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What adults need to know to end bullying
October 11th, 2011
05:00 PM ET

What adults need to know to end bullying

Rosalind Wiseman is an internationally recognized expert on children, teens, parenting, bullying, social justice, and ethical leadership. She is the author of “Queen Bees and Wannabes,” the groundbreaking, bestselling book that was the basis for the movie “Mean Girls.”

This Friday, October 14th at 8 p.m. ET, CNN’s Anderson Cooper special report “Bullying: It Stops Here,” features groundbreaking research that truly depicts bullying at its core. The results challenge much of the conventional wisdom that has done little to effectively address the problem. CNN commissioned University of California sociologists Dr. Robert Faris and Dr. Diane Felmlee to conduct the study, which examined the dynamics and root causes of bullying. The result is one of the most important and nuanced studies ever conducted on bullying and aggression. I urge every parent, educator and administrator to read their full report.

Drs. Faris and Felmlee’s findings are important because they refute the way our culture typically understands what aggressors and victims look like, and where we commonly lay blame. Bullies don’t have to be emotionally disturbed or come from bad families whose parents don’t care about them. They look like any normal kid, which makes it so much harder for their parents and educators to see or acknowledge the behavior.

But make no mistake. The way kids go after each other is the same. They are often humiliating someone based on race, class, perceived sexual orientation, gender conformity, and appearance. The consequence is also the same: social isolation, anxiety and low self-esteem.

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Filed under: Bullying