Cherished Values of the American People
Bullying depends upon community consent
Bullying and your character
The surest way to end bullying is for more young people to embrace good values. A person with good character does not bully, or allow anyone else to bully others in his presence. Bullying stoops to a level of behavior that good character would not allow.
Bullying is harassing, teasing, taunting, bluffing, threatening, and exhibiting any threatening speech or behavior toward another person, especially if you have a physical, authoritative, or emotional advantage over that person. It is bothering somebody who is not your equal, or picking on them. Bullying can be done in a group or by an individual, in person, or through technology. Either way, it is wrong, and against the law and values of decent people. And everywhere young people gather bullying is against the rules.
Bullying is a violation of practically every value of the American people. No person of good character or common decency can justify bullying. Bullying disrespects human dignity by degrading the victim and trying to make him feel worthless. Bullying is a disrespect of one’s citizenship because it violates the protections one has under the law. Bullying violates the value of humility by projecting arrogance. It violates the value of obeying rules, and respecting authority. Bullying lacks compassion, for it shows no concern for the victim. Bullying is absent of courage for it is engaged in by cowards who choose victims who cannot put up a fair fight. Bullying is so terrible that no group of decent human beings should tolerate it. It certainly shouldn’t be tolerated by schools. Any sign of bullying should be stopped immediately. Stopping bullying can be done more effectively by students than by teachers and administrators.
Students can stop bullying by standing up to the Bully. When a person bullies anyone in your presence, he is bullying everyone in that presence; and he's daring anyone to come to the aid of the victim. The Bully is saying to the entire group, “I can do whatever I wish to this person and I dare any of you to try to stop me. If you don’t try to stop me you must agree with me or be afraid of me.” Your refusal to come to the aid of the victim is the Bully’s permission to continue his bullying. If he gets away with his behavior, he concludes that he is stronger than the rest of the community. Students can stop bullying by forming a circle around anyone being bullied. The circle can be physical and/or emotional. The circle says to the one being bullied, “we are a circle of protection around you.” It says to the Bully, “If you want to get to this person you’ll have to go through the rest of us.” Once the Bully sees that his would be victim has the support of the community, the bullying will stop. The mere fact that the Bully targets the weak is evidence that he wouldn’t stand up to one strong person; let alone a whole group of them.
Stopping Bullying in its tracks
There are many reasons young people bully, but the overriding reason is that they can get away with it. When bullying is unacceptable to the students at your school, and would be Bullies know it, there will be no more Bullying. Ultimately, if those who are tempted to Bully embraced the values in the Cherished Values Character program, they would respect other people’s dignity and rights, have compassion for their condition, and connect with them as fellow citizens involved in the noble ventures of building a better world for all.
We can stop kids from bullying by making the penalties of bullying so severe that almost no reasonable person would risk doing it and facing those penalties, or we can educate and sensitize our society to a degree of civility that they would be ashamed to participate in such barbaric and hurtful behavior.
In fact, every institution that works with kids, whether it is the home, church, school, or community organization should have both of these methods in place simultaneously. Young people should always be taught the civilized and humane way of treating others, but they should also know that we are a country of laws, and every citizen is protected by those laws. When one bullies another human being, for whatever reason, he is breaking law and infringing upon the rights of that person, and their behavior should not be tolerated.
Bullying thrives when rules about Bullying are unclear, or unenforced.
Every environment should have a clearly stated position on Bullying. The position must be embodied by the entire community. It should be explained by the authorities, but it must be embodied by the students. (It is the adult’s responsibility to educate students on their position.)
1. Bullying thrives when it is tolerated.
2. Bullying thrives when the dignity and rights of every person are not stressed.
4. Bullying thrives when young people feel inferior and/or insecure, and attempt to elevate their status at the expense of
debasing another person.
5. Bullying thrives in environments where some are allowed to believe they have the right to decide what is right for others: their size, their style, their sexual orientation, their religious preference, their color, their clothes, their friends, or anything about them.
6. Bullying thrives when it is tolerated by the majority and there is a weak moral and ethical foundation in the community.
7. Bullying thrives when bystanders look the other way. (When one person is being bullied, everybody is being bullied)
Don't be A community of cowards; Stand up to the Bully
It is the responsibility of adults to set the tone and culture of the space in which they are in charge. Whether it's the home, school, playground, or neighborhood, adults should be in charge and should make and enforce the rules. The rules on Bullying should be clear, strict, fair, and enforceable. There should never be any doubt as to who is in charge in a space, and whose rules are in force. There should be no tolerance for bullying, or any other unacceptable behaviors.
When it comes to bullying, the objective of every adult should be to convince every child that bullying is wrong, illegal, and unbecoming to persons with good character. People of good character neither participate in, nor tolerate Bullying. Until that lesson is learned and obeyed, it is the responsibility of adults to protect all children under their supervision, or in their space.
Every adult who works with young people should be aware of the prevalence and danger of Bullying and should be observant of the behavior of young people in their care. Every adult should have a clear definition of Bullying and should be able to explain Bullying to every child in his/her care.
A Bully is a coward in disguise
Banish Bullying; we can stop Bullying in its tracks.
Values + Commitment =Character