TURNABOUT IS FAIR PLAY

Oh, woe is me!

The video on this post will be disturbing for some, especially the ending, but it puts a twist on what is happening for many of our young people today, especially lesbian or gay children. When you hear the story of another child who has committed suicide because he or she couldn’t take any more bullying, imagine being the girl in this video. If you’re one of the people who believes God doesn’t make mistakes, remember: they (gay children) were born this way.

(Addendum: In case some people find this video confusing, I’m adding that, to my knowledge, the bullying of straight kids as in the video is not occurring. This video turns this behavior around to show straight people what it must be like to be treated the way the gay children are treated.)

 

GOLF TO BEAT BULLYING

Bullying.org logoApparently Google has accused bullying.org of inappropriate linking and the organization asked me to remove any links to bullying.org. If you want more information, you can to to the site independently. Ironic that Google seems to be bullying an anti-bullying site.

I received the following from Bullying.org. They are raising money to fight bullying by holding what they hope is their first, annual, family golf tournament at the beautiful Kananaskis Country Golf Course near Banff, Alberta. If you’re lucky enough to live nearby, or are planning to vacation in the area, you might want to think about supporting this worthwhile project. Check out the photos. You can’t have more fun raising money for a worthy cause than playing a course like that. If you can’t make it, think about sending them a few dollars.

www.bullying.org
Bullying.org

Bullying.org News -April 21, 2013

This is the a special edition of our Friends

of Bullying.org News!

“Never doubt that a small

group of thoughtful, committed citizens

can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that

ever has.” -Margaret Mead

Dear Friends of Bullying.org,

Thank you for being a Friend of Bullying.org. This newsletter    is being sent to over 12,000 friends, supporters and partners   of Bullying.org in families, schools, School Boards and Ministries  of Education, Universities, Business, Community   and Government leaders, Media, Bullying Researchers and anti-bullying activists

around the world. If you know of others who are also   committed to working together to more effectively address      the issue of bullying,

Please forward or share this newsletter among your own contacts
and networks!
If you received this newsletter from a friend and would like to join
this list,
please click here
As an educational organization, Bullying.org is proud of the
work that we have been doing for nearly a decade and a half.
Our mission is the prevention of bullying through education   and awareness. We have created and are responsible for    some of the world’s most visited and referenced Websites  about bullying and cyberbullying. Our Websites and related online resources have received millions of visitors and contributors from around the world. These resources take a great deal of timeand thousands of dollars to maintain and  keep “free” to those looking for help, information and support. Of course, nothing is truly free. Time is gladly and regularly committed, but the costs of hosting and maintaining our    online resources is substantial. We try to offset these costs through our in-person presentations, our “Stand-Up to   Bullying” wristband sales and the modest tuition
for our online courses.Maintaining our work is a constant challenge, let alone       trying to move forward or expanding, but each year we  somehow manage, thanks to the support and      encouragement from you, our Friends of Bullying.org!
Sunday, May 19th -A Family Day Golf Tournament for Kids!It gives us great pride to share the news that Mr. Steve Downs
and his colleagues at the stunning Kananaskis Country Golf
Course are planning the first ever, and we hope annual, Family
Golf Tournament for support the work of Bullying.org. We hope
that you can join us! if you can’t join us, please consider
supporting us if you can!For more information, please see
below and/or visit www.kananaskisgolf.com

.
 

to Steve Downs and everyone at the beautiful
Kananaskis Country Golf Course,
Bullying.org is so grateful for your support!
You can follow them on Twitter at @KananaskisGolf.

The Twitter hashtag for this event is
#ParentChildCharityClassic
Bullying.org Contact Information:Phone: 1 403 932 1748e-mail: help@bullying.orghttp://www.bullying.org
“Where you are NOT alone!”
-The world’s most visited and referenced Website aboutbullying

http://www.cyberbullying.ca
“Always on? Always Aware!”
-The world’s first Website about cyberbullying

http://www.bullyingcourse.com
“Learn to be the change!”
-Offering online courses and Webinars about bullying and cyberbullying

http://www.bullyingawarenessweek.org
“Prevention through education and awareness”
-The official Website of the annual Bullying Awareness Week”

www.bullying.org

Twitter: @Bullying_org

BECCA LEVY BATTLES BULLYING

Becca LevyThe website Right Now, Using Music to Stop Bullying, established by Washington, DC, 16-year-old Becca Levy, a rising star in the world of music, states, “In the past year she [Becca] has recorded and worked with some of Americas most talented producers, filmed five music videos, received thousands of hits on her websites, been featured on NBC TV and on the radio, appeared in over sixty newspapers nationwide, and has performed dozens of times for thousands of people. With that kind of resume you would assume that all that is on Becca’s mind is her rapidly advancing career.

Nope. Becca has her sights set on a more ambitious target. She wants to end teenage bullying in America.

‘This is a cause I truly believe in. School and Internet bullying are a national epidemic and the people dying are my age. I hope to use music to bring attention to this important issue.’ Says Becca.

This seems like a daunting task for someone who is about to become a high school junior. But Becca is determined to educate people about the horrific toll that bullying exacts on today’s youth.

‘Did you know that every seven minutes a child is bullied? Were you aware that over four thousand suicides are linked to bullying each year? When I learned this, I realized that this was an issue I wanted to take a stand against–and the best way was through my music. It’s a language that all young people speak.’

Becca knows the road will be a difficult one. And she is inviting every other musician in the country to join her in this fight. Any band or performer can help by submitting their music to be placed on the Right Now website.

‘I know I will make a difference. But I also know I need help.”

Becca has released a video in which she sings Coldplay’s “Fix You”. It’s an excellent look at some of those whose lives have ended because of bullying.  Take a look.

 

ONE MILLION ACTS OF KINDNESS

Million Acts of Kindness bus

Today I received word from a man named Bob Votruba, who is traveling the perimeter of the United States on his Ring Our Country with Kindness (R.O.C.K) ride to raise awareness of bullying and adolescent suicide. In Bob’s words, his goal is as follows:

 “. . . to help those who are hurting, with the realization that life will get better, much better. It is also to honor the 3 students killed at Chardon High School in Ohio on February 27th 2012, which is only 10 miles from my home. I will ride in their honor and also for 3 young adults I knew from my hometown, who took their own lives.

 Starting on October 20th 2012 I am riding The Kindness Bicycle and The Kindness Bus around the perimeter of the United States, beginning and ending in New York City.

 On the average, 4,200 young adults, 14-25 years old have lost their lives to suicide, every year, in the United States. For every 1 who does, 10 more try.

 Just as shocking or even more so, 250 children from 5-13 years of age in the United States have lost their lives to suicide each year.”

 Bob will be in the San Diego area until early the first week of April. Check out his website. Then be on watch for the painted “One Million Acts of Kindness” school bus, so you can give Bob a word of thanks, give his traveling companion, Bogart, a pat, and let Bob know you will help him in his efforts to save kids’ lives by taking on the following commitment:

“Make a commitment to help those being bullied by pledging to honor the four following statements:

I will comfort those hurting.

I will help those being hurt.

I will help you realize your importance in the world.

You are needed and you are loved!!

If you are a bully, help others, don’t hurt them. Realize the harm you are causing.

If you are, or know someone, who is considering suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at:

1-800-273-8255

The R.O.C.K website is http://www.onemillionactsofkindness.com/. 

Be sure to check it out, and if the spirit moves you, make a donation to help Bob realize his mission: To save kids’ lives.

You can reach Bob at thekindnessbustour@gmail.com  and follow him at Twitter@KindnessRocks

TO INSPIRE AND UPLIFT YOU

Kitten smiling

I’ve been AWOL for a while, but am back to bring you some interesting links I don’t want you to miss.

The first is an amazing, animated video from Bullying.org for their “To This Day” project based on a poem by Canadian SHANE KOYCZAN. Bullying.org says, “Shane wrote the words and then invited animators and videographers from around the world to interpret and contribute segments of his poem. The results are stunning!”

Here is what others are saying about “To This Day”:

  • If you have time to watch only one video today, it should probably be this one.” -Huffington Post
  • Slate called the video “beautiful,
  • Yahoo! News dubbed it “powerful
  • This video will “reshape your views on name calling, harassment and pain.” -Mashable
  • The anti-bullying movement has led to a lot of amazing and inspirational videos over the last few years, but this may be one of the best. Stop whatever you’re doing and watch this beautiful animated video…” -CBS News

I guarantee tears.

To  learn more about Shane, go to his website.

Here’s another video that isn’t directly about bullying, but will make you weep and smile. Even if you’ve seen it before, it rates another view, because it’s about NICK VUJICIC whose philosophy is, no arms, no legs, no worries! You can probably bet that the speaker was bullied when he was young, although you’d never know it by his uplifting, positive attitude. Absolutely inspirational.

The final links are to blog posts that provide information and help to protect kids from bullying, all on blogs written for those wonderful people who stand in for us when we can’t be with our children–nannies and sitters. Check them out.

Go Nannies — “How to Help a Child Who Is Being Bullied”

Babysitting Jobs — “Signs Your Child May Be the Victim of Bullying in School”

Nanny Agency — “10 Telltale Signs Your Child is Being Bullied”

Nanny Pro — “How to Help Your Child Stand Up to a Bully without Getting Beaten Up”

SEXTED!

SEXTED for blog 01.10.13

The downward spiral of Amanda Todd began when she sent a photo of her breasts to a man she didn’t know. That photo went viral and Amanda was soon the target of verbal, physical and cyber bullying. When she couldn’t take it any longer, Amanda ended her life.

Amanda’s end began with sexting. Most people have heard about sexting, but some don’t realize how serious the consequences can be. According to a report from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unwanted Pregnancy, “one in five teen girls (22%)—and 11% of teen girls ages 13-16 years old—say they have electronically sent, or posted online, nude or semi-nude images of themselves. . . . ”

If caught, young people can be charged with possession and dissemination of child pornography and may have to register as sex offenders for life. And, too often, the photos are shared and available on the Internet indefinitely. According to the same report quoted above, “One-third (33%) of teen boys and one-quarter (25%) of teen girls say they have had nude/semi-nude images—originally meant to be private—shared with them.” This public exposure can trigger peers to bully, taunt, and shun. All because of one impulsive act.

Enter my young adult novel Sexted!, a cautionary tale told with humor and a hint of romance.

Finn McCarthy and Josh Hadley feel like typical tenth-grade übergeeks who don’t really stand out or fit in . . . until the day Finn is texted a racy photo from an anonymous female with the tantalizing proposition: Wan 2 c mor?

Feeling flattered, confused, excited, and nervous, Finn seeks the counsel of his best friend, Josh, and together they attempt to unravel the why and—most importantly—the who of this enticing message.

This task proves difficult, yet it’s an intoxicating escape from the difficulties both boys face at home. Finn’s mom is an alcoholic and his dad seems to accept her destructive behavior as status quo. Josh and his sister, Paige, are children of divorce living with a mom who is always working, and an absentee dad who has news that will change their lives forever.

While unraveling the mystery of these seductive texts, both Finn and Josh must face their demons and desires—and decide which risks are truly worth taking.

If you know a young person who might be tempted to send a photo of his or her private parts winging through the ether, suggest he or she read this book, available now in digital format on Amazon, and coming soon in print. A sneak peek is available on the Amazon site. Check it out. It just might save a life.

Praise for SEXTED!:

“Titillation and trauma, crushes and consequences…Coombs gets it so right.” — Deborah Halverson, editor, and author of  Honk If You Hate Me and Big Mouth (YA), and WRITING YOUNG ADULT FICTION FOR DUMMIES.

“Karen Coombs, yet again, tackles a hot topic from the perspective and authentic voice of today’s teens. With genuine characters and authentic emotion, she reveals how seemingly innocent curiosity can lead to damaging consequences.”  

 

TEENS REACT TO BULLYING

Amanda Todd

After the suicide of Amanda Todd as the result of being bullied, Benny and Rafi Fine interviewed teens to get their reaction to Amanda’s video. Their responses are heartfelt and encouraging, and toward the end of the video they give great advice for other bullied teens. One young man, however, warns that what parents actually know about what goes on is only the tip of the iceberg.

So what is wrong with society today that high school has become such a miserable time for so many?  So miserable they’d rather end their lives than tolerate it for one more day?

Thoughts?

ADVICE FROM HENRY JAMES

Henry James

This is the beginning of Bullying Awareness Week, so I couldn’t let it pass without posting. But I’m keeping it simple with the following words from writer Henry James:

Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.

Great advice if we can get everyone to follow it.

STEP UP! STAND UP!: BULLYING AWARENESS WEEK

Apparently Google has accused bullying.org of inappropriate linking on various sites. So the organization requested that I remove any links from my posts. You can still reach them by using their address independently. Ironic that Google seems to be bullying an anti-bullying site.

Although I’m not going to be posting on a weekly basis, I will post items I want to draw to your attention. I will also continue to post to my Pinterest page, “Kid’s Books About Bullying.”

Today, I’m giving a heads up that November 12th to 17th is the tenth annual National Bullying Awareness Week founded by the Canadian organization Bullying.org. The motto of the National Bullying Awareness Week is, as it has been for the past decade, “Stand Up to Bullying!”

As described by the organization, “Bullying Awareness Week (BAW) is an annual campaign to show kids they have the power to do something about bullying.

“The message of Bullying Awareness Week is consistently directed at the bystander—kids who witness bullying but may not do anything about it. Research of distinguished Canadian researchers Debra Pepler (York U.) and Wendy Craig (Queen’s U) has shown that most bullying happens, over 85% of the time, when peers are together and adults aren’t around. Their research also informs us that bullying stops within 10 seconds, most of the time when peer bystanders intervene on behalf of children who are bullied. Bullying has been shown to directly affect about 15% of those who may be victims or aggressors, so let’s work hard at changing the attitudes and actions of the other 85% who may be active supporters of bullying behaviours, or who may be part of the silent majority. We want to challenge that norm, because it is also the silence of that 855 that also gives bullies their power.

“This research lead to the annual slogan of Bullying Awareness Week: “Stand UP! to bullying” (be a friend) when you see it happening. Well that’s easy for adult to tell kids, but when you’re a kid that can be REALLY hard to do. So one of the roles of Bullying Awareness Week is to make standing up to bullying the norm and not the exception. Adult leadership is key to helping create caring individuals and communities.”

Step up and stand up. It’s a great idea. And be sure to check out the website for Bullying.org. There is a great deal of useful information there.

FAREWELL, FOR NOW

After a great deal of consideration, I have decided that a year is long enough for me to operate this blog. Not that I haven’t enjoyed doing so, but I find I’m not spending enough time on my manuscripts, particularly my new young adult contemporary novel, Sexted!. I have been searching for a way to eke out more time here and there during the week and am saying goodbye  to posting for now.

I didn’t want my blog to be merely a compilation of links to other articles, but wanted to include some original content in each post. That took time. Now, knowing I’ll again have available the extra hours I once spent creating an interesting post, makes me feel pounds lighter. (And, gee, can I use that feeling!) I really don’t know how people who post daily manage it. Amazing. And it’s not as though I’m abandoning an open field. It’s already crowded. There are dozens–perhaps hundreds–of excellent blogs devoted to bullying, so the topic will not be neglected. And should I find a subject I want to discuss, I’ll write a new post, so you likely haven’t heard the last of me.

So, thanks for dropping by. I’ll announce any future posts on Facebook and Twitter. In the meantime, check out some of the other bullying blogs. A simple search will bring up enough to make your head spin.

I’ll close with some links to articles I had hoped to write about and don’t want you to miss. You might also find them worth your time.

The “Be More Than a Bystander” campaign, orchestrated by the nonprofit Advertising Council.

Bullying of a special needs child.

 Bullying girls are arrested.

A disturbing video showing bullying in the workplace.

An article about detecting and preventing workplace bullying.

I’ll close with a video about young people who stood up for someone who needed it—and made a difference. I guarantee you will smile and perhaps shed a tear.

Now, go forth and sow kindness!

That’s an order.