COLUMNS

Blocking out the bullying

DERON TALLEY, EDITOR @DeRonTalley

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

The verb, “bully” can be defined in Merriam-Webster ‘s dictionary as “to frighten, hurt, or threaten (a smaller or weaker person).” The definition doesn’t specify an age, merely it only suggests being abusive verbally or physically to another individual. Yet, when most think of bullying we only think of what some children face in school, and rightfully so, but also it need to be kept in mind that adults can bully too.

In Dr. King’s quote that I referenced in the beginning, it tells us that not all silence is bliss; it contradicts it, especially when dealing with a subject such as bullying or any other form of inequality.

Far too often, we hear about bullying in the schools and our children see it daily, but there aren’t many movements going on to help combat it other than a few programs the schools offer. Ascension School Board Superintendent Dr. Patrice Pujol has said the schools are making efforts toward combating bullying.

Dr. Pujol wrote in a letter to the community that the schools’ focus have been on communicating with students, parents and personnel through a strategic plan of action: "Recognize Bullying and Report It, Step Up and Stop It! Talk to a Friend. Tell an Adult."

But most importantly, Dr. Pujol and the schools want parents and the community to know the importance of the anti-bullying program and the role they can play in helping to keep schools safe and free of violence.

However, we all know it can’t be done if we aren’t saying anything.

On Nov. 15, Face to Face Enrichment Center is partnering with the Spectacular Dancing Divas, LLC to host an Anti-bullying rally in Gonzales. There will be guest speakers and officer personnel to provide words of encouragement and information regarding Ascension Parish's policy on bullying.  There will also be an organized march.

Events like this from the community are what we need to eliminate the growing bullying problem. As adults we have to also keep in mind it’s not just the kids who are victims of bullying, but many of us are bullied on the job and in the community by persons who feel they have more authority. If we teach our kids the right way, we can eliminate it from the office place as well, and reduce the number of bullies who grow older and still think it is okay.

When I’m out around the parish, it’s easy to tell who the bullies were in school – they carry the same mentality even at a professional level. So it’s time to recognize bullying, report it, step up and stop it. Doesn’t matter if it’s on behalf of your child or on behalf of yourself as an adult.

Blessings