sex, education, ect., talking w/children when they witness disrespect in their environment, giving children the attention they need, showing firm disapproval when children exhibit aggressive behavior towards other children, and giving the child an alternative to bullying. A child who bullies is deeply lacking. There is a void of needed love & attention somwhere. When bullies are confronted head-on, the behavior usually stops. Unfortunately, childhood bullying transitions straight into adulthood if its not put in check. We can all vow for the boss who needlessly bullies those beneath him/her. Sad to say, not enough people are willing to take the necessary time & energy to directly & consistently address particular bullies and therefore the bully's behavior just grows – like cancer. Are we (this country) really willing to tackle the issue of bullying (from the top, down) or do we just want to pretend that bullying is merely an isolated issue of growing children? People don't really want to face the "ugly" side of their human nature. The world needs more love. LOVE is the answer.

    October 7, 2011 at 10:11 pm |
  38. Brian Thompson

    I was bullied all my days of grade school. Not fun. My suggestion is wire these kids with pinhole cameras and sound to record the abuse then kick the looser punks out! I know a school mate who hung himself after being bullied for years. All teachers have to go on is his word against yours. Record it and the deal is done.

    October 7, 2011 at 8:57 pm |
  39. Eugenia

    Everybody has the ability to change a child's life. It just takes that first step toward empathy.

    October 7, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  40. Pau P.

    If something similar happens at home, its likely to be called abuse, why is it then when its at school its called bullying? Perhaps if we change what its called, perhaps it might get taken more seriously than it is now. Abuse shouldn't be categorized depending on its location or context, it is what it is, after all. Just a thought I had I wanted to share.

    October 7, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  41. David Borgula

    Anderson, Simply THANK YOU for shining a very bright light on this heartbreaking trend of GLBT teens killing themselves because of the relentless bullying that society seems to still tolerate. Looking forward to your week-long series and more importantly looking forward to the day that kids no longer feel the need to bully and for kids to stop killing themselves...I know your series will offer great insight and solutions to help...thank you again!

    October 7, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  42. Dr. SPM

    Anderson,
    I can appreciate all the comments given here. I was a victim of bullying for 12 years; elementary through high school. I never told anyone during that time. I knew my parents sacrificed to give me a good education so focused. What was done to me was horrible. I finally told my mother in my late twenties. She asked why I never told. My response was "it would have made matters worse." Now, I know differently; I should have told. Schools are taking action; but they need a community that is empowered to stop this awful behavior. Though it ended physically, the mental scars are devestating. I can understand why many children and college students chose to end their lives as a way out. May God Bless and keep those who made that choice and their families. May they all find some level of peace. I have.

    October 7, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  43. Nancy K Renner

    I just published a book two months ago called "Trials and Tribulations of Being a Redhead" on the bullying I received some thirty years ago. The bullying was so bad that all I could wish for was that graduation couldn't come any sooner. I decided to move away and never look back. People need to understand that being bullied changes a person's life forever. Healing from this kind of abuse can take decades. How it affects our future depends on the individual and their personality type. I wish to put a stop to bullying with a zero tolerance policy in the schools. If we can teach our young students that no form of bullying can be tolerated they will learn to adjust and realize that as part of everyday life. When the students learn that bullying will only get you suspended and when teachers learn that by not enforcing the "No Bullying Policy" they may soon be visiting the unemployment line, then we will know that the policy is working. It took me thirty years to come to terms with the bullying I received in school from kindergarten till I graduated high school because of my red hair. I was dragged out of school by my hair and thrown up against the brick wall, as my head hit the wall, I only saw stars. The teachers looked on until two sisters tried to break it up.

    October 7, 2011 at 11:31 am |
  44. Mariah

    I used to have a bully and he would kick me punch me and hit me well one day i finally told on him and he got suspended now if it were me who got suspended i would leave the tattletale alone but he doesn't so i guess ill have to live with it.

    October 7, 2011 at 10:50 am |
  45. Gerri

    Children mimic what the adults around them do. While the stories of gay teens lost in despare is heartwrenching, there is another side to this problem that should be addressed. Some of the most serious bullying in schools is not child against child but adult to adult. One of the dirtiest little secrets in public education is that bullying directed at teachers by school administrators is a crisis of epidemic proportions. (The problem is greatest in states like Georgia where there are no teachers unions.) When administrators threaten and demean teachers in front of their students it sends the message to the students that if you are bullied you have to learn to take it if you want to survive. It also sends the message that being a bully will help make you successful in life. There is really a lot of truth to that unfortunately. But the point that shouldn't be missed is that even the best veteran teachers can't be good at what they do and can't focus on their students needs when they are walking on egg shells wondering which new "administrative expectation" they will be caught not doing right today. I believe this side of bullying is just as harmful to students as any of the others. I believe it to be more pervasive as well.

    October 6, 2011 at 9:54 pm |
  46. Dr. Louis C. D'Aquila

    Anderson,
    I have been a teacher since 1976. I have also lived, worked and studied outside of the USA for almost ten years. I have experienced foreign schools, business, legal and medical systems. One might consider me an expert. Presently, I am still teaching in a Long Island public school. Yes, we also have our share of bullying but I think we are addressing it well. It cannot be tolerated. But what really disturbs is that the media sensationalizes and in effect promotes bullying when it reports politicians making fun of the good governor of N.J. O.K perhaps for the comedians but not so for the shameless bully politicians. What say you?
    Thank you

    October 6, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
  47. Tim Gibson

    This is an age old problem that begins in the home and ends in the home. As well when children are not held responsible for their actions we end up with children without morals and without strength. Our elected leadership took power away from the household, away from the schools and this is what we end up with. Plain and simple it is time to take the bullies down, be they children or Wall Street croonies and even elected members. Kick a bullies ass and he or she will learn to act like a responsible individual with something to offer society.

    October 6, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  48. Susan Ramsey

    I just want to thank you for bringing more awareness to the consequences that result from bullying. It is a problem that needs national attention. Our children need to learn how to respect differences and treat others with the same respect they would like shown to them. I also commend you on highlighting the need for parents and educators need to work together to stop the problem. i truly believe it is our responsibility to be the example to our children.
    However, I am sad to say just last week myself and other parents had to address our school leadership about a teacher that was bullying students and encouraging the bashing of students.Some of the children were labeled by this teacher as a 'jerk', 'freak', or 'gay'. And yes, he totally made homosexuality out to be full of negative connotations, which is completely unacceptable. To know that my children, the children of my neighbors, and community were being shown such hateful behavior by a teacher – a person they are taught to respect and follow was completely unacceptable. We are fortunate that our school leadership conducted a rapid and thorough investigation that led to the dismissal of the teacher. But it goes to prove that you need to talk with your kids about what is going on at school, with their friends, in their lives. I look forward to watching your series and learning more about solutions that can be implemented within our schools and home. Thank you for bringing this the attention it deserves, we don't need to lose any more kids.

    October 6, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
  49. Marin

    Anderson, so glad you have this blog and show to talk about this issue. My daughter is only 4 and in Kindergarten, but has been bullied. I talked to the teachers and principal and requested she is moved from the current class and she was denied a transfer. See, the one kid that has hit her various times is not all normal. Everyone knows about his aggression and tantrums. He has hit many and no one is moving forward. I think he should not be in a regular class but a special class that can help him with his issues. My daughter is terrified and has fought back only to get punished herself. I'm left with DENIED transfer because there is no room. I have the pricipals emails.. .. they are working ont he problem they say.

    October 6, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  50. Scott R-L

    We can talk about stopping bullying all we want, but who is taking action? Schools are not. Parents are not. I Know educators in two local schools and have nieces and kids I mentor in those schools. The educators say that their schools are safe places to be. The students tell a very different story. How are we to make the schools actually acknowledge what really happens? Intolerance is not inherent, it is learned.

    October 6, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
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