October 5, 2009
>Helping Those Who Are Bullied
>Dr. Jeffrey Fishberger of The Trevor Project recently addressed questions about bullying and harassment in a blog for The New York Times. In it he answers questions about what steps concerned parents, teachers and school administrators can take to end the constant torment by those who are gay or perceived to be gay.
He also recommends programs and materials developed by GLSEN to combat harassment of youth by youth, as well as addressing common ways of thinking:
Unfortunately, this is a common response to issues of bullying in schools; that the bullied should just stand up for themselves and that it is just normal adolescent behavior, but persistent harassment has been shown to have adverse effects on development. “Young people who are bullied have greater levels of depression and anxiety, are more likely to miss school and have lower self-esteem” said Dr. Fishberger. Furthermore, addressing the bully directly subjects the bullied to possible serious and dangerous consequences. As Dr. Fishberger points out, the best way to address this is by getting parents, teachers, school administrators and/or guidance counselors involved as they set the standards of appropriate displays of behavior.
Bullying should not be tolerated in any form, under any circumstance and this is the underlying message. Through the active participation of allies in local communities and schools, and with the appropriate training and diligent effort, bullying can cease to be a part of the accepted school landscape.