Monday, January 30, 2012

Chattanooga area student wages campaign against bullying

Throughout elementary and middle school, Jasmine Scruggs witnessed the continual bullying of certain friends and classmates.

It outraged her, but she said many of her peers and teachers responded with apathy.

"It's just like a rite of passage -- like it's OK," said the 17-year-old Scruggs. "But it's not."

Now a senior at Tyner Academy, she's focused much of this school year on the issue of bullying. For her required senior project, she's planning a February event to raise awareness and money to combat bullying in local schools.

Scruggs said she's always been irked by bullying, but she decided to take action after reading a 2010 Times Free Press story about a local eighth-grader who wrote a letter to his principal and the superintendent, asking to switch schools because of ongoing bullying.

"We really don't deserve that," Scruggs said. "School is a place for learning. You shouldn't have all those extra problems. You shouldn't be scared going to school. It's sad. It's disgusting."

Scruggs' event, set for Feb. 25, will feature poetry, dance and songs by local youths that address bullying.

"I want it to be so many people that it's overflowing," she said. "How could we sit around and act like this is OK?"

All proceeds from the fundraiser will go to Students Taking a Right Stand, or STARS, a nonprofit that works closely with Hamilton County Schools to support a healthy school environment. The group also works with teachers and students on combating bullying.

The Prevention Team and 411 Pain Support the youth making a positive impact on their community and we encourage everyone to help stop bullying today.

To read the full article CLICK HERE

Monday, January 16, 2012

The effects of bullying last forever....

I WAS bullied at school. This was the 1960s and it was seen then as part of growing up.

You didn't dob or you'd be hammered behind the shelter sheds. You didn't tell your parents as they would simply say it was part of learning to be a man.

To be a man, I joined the school cadets. It was here that I understood what institutionalised bullying was all about. If you wore a peaked cap and had pips on your shoulder epaulets, that sanctioned you to do exactly what you liked.

I was humiliated and beaten. I lasted a year. I still have an aversion to seeing army uniforms.

It was some comfort that when I left school and began training as a teacher that I realised that there was a raft of literature devoted to bullying. I was not alone. I read of Australia's legendary ballet dancer Robert Helpmann and how he was bullied unmercifully at school because he could dance.

And I read with gut-turning revulsion the frank admission of the historian Manning Clark, how when he was a student at Melbourne Grammar, the terrors of the notorious long dorm were visited on him and he was subjected to what he described as the "theatre of cruelty".

When I became a teacher I entered the classroom feeling for the broken and bereft, the small, the timid, the socially outcast, the dull, the nerdy kids and the students who were gay.

The daily terror that gay boys felt of being discovered or even suspected is a lingering reality. It still continues today. If you are called a "fag", you will be a school leper.

This is why the campaign against bullying of all kinds is long overdue.

When I began teaching, computers were not commonplace. Cyber bullying was unknown, not to mention texting or sexting. It is hard to imagine a more pernicious and devastatingly insistent form of harassment. It only takes one word, one image.

TPT: "Bullying is one of the worst forms of abuse that can be taken out on a young individual we must connect as a population; from parents to young adults to make positive strides in creating a bully free society!"

To Read More Of The Featured Story: Click Here