International Bullying Program is Tribute to Son’s Life

 Q&A with Dr. Allan Beane 

Q: Why is bullying such an important cause for you? 

 A: Our son, Curtis, was bullied in seventh grade and in high school. Bullying contributed to his depression and anxiety and his need to turn to an illegal drug at the age of 23. He took METH to release the pain of bullying and it killed him. Since then, my wife and I formed a company called, Bully Free Systems, LLC.Q: I’m sorry to hear about your loss. How do most people cope with being bullied and where can it lead if it’s not addressed?
 

A: Thank you. Bullying destroyed our son. He eventually turned to METH to fly away from the problem.  Many people who suffer from bullying experience depression, anxiety disorders, school phobia, eating disorders, school shootings, suicides, alcohol and drug abuse and much more. Sometimes students join gangs, cults, hate groups and drug groups to have a place to belong and to be accepted. Bullies go up and commit crimes, abuse their spouse, their children and their animals. They also cause heartache in the workplace as adults. So, they also need our help.

 Q: What is bullying?

A: Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentionally hurtful (physical or psychological) and is persistent (repeated). Since it involves a power imbalance (physical or psychological), it is often threatening. So bullying is not accidentally hurting someone. It has to be intent to hurt and the person must be a repeated target. The person also must feel over powered. It does not have to be the same person or the same behavior, but the person is persistently mistreated.

 Q: Bullying is not exactly something new.  What had happened in the last years that it became so much more harmful and common?

 A: Bullying is more prevalent and more intense today because there are more students who are participating in it. Many of these students may not initiate bullying but they often encourage the bully to mistreat someone, they laugh when someone is mistreated or they join in on the mistreatment. In addition, students today constantly have some technology device turned on and are constantly communicating with one another. Unfortunately, they are using these means of communicate to hurt, humiliate, threaten individuals and often seek to destroy their reputations and their relationships with others.

 Q: How can parents help their children from being targets, a bystander or a bully?

 A: It also appears that more parents are not using effective discipline in their homes to help their children develop self-control. We have more children who are all “gas” and no “brakes.” Perhaps parents are spending less time with their children to develop empathy, sensitivity to the needs and feelings of others and the Golden Rule – “Treat others the way you want to be treated.”

 Q: What would you say to someone who is being bullied?

 A: If you are being bullied or you know someone who is bullied, report it to the appropriate officials. If action is not taken, report it again to someone else. Document everything: who, what, when and where, and the other witnesses who were involved, and then report it. If you are mistreating others, stop it. You may push them too far – because they have been bullied for years and/or because they are also mentally ill. Grow up. Stop mistreating others. The fact is no one deserves to be mistreated. Even individuals who irritate you or provoke you do not deserve to be mistreated. The Golden Rule does not say treat others the way you want to be treated, if they do not irritate you. If you are encouraging it by giving the bully an audience or by laughing, stop it. Grow up. Be the good person you were designed to be. Don’t let others control your good heart. It is also time to “wake-up.” When we mistreat others we are being destructive to a human life and we may be putting lives at-risk – even our own. Our society seems to be devaluing human life. If that continues, we can expect more cruelty, more sickness, more suicides, and more shootings.

 For more information, visit www.bullyfree.com. You can e-mail Dr. Beane at abeane@bullyfree.com

By Melissa Sherman, Executive Director, Beyond Bullies

Oct 26 2010 in Whats New admin Comments Off on International Bullying Program is Tribute to Son’s Life

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