Friday, December 30, 2011

Denial - Not a River In Egypt

Is your school in denial?

In this youtube video
A Chillicothe mother is out for justice after her gay son is brutally beaten in at Union-Scioto High School, in front of his classmates by another student. One student recorded the incident on a cell phone.

If bullying is, indeed, an issue, then I say you take the denial personally ---as if you do, you may be saving some poor kid a good beating, like the boy in this video. Beyond a beating, harassment of this sort --and the verbal bullying that goes with it, is absolutely no fun to be on the end of --and it may scar someone for many years following.

If you have a school system in denial, tell me --and I will help you take steps to bring them into the real world.

Mike Bogdanski

America's ANTI Bully

Thursday, November 24, 2011

ANTI Bully Video

One of my ANTI Bully blog followers created a video I wanted to to share with you. It is short, simple and powerful.
Chloe is a film student who wanted to create a dramatic piece to fight bullying.
Click here to view the youtube video.

Mike Bogdanski
America's ANTI Bully

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Do Your Children Have Everything They Need For Back To School?

Do Your Children Have Everything They Need For Back To School?

You will give your kids a nutritious lunch and snack, instructions how to avoid strangers, the best electronics/laptop to make them a more productive student but would you give them something that would help them have emotional stability and reduce stress?
I am talking about self defense against bullies.
Returning to school after being off all summer may be a little stressful for kids. Giving them the right tools and skills to return are essential for a great start and I would like to provide some tips on how to prepare for the possibility of bullying.
Forewarned is forearmed. Identifying what bullying is helps kids see the problem.


Bullying is when one child picks on another child repeatedly. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or social. It can happen at school, on the playground, on the school bus, in the neighborhood, or over the Internet.
Types of Bullying:
a. Physical aggression: spitting, tripping, pushing, shoving, having money or other things taken or damaged.
b. Social alienation: gossiping, spreading rumors, excluding someone from the
group, publicly humiliation.
c. Verbal aggression: name calling, teasing,
d. Intimidation: playing a dirty trick or a public challenge to do something,
e. Threats or being forced to do things
f. Sexual bullying - commenting on body parts, calling a person gay or lesbian.
g. Racial bullying
h. Cyber bullying (via cell phone or the Internet)

We have a classic idea of what a bully looks like, big strong, mean and usually a male. This is not the case anymore. Bullying has two approaches, the male way, more direct and in your face and the girls way which is more indirect in its approach. There are three people in the bully situation. The bully, the target and the bystander. The bully is usually someone with lots of confidence and leverage in situations and has a commanding presence. This makes it challenging for a child who is targeted to stand up to them. Bullies look for children who look, act, dress or speak differently and give off signs of vulnerability. Here are my main suggestions.

When Your Child Is Bullied
• Help your child learn how to communicate with confidence by teaching them how to:
1. Look the bully in the eye.
2. Stand tall and stay calm in a difficult situation.
3. Walk away.
• Teach your child how to say in a firm voice.
“Back away”. This is a concise script that is simple and effective.
• Teach your child when and how to ask for help.
• Encourage your child to make friends with other children.
• Support activities that interest your child.
• Alert school officials to the problems and work with them on solutions.
• Make sure an adult or older child who knows about the bullying can watch out for your child's safety and well-being when you cannot be there.
When Your Child Is a Bystander
• Bystanders far outnumber the bullies in school. They can and should be the dominant force in defeating bullying.
• Teach your child they have a moral responsibility to help children who are being bullied.
• Encourage your child to join with others in telling bullies to stop (remember there are NO innocent bystanders)
• Tell your child not to cheer on or even quietly watch bullying.
• Encourage your child to tell a trusted adult about the bullying.
• Help your child support other children who may be bullied. Encourage your child to include these children in activities to help reduce the opportunities bullies look for.

Mike Bogdanski
America's ANTI Bully

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It Get's Better

Being bullied with no hope can have a tragic ending. Even President Obama believes "It doesn't last forever and it DOES get better". Use the above link to see what I mean.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pecking Order

You probably heard of the case of 15-year-old Phoebe Prince, an Irish immigrant and high school student who had recently moved to Massachusetts. She was taunted and bullied unmercifully by classmates mostly because she dared to break from the school’s social order and date a popular upperclassman. Unable to deal with the bullying she was found by her younger sister in her home where she hung herself in a stairway.

A new study links bullying to student rivalries and the desire to improve social status. In high school students strive for positions of power and to be popular. Bullying and put downs allow students to improve ranking in the school culture.
This study ties bullying to students' desire to improve their status and popularity among their peers. It shows that once kids get to the top of their social hierarchy in school, they are no longer as likely to be aggressive with their bullying. Robert Faris, the author of the study and an assistant professor of sociology at the UC Davis, says: "They no longer need to be aggressive because they're at the top, and further aggression could be counterproductive, signaling insecurity with their social position."

Of 3,722 eighth to 10th graders in a North Carolina study shows most bullying is directed at kids "one rung above or right beneath" the bully socially, Faris said, not at the target most typically seen in movies - a newcomer or social misfit.
What can be done about bullying? For one thing, parents and educators must be aware of the signs of bullying and have zero tolerance. Student leaders must be empowered to speak up for kids being targeted. They must have the full support of adults who will take action in all cases. Consequences for bullying must be firm and swift and schools must have clear policies for these situations.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fathers Make A Difference

New research suggests children who feel they don't spend enough time with their parents are likely to become bullies. This seems true if fathers work long hours but the same doesn't hold true for lack of time with mothers.

Mothers being primary caregivers spend more time with children while fathers will plan to spend time with children. Schools would help reduce bullying by urging fathers to spend more time with their children.
In the '60s and '70s, as women were starting to enter the labor force we worried, “would our children become delinquent? "Now, 30, 40 years later, we revisit the question and find it's not true."

A study from Brunel University in London found that adolescents who witness bullying are more likely than victims to develop anxiety, depression and physical symptoms of stress, and that they're more likely to use drugs or alcohol. Researchers concluded bystanders were traumatized by repeated exposure to bullying behavior and to their inability to help their peers.

Binghamton University in New York found that girls who were bullied had sex earlier and with more partners than those who weren't, but the effect was reversed with boys. It may be that bullied boys have lower social status, which made them less attractive to the opposite sex, the authors speculated, while bullied girls may suffer low self-esteem that left them more vulnerable to sexual pressure.
A UCLA study suggested that parents wield more clout than they might think, exercising as much influence over their children's social behavior as peers and provides an "untapped resource" in the fight against bullying.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Reduce playground gossip

Is malicious gossip an inevitable part of the playground? Maybe not, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Washington.

The scientists taught gossipy Seattle grade-school kids empathy and other life skills in a three-month anti-bullying program -- and found that the kids in their sample bad-mouthed fellow students about 70 percent less than before they went through the program. The research was recently published in the School Psychology Review. (Children who did not spread malicious gossip before the program continued on as good sports after the anti-bullying lessons.)

The study may bring hope to school administrators underEducation Secretary Arne Duncan's directive to "eliminate" bullying in the nation's schools.

Researchers, observing the third- to sixth-graders on the playground, entered instances of gossip into PDAs, including: "Is the cootie girl in your class?" and "Did you hear Dan cheated on the exam?" They saw children standing in a group and conspicuously pointing and laughing at another student, as well as more covert instances of what the study calls "relational aggression." Girls were more often the source and target of gossip, and the behavior spiked in sixth grade.

Karin Frey of the University of Washington, who led the study, helped develop the anti-bullying program Steps to Respect, which was implemented at the Seattle schools during the study. Frey decided to study the program's effects on gossip because kids report that it is as painful as physical aggression, and it can lead to physical bullying.

"In its own right [gossip] can be very harmful," Frey told The Lookout. "The intent of gossip is to harm someone's relationship to other people or to harm their reputations. Sometimes this could escalate to more physical types of aggression."

Teachers and parents often underestimate gossip's harm, she says. The study showed that teachers who intervened when they saw students gossiping dramatically reduced instances of aggression. Teachers also receive training in the anti-bullying program.

Another thing the study shows: Kids who believe they should fight back when bullied tend to be victimized more than those who don't. This may be because their lack of self-control attracts more negative attention.

"The kids who lose it are often the ones who are seen as entertaining kids to bully," Frey says.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Bullies Pick On Unpopular Kids.

Bullies pick on unpopular kids.

Who'd have guessed? Bullies target kids who are unpopular and less likely to be defended by their peers, a new study finds.
In elementary school, which this study focused on, kids are only interested in what their same-sex peers think. Boys will target classmates who are not well-liked by other boys, regardless of what the girls think. The same went for girl bullies. In that way the bullies could gain status by dominating other kids while also staying in the good graces of the in-group.

While the findings are a no-brainer, they do paint a picture of a young, strategic, bully who goes out of his or her way to ensure success when taunting, hitting, making fun of and other bully behaviors.

"Bullies do it so strategically that if there is not a good program at the school nothing will change. They won't change their behavior by themselves, because it gives them a lot of advantages," said lead researcher René Veenstra, professor of sociology at the University of Groningen. "You really need a good program that changes the attitude of all the kids in the classroom that makes clear to children that if they want the bully to stop they all have to be part, in taking action."