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Sexual Victims Prevail After Hundreds were Molested by Celebrated Physician

May 29 2019in Home Page, Uncategorized, Whats New admin Comments Off on Sexual Victims Prevail After Hundreds were Molested by Celebrated Physician

The Victims of Larry Nassar Who Dared to Come Forward First

In the summer of 2016, Rachael Denhollander was scrolling through Facebook at her home, in Louisville, Kentucky, when she happened upon the cover story of the day’s Indianapolis Star. It was an investigation into U.S.A. Gymnastics, one of the nation’s most prominent Olympic organizations, concluding that for years the federation’s top officials had mishandled allegations of sexual abuse. Denhollander, a lawyer, a devout Christian, and a mother of four, had competed as a gymnast during her high-school years, in Kalamazoo, Michigan, as she explains on “Believed,” a podcast from Michigan Radio and NPR that was released last fall. In 2000, when she was fifteen, her mother managed to arrange physical-therapy sessions for her with Larry Nassar, the celebrated physician for the women’s national team. During their visits to his clinic, Nassar would drape a sheet over Denhollander’s body and, standing so as to obstruct his movements from her mother, slip his hands beneath the teen-ager’s bra and shorts. Denhollander eventually told her mother about Nassar’s actions; both women agreed that no one would believe a club-level athlete from Kalamazoo over an Olympic doctor. Over the next sixteen years, though, Denhollander assembled her own makeshift case file, saving diary entries from her youth alongside medical records from her visits to Nassar, notes from her therapist, and research from pelvic-rehabilitation practitioners about the proper protocol for the doctor’s invasive treatments. When Denhollander finished reading the Indy Star article, she noticed that it included the number of a tip line.

It wasn’t until the next month, when Denhollander went public with her story, in a follow-up article in the Indy Star, that law enforcement started to take action against Nassar. Since 1997, Nassar’s employer, Michigan State University, had received complaints about him from numerous women, all of which were eventually dismissed. In 2014, during a Title IX investigation that ended up clearing Nassar of wrongdoing, he sat in a cramped interview room at the university’s police department and defended the integrity of his medical treatments. “I do this on a regular basis,” he insisted, suggesting that if he ever “did something wrong,” the news would spread “like wildfire.” Nassar’s crimes did not capture national attention until January of 2018, when more than a hundred women, including the two-time Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman, testified against him at a live-streamed sentencing hearing in Michigan. He is now serving forty to a hundred and seventy-five years in prison, in large part because of those testimonies. Media coverage during the trial emphasized the collective courage of his victims, whose cathartic, excoriating chorus coincided with the height of the #MeToo movement. In the time since Nassar’s imprisonment, a number of journalistic investigations—among them “Believed,” the podcast, and “At the Heart of Gold,” a new HBO documentary by Erin Lee Carr—have shifted the public’s focus to the stories of his lesser-known victims, exposing the culture that enabled Nassar’s abuse from the perspective of those who dared to come forward first.

Carr’s best-known documentaries, including “Mommy Dead and Dearest” and “I Love You, Now Die,” have brought context and clarity to true-crime narratives of abuse. She began filming “At the Heart of Gold” in 2017, consulting journalists who had covered early reports of Nassar’s transgressions and travelling to Michigan to interview his survivors themselves. The subjects of Carr’s film are athletes who range in age from their teens to their thirties. They often appear onscreen beside their mothers, describing with preternatural composure the admiration they once felt for Nassar. Many of them recall the doctor as a “friend,” a “confidant,” a “guardian angel,” a “God-fearing Catholic man,” or, at the least, a kindly foil to the coaches who worked them to exhaustion. Chatty and personable, Nassar smuggled candy to gymnasts during gruelling practice sessions, disbursing single Skittles from his duffel bag. He iced their bruises and taped up their shin splints. He lent them his cell phone when theirs were prohibited at a remote training camp in Texas. He brought back gifts from his stints at international competitions: water bottles, Olympic jackets, photographs signed by stars of the sport. “At the Heart of Gold” examines the misplaced trust that allowed so many children to rationalize their own suffering. Trinea Gonczar, a former gymnast whose lawyers estimate that she was molested eight hundred and forty-six times, used to justify Nassar’s treatment with reasoning that now sounds like a perversion of the #MeToo movement’s rallying cry. “He does that to me all the time,” Gonczar remembers reassuring teammates who confided in her. “You’re good. You don’t have to worry. It’s not weird. You’re not the only one.”

For decades, Nassar’s status allowed him to exploit the physical contact essential to his profession. One of the most disturbing sequences in “At the Heart of Gold” is a montage of gymnastics highlights from years past. In each snippet, Nassar appears on the sidelines as an unassuming figure in a polo shirt—practically invisible to the casual viewer until summoned to action during crises on the floor. He was there in Atlanta, at the 1996 Summer Olympics, reaching a hand behind the injured Kerri Strug as her coaches carried her toward a stretcher. He was there in Boston, at the 2000 Olympic trials, helping Shannon Miller to her feet after a weak block off the vault scuttled her attempt to qualify for the Sydney Games. Carr’s documentary also includes grainy excerpts of instructional videos that Nassar recorded to model his techniques. They show Nassar moving his palms in swift, assured motions over many anonymous bodies, demonstrating how to knead the muscles under leotards and cinch Kinesio tape around the upper thighs. It was these videos, along with a series of PowerPoints Nassar presented at medical conferences, that he used to legitimize his treatments on the rare occasions when authorities decided to question him.

Not all of Nassar’s abuse, in the end, could be justified as medical treatment. The finale of Carr’s film features the testimony of Kyle Stephens, who grew up in East Lansing, Michigan. Her parents were close friends of the Nassars. In the late nineties, they congregated at the doctor’s house for weekly Sunday dinners. As the adults cooked upstairs, Nassar would offer to entertain Stephens and her brother in his basement, where he’d initiate games of hide-and-seek to separate the children before masturbating in front of Stephens. On other occasions, he molested her beneath a blanket as they all watched television on the couch. The abuse began when Stephens was six or seven. After six years, Stephens told her parents, but they did not believe her. Her father demanded she apologize to Nassar; the ensuing conflict eventually estranged her from her family. On “Believed,” which includes interviews with Stephens, she recalls that it was Nassar who phoned her at college to inform her that her father had suffered a stroke. In 2016, after reading Rachael Denhollander’s story in the Indy Star, Stephens finally called the police, who were able to obtain a search warrant for Nassar’s house. What they discovered there—thirty-seven thousand images and videos of child pornography, on several external hard drives stuffed in the trash—allowed them to make an arrest.

Since Carr wrapped filming, last year, U.S.A. Gymnastics has continued to contend with the fallout of the Nassar scandal. The organization has appointed four presidents since 2017. The most recent, a sports executive and former gymnast named Li Li Leung, left a post at the N.B.A. to take the job in March, out of a “personal calling.” So far, her handling of the issue has instilled little confidence. Last month, on the “Today” show, she described seeing Nassar for clearance on an injured knee when she was sixteen years old. He was not able to abuse her then because her coach was present, she explained, revealing a profound ignorance of the circumstances around much of Nassar’s abuse. (She has since apologized, sort of, acknowledging that her comment might have seemed “insensitive to the survivors and their families.”) Earlier this month, Leung announced the hiring of Edward Nyman, the organization’s first full-time director of sports medicine and science; the next day, U.S.A. Gymnastics reversed course, citing an unspecified “conflict of interest.” It was later revealed that Nyman had failed to disclose allegations of misconduct against a gym owned by his wife and that he is facing misconduct allegations of his own. (Both Nyman and his wife have denied the charges against them.)

The sport’s top athletes, meanwhile, continue to serve as fierce advocates against abuse, in gymnastics and beyond. In April, Raisman joined students from the University of Southern California in a rally, at the state capitol, supporting a bill that would extend the statute of limitations for sexual-misconduct allegations against doctors at student-health centers. Dozens of the women there were victims of George Tyndall, a former gynecologist at U.S.C. who, in 2017, was allowed to retire quietly, with a financial package, after a nurse reported him to the campus rape-crisis center. Tyndall’s first victims, like Nassar’s, had come forward as early as the nineties. By the time the Los Angeles Police Department announced an investigation, the list of his accusers had grown to include hundreds.

  • Eren Orbey is a writer and a senior at Yale.

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Boy on Boy Bullying – Strategies that Work

Jun 10 2018in Home Page, Uncategorized, Whats New admin Comments Off on Boy on Boy Bullying – Strategies that Work

How Being Cool Can Help Boys Ward off Bullying 

It’s all in how you say something and not what you say. Hmmm. What does that mean? Let me explain. By learning how to respond to bullies, you are more likely to feel better about the situation. There are specific strategies you can learn that can help you deflect bullying without losing your cool.

Bullying can take on many forms, ranging from name-calling, taunting to unwanted physical contact or even sexting, which can leave a target of bullying feeling very vulnerable. Name-calling is not as prevalent among girls as it is with boys.  Here are some bullying strategies that may help you when you are called names and made fun of.

Since we all have different personalities, it is important to understand, which strategy will work to fit who you are, when you are bullied.  These bullying strategies are meant to help you when you freeze up, become emotional as well as react rather than respond. 

Think of bullies as needing negative attention. When you give them an emotional response and lash out or cry, you feed their egos. Remember, they seek power and control. By making you doubt yourself, they win.

Do not allow their poison to sink in. It’s your life.

Let’start with HUMOR :)…

  1. You are told that you look like a giraffe.  How can you respond with humor?
  • Well, at least I’m not a shrimp
  • Walk away and tell no one what happened
  • I guess Michael Jordan and I have something in common
  • All of the above

(By admitting the obvious, you are showing that you’re okay with who you are, and not allowing bullies to see that they’ve upset you.) Remember, be cool! Bullies are looking for an emotional response, so they can make fun of you. Don’t give them anything to play with, including your feelings.

B.  You are called a geek or a herd. Using humor, how can you respond?

  • You throw a book at the bully and run
  • Look down at the floor, and wait until the bully and his friends leave
  • There are millions of people who like Star Trek, so I guess I’m not the only one
  • Haven’t you heard, girls like nerds?
  • 2 and 3

Here is another example. Make sure to practice in the mirror or with someone you trust, so you can be cool, calm and collected when a bully strikes. By having quick one-liners ready, you help to diffuse heated situations, where your emotions are likely to take over.

C.  A bully calls you four-eyes. Using humor what is your response?

  • You think nothing you do matters and you tell no one what happened
  • These glasses see everything, even how stupid you look
  • These eyes, (point to glasses), oh, they’re my protection against the ugliness in the world
  • You push the bully 
  • 3

Some people are not as comfortable with humor and are more straightforward.  It’s natural and completely normal to freeze up or feel scared or queasy when you are bullied. There are phrases or words that may help you gain your composure and confidence.  Let’s start with a few…

  • Cut it out
  • That’s your opinion
  • What you believe is none of my business
  • Whatever gets you high
  • I would appreciate it if you stop spreading rumors


Melissa Sherman is the executive director of Beyond Bullies. She founded the organization to help empower youth and to shed a light on the issues affecting bullied youth in order to relieve their suffering and aid in the understanding of people who care about them. She works with individuals and families as a coach and role model. melissa@beyondbullies.org.



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Beyond Bullies Teen Leadership and Adolescent Prevention Program

Mar 30 2018in Uncategorized, Whats New admin Comments Off on Beyond Bullies Teen Leadership and Adolescent Prevention Program

Beyond Bullies is dedicated to helping youth who have become the targets of bullying and cyber bullying, by providing them online real-time support from E-teen leaders, viral campaigns to engage youth to take action and prevention/educational programs to create awareness to stop it. We empower teens to become leaders against bullying in their schools and to help middle school and elementary students learn to handle bullying in a way that will make them feel empowered, safe and want to achieve in school. We strive to educate people who work with children and help them identify the signs of bullying in order to prevent it and understand what actions to take when they see it. The organization works to provide youth who are the target of bullying and cyberbullying support in order for them to feel safe, comfortable, and accepted in their surroundings.

Since February, Beyond Bullies and the Alliance Cindy & Bill Simon Technology Academy High School have been working closely to educate students and faculty on how to help children become active bystanders in their schools and communities. The Beyond Bullies Teen Leadership and Adolescent Prevention Program is committed to teaching students how to create cyberbullying campaigns and present information in front of other youth. Beyond Bullies has partnered with Kaiser Permante’s Educational Theater program who will be working with students each month throughout the rest of the academic school year. Additionally, participation in the program will count for community service hours.

The executive director/program manager of Beyond Bullies, Melissa Sherman believes “The partnership with Alliance is a perfect fit, as their students are technically ahead of the curve and the Alliance schools teach accountability, which makes them great teen leaders.” By giving students the tools, Sherman adds, “We believe it will provide them with leadership skills, a greater connection to school, even more accountability, and the ability to see first-hand how they can make a genuine difference in their community.” This program will run until the end of the year, giving time for all students to learn how to create a future where bullying or cyber bullying is not tolerated or accepted and immediate consequences are given to those who bully at school or using any form of digital technology.

By holding this program at the Alliance Cindy & Bill Simon Technology Academy High School we hope to spread the mission of Beyond Bullies and inspire children to stand up and be the voice for those who are bullied everywhere.


Written by Lizzi Bowen


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Warning Signs of Bullying: An Interview with Internationally Recognized Bullying Expert Michal Kolář

Feb 8 2018in Uncategorized, Whats New admin Comments Off on Warning Signs of Bullying: An Interview with Internationally Recognized Bullying Expert Michal Kolář

Dr. Michal Kolář is a psychotherapist who has been treating bullying for more than 30 years. He has created a special theory and methodology for the diagnosis and treatment of bullying at schools. He also works with the International and European Observatories on School Violence.
In my interview with Michal Kolář, he talked to me about the difficulty parents have when their children suffer from bullying. In his book, A New Way to Treat Bullying, Michal writes about the signals parents can look for if their child is a target of bullying. Michal says bullying signs can be difficult to detect and parents who notice that something is wrong with their child often find that it is very frustrating to get help from teachers and administrators.

Michal explains that when a parent tries to talk to teachers or administrators, they are quick to point fingers and tell them that their child provoked the situation or in some instances started it. It is common for a parent to hear there was not enough evidence, their child yelled or pushed the bully and no witnesses. Additionally, often times, when the target and the bully are both suspended and then come back to school, there are no consequences in place to protect the target from the bully or their friends.
If school polices are in place but do not provide teachers with specific consequences for bullying behavior, children are in jeopardy of being harmed. Many children, whether they have a good relationship with their parents or not have a difficult time admitting that other kids are mean to them or carrying out a campaign to ruin their reputations. A target of bullying often believes that somehow they caused the bullying or in some way deserved it. Michal says, “Admitting to an adult that other kids laugh, push or make fun of you can be a very shameful experience.” Making matters worse is a home environment where siblings or parents put down or ignore the child’s feelings, increasing their insecurities and low self-esteem.

Weekly, there are stories about parents who are shocked and saddened to learn that their child was a target of bullying. Their cries for help do not have to go unseen or undone by parents. In fact, “Individual signals do not necessarily denote bullying“, he explains. He places much more significance on the context of the situation, the repetition and frequency of symptoms. His work was written up for the Ministry of Education. (Guideline Minister of Education, Youth and Sports to prevent and address bullying among school pupils and school facilities)

Signs and Signals of Bullying
• The child does not have friends over or seems to have no friends.
• The child is subdued, sad and depressed.
• S/he suffers from poor sleep, sleep disorders and nightmares.
• They have a lack of interest in participating in sports, family dinners or events.
• Before going to school or after school, complains about headaches, stomach aches, etc.
• Many children visit a doctor or say they are sick before school to avoid bullies.
• Children may go to school or from school using detours.
• Students may come home with torn clothes, damaged or missing backpack & school aids.
• Make different excuses for losing lunch money and require more money.
• Children may be hungry after school even when snacks and lunch were provided at school. (Bully may have stolen lunch money.)
• Child cannot satisfactorily explain his injuries: a black eye, scrapes, bruises,
slight concussions, a broken or pulled bone, burns, etc.
• Sudden drop in grades and no interest in studying
• Threatens suicide or attempts it

”There are some children that do try to talk to their parents about their difficulties at school,” Kolář says. “In the beginning stages of bullying, there are cases when the child finds the strength and courage to talk to their parents. It is very important that when a child opens up about a humiliating experience that a parent should listen, show emotional support and take everything they say seriously. Unfortunately, many parents are act surprised when they first learn about the bullying. They often react inappropriately. The only right attitude is to stand firm in love for the child.”

Written by, Melissa Sherman, Executive Director, Beyond Bullies www.beyondbullies.org

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Sexual Bullying: Intimidation and Coercion on the Playground, Online and in the Media

Nov 17 2017in Home Page, Whats New admin Comments Off on Sexual Bullying: Intimidation and Coercion on the Playground, Online and in the Media

Sexual bullying is a form of bullying and harassment that humiliates a person physically, verbally or emotionally.  It includes unwanted touching, pinching, grabbing or slapping of body parts that are often downplayed by boys and girls. While it may be the first attempt at flirtation, the target may experience toxic shame.  This type of bullying is covert, underreported, overlooked by adults and happening every day on school campuses and online.

What we see now in Hollywood with Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and influential men in banking, media and congress, is merely a droplet in a very large pool of people who have used their power to intimidate, devalue and manipulate those that yield less power.

Bullying by definition is an imbalance of power and just like harassment, it is not consensual.  When girls tear each other apart, they usually make fun of another girls’ body or spread rumors about a real or perceived sexual encounter. A very common tale is spreading that someone is bisexual, gay or a lesbian.

These types of rumors have devastating consequences. At a time when girls are developing and are grappling with their feelings, wanting to fit in can become more important than standing up for someone who is being bullied.

In many cases, being a bystander can leave as many emotional scars as being the target of bullying. And not knowing how to intervene or what to do when you are a target of bullying can be humiliating. According to experts, more than half of bullying stops when someone intervenes. (Hawkins, Pepler, & Craig, 2001). Middle school girls are more likely to speak up but become less confident when no action is taken to stop bullying by adults.

While gossiping and spreading rumors is more common among girls, boys put more pressure on girls to send them a naked or a semi-naked photo otherwise known as sexting. Boys are more likely to disseminate these sexts to their friends when they breakup.

The consequences of sexting can be devastating and have resulted in many girls taking their own lives. The peer pressure to send sexts is very real. Think of it now as the equivalent of going steady. Sending a sext is very common among middle school and high school students today, and it is a way for boys and girls to show that they like each other.

Not going along with peer pressure can make you stand out, which is far worst for many girls than snapping a photo. In today’s fast-paced world, where youth are gleaning more of their self-worth from Instagram, celebrities and their environment, they need to learn proactive social skills and empathy to help them thrive.

Beyond Bullies works with schools, hospitals, counseling centers, city and county employees to identify, prevent and handle bullying.  For more information or to schedule a training, contact Melissa Sherman, Executive Director of Beyond Bullies at Melissa@beyondbullies.org.


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Presentación Para Los Padres Del New Heights Charter School in South Los Angeles

Mar 5 2017in Uncategorized, Whats New admin Comments Off on Presentación Para Los Padres Del New Heights Charter School in South Los Angeles

¿Cuántos de ustedes tienen un niño o niños que le han dicho que han sido intimidados?

Presentado Por

Melissa Sherman

Directora Ejecutiva

(424) 253-6702

Presentación Para Los Padres Del New Heights Charter School (click)

Beyond Bullies (BB), es una organización clasificada 501 (c) (3)sin fines de lucro y dedicada a objetivos como la intimidación y para empoderar a los jóvenes, padres y personas que trabajan con ellos mediante la creación de programas educativos y de prevención.

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SnapChat-New Platform for Bullies

Mar 5 2017in Uncategorized, Whats New adminTags:
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SnapChat is an extremely popular photo-messaging application (“app”), which allows users to send photos or videos and deletes them after 1 to 10 seconds. The idea, deleoped by Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy, was to take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of people. Once the Snaps are sent, they are presumably gone forever, and the sender nor the recipient has to worry about them afterwards. However, like everything else on the World Wide Web, users can skate around this feature-this time by taking screen-shots. SnapChat has recently admitted that the photos take several hours to be deleted from the servers.

Additionally, some hacks use the phone’s screenshot capabilities. Once a picture is sent to a contact, then that person can keep a screenshot of the image before it self-destructs. Then the contact has full control of the picture and can send it to anyone.  The person who sent it will have no idea that the picture still exists.  Recently, hackers have recently targeted SnapChat and it vulnerabilities. In one case, details of over a four million users were leaked to prove that it was possible to hack. In another, photos of smoothies were shared to all SnapChat followers without the user getting to know about it.


Some youth use SnapChat for sexting and sending suggestive or nude pictures to their peers. However, such images of children are illegal and minors can be charged distribution and possession of child pornography.


Like all the other murky corners of the Internet, SnapChat is also used for cypberbullying. A photo can be sent and after a few seconds, all evidence of the action is lost. Unfortunately, most victims forget to take screen-shots in the heat of the moment and this is another point that reduces the risk of being caught. Embarrassing photos, or photos comparing the victim to a derogatory item are the most common methods. For example, a photo of a classmate alongside a picture of a horse with large teeth could be sent to all the people in the school and my trigger more intense bullying toward the student. Moreover, threatening photos like those posing with weapons, can also be sent by bullies and succeed in silencing the victim.

What can parents do?

Children need to know early on that this is a problem, and that they will have to face consequences at some point. In fact, research shows that sexting has become a big problem among teens. According to the Pew Internet & American Life Project as many as fifteen percent of teens between the ages of twelve and seventeen say that they have received a “sext” from someone they know. Meanwhile, 4 percent of those teens indicate that they also have participated in sexting by sending nude or nearly nude images of themselves to someone else via text message. Another study found that twenty-eight percent of fourteen to nineteen-year-olds said they had sent a nude picture of themselves through text or e-mail.

The need for educating children is dire. Be sure that kids know that once something is sent or posted, they have no control over where it goes or what happens to it, This is the internet, and so everything leaves a digital footprint and there is nothing as’ disappearing content.’

For more information about how to protect yourself or someone you know click http://beyondbullies.org/safety-zone/social-media/.


Written by Ravneet Sandhu

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Confessions of an ex-Bully

Jun 25 2016in Home Page, Whats New adminTags: , , , , , ,
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Confessions of an ex- bully

On many occasions, I have acted with hostile intent toward another. I have never expressed myself through physical aggression, but I have often used violent words against others. I have remained silent when I could have spoken up. I have reinforced belief systems that say certain people are better than others. I actively participated in a culture that valued the stereotypical- that is the beautiful, the wealthy and the powerful. To be cool was my primary purpose. Why did I do this? I wanted to be seen as all of the above. I wanted to be all of the above. I was unable to see my value in life without other people’s approval.

I excluded people from things I wanted to do and became deeply resentful if someone tagged along with my crowd who wasn’t a good representation of what I wanted to be associated with. I would be cold and indifferent, avoiding any intimacy. I would quickly find ways to get rid of them, and condemn them behind their backs. I considered outsiders, trying to get inside, as wannabes. They irritated me and their efforts embarrassed me. Why? Because I was just like them. I too felt like an outsider trying to get in. They reminded me of me- I detested the reflection. My personal effort to “belong” involved extreme dieting, years of bulimia, editing what I said to avoid judgment, editing what I wore to seem “cool”… I didn’t participate in school activities that were considered weird, I forged an identity according to the status quo and let everyone else define me.

I treated many of the people I went to high school with indifference, with a “justified” apathy. It was only years later I heard that my detachment had actually affected someone. A friend informed me that his brother’s girlfriend had attended school with me. She remembers me as a bully. Upon hearing this I felt defensive, but the truth eventually settled in. She was a victim of a culture with persecuted you for being different. I was a perpetrator of this culture. At best I kept silent and didn’t stand up for those who were struggling, at worst I wanted them to struggle. She didn’t tick all the boxes that we demanded you tick to be cool- therefore I treated her as inferior for my entire time in school. No, I didn’t say it to her face or taunt her actively. But I passively made her life hard, and for that, I take full responsibility.

What made me change? I suppose life happened and it served me a lot of humble pie. I struggled with alcoholism, ruined all my friendships and got asked to leave my educational institutions. I hit a dark bottom; emotionally, physically and spiritually.  At 19 I decided to try a new way of life, a sober one. As a result, I have made a full commitment to making amends for the harm I have caused others. In the past 4.5 years, I have really examined my part in the various judgments, resentments, and negativity I had fallen prey to. I see the ugliness of a life lived trying to meet standards that are not fair. I see the value of being kind, of trying to treat everyone as equal- of trying to get to know someone who I might initially see as “different”.

Whenever I am disturbed I am responsible for that disturbance, and it is my commitment to live from love, not from fear. When my fear says- run! Judge! Gossip! Love says stay, be curious, speak kindly. Ultimately, what helped me change was this: I realized that my desire to be beautiful, powerful and strong is not the problem. The issue lay in my definition of what it meant to be beautiful, powerful and strong. I saw beauty as a certain weight, a certain external aesthetic quality…having beautiful friends, meeting the standards of those who are living in denial or fear. I saw power in other people’s protection, and strength in the appearance of strength. Whatever the majority called strong, I called strong. I then dressed myself to look the part and threw nasty glances at everyone who failed to do so too. I was mad because it had cost me so much of my integrity to meet the standards of the dominant paradigm.

Today I see beauty in kindness, in compassion, in being original – in not living according to standards that reproduce prejudice, domination, and cruelty. I see power in humility, in striving to be true to myself. In being authentic. For what it’s worth, I have always admired the brave- before I ever knew I could be brave myself. Courage is not a feeling- it’s a choice, an action. I admire those who stand up for other people in the face of adversity. True strength lies in treating others as equals- regardless of race, creed, color, weight, class, sex, it lies in owning your own stuff. In asking yourself what motivates you. Fear or love, fear or love? One life- how do I want to live it?

I was miserable condemning people for not meeting standards that were flawed to start with. What sort of life is a life that demands you look a certain way, have a certain amount of money…the right sort of friends? I couldn’t decide what environment I was born into, what color my skin was, how tall I was back then or how tall I am now! How dare I make someone feel ashamed of any of the above? It says a lot more about me than it does about them!

I was useless at sport, just didn’t have the right coordination skills. The people who loved me anyway, despite my lack of coordination paved the way for me to treat others with the same respect. If only there were more people who could see past the badge of honor we wear for all the wrong reasons in high school, to the stuff that actually counts. I was ashamed of who I was. Thankfully I know better today, and try to live better. I try to be a woman of integrity and I build self-esteem by taking estimable acts. I am no longer ashamed of who I am, but this is contingent on me continuing to behave in a way that is loving, tolerant and open minded. In practicing self-honesty and honesty with others. For me, having the mindset of a bully left me miserable and lonely. I am sure it contributed to my alcohol abuse and undoubtedly left me with a lot of self-loathing.

I lacked consciousness of my behavior on many occasions. Unwittingly I made choices that hurt others I was at school with. Once I got sober and started to value consciousness, (we only have one life- why not be awake for it?), I developed greater empathy, compassion, and consideration. I don’t have to be drunk to be living half blind and asleep, and it is within everyone’s power to try and be present. Trying is all I can ever claim to do! Through trying to be present I have discovered that life is riveting, beautiful, fast and unpredictable. I realized there was a lot more thrill in being unconventional, in standing up for decency and in fighting bigoted tyranny.

The weak ones are the bullies, the hostile and the judgmental. The ones who proclaim strength and trample all over people who are unable to defend themselves. And I was one of them, driven by my need to be a cool kid. Thank God I realized that life is too short to be living from fear, living from a need to protect what would fade anyway. Material things will come and go, looks will fade, power relations will shift- but what remains is our connection to self and others. I believe in being the best version of myself, someone who I am proud to hold hands with every day for my entire life. I am not proud of being a bully, but I am proud of being someone who takes a stand against it.


Written by, Scarlett Moberly



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Ideas and Resources for Teachers

Jun 6 2016in Whats New admin Comments Off on Ideas and Resources for Teachers

Discipline Help Ideas and Resources
by Alan Haskvitz

Discipline is probably the most difficult of all areas to deal with as it encompasses issues that may be related to a vast array of difficulties that can try the expertise of the most experienced parent and educator. Contributing factors may include personal problems, improve medication, self-esteem issues, and peer pressure.

Indeed, in my 45 years of teaching at every grade level and nearly every subject I have had my fair share of problems all of which were unique in some regard, but needed to be dealt with in a manner that resolved the issues for all involved. With this in mind I put together a variety of free resources that may be of value in being proactive and help to prevent a discipline problem. If you have additional sites that you would like to share please email me at calcascares@gmail.com

Be Proactive
Essentially there are three main ways to deal with these issues starting with being proactive. First, let the students know behavior expectations early. From the start of the year be positive. Always look for ways to reinforce good behavior. Developing rapport with students is also essential. I used an information card that included the usual contact numbers and such items as favorite games, people, family pets, and other information that would enable me to get to know the students better. If students feel you are approachable it helps eliminate problems and also encourages them to confide in you of concerns that would otherwise be kept secret.

Consequences are important, but they need to be appropriate and consistent, but always leave yourself room for accommodations depending on the circumstances. The ideal combination is to be firm and fair and calm.

Perhaps the most important way to prevent behavior issues is to establish good communications with the student, parent, and administration. Keeping them informed of issues can help prevent an escalation that can take the joy out of teaching. I try to contact parents the first week of school and have a handout for Back to School Night that explains classroom expectations. As well, I document what I have done to keep the parties involved aware of the situation.

Expect the Unexpected/Teachable Moments
One day some students in my classes jumped out of their seats and ran to the back of the room. Some were screaming. Now this could have been a planned event to challenge me, but from experience I knew I had to remain calm. I walked over and saw a large spider had entered the room and caused the students’ reaction. I quickly handled the situation, but the students were unsettled. And so I turned it into a teachable moment by asking them to describe what they had seen and their actions. Some indicated a fear of spiders and were swept up in the reaction of the crowd. The appearance of the spider provided a teachable moment that even extended outside of the classroom. Most importantly it turned what could have been a behavior problem turned into a learning opportunity.

Here are a variety of sites that can provide ideas and resources to help you with discipline related problems. They run the gamut from simple to complex, but each of them does provide insights from teachers, students, parents, and theorists.

This site provides insights an overview of common problems and ways to handle them and includes administrator actions as well.

Importance of protecting yourself California Casualty Umbrella Policy

For more a more complete list of free material and ideas on student discipline go tohttps://mycalcas.com/2016/02/discipline-help-ideas-and-resources-for-teachers/

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Dealing with Hate in the Classroom

Sep 13 2015in Home Page, Whats New adminTags: , , , , , ,
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Dealing with Hate in the Class and School
Posted by carfamily under education, educators, home schooling, student teacher, teachers, teaching | Tags: hate |
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Dealing with Hate in the Classroom
by National Hall of Fame Educator Alan Haskvitz

Almost every classroom has incidents where a prevailing moment reveals hate. This is not unusual, but it is a teachable moment. A very teachable moment for the parent or educator willing to take the time to consider the various cause and effects aspects and act accordingly. This is where experience pays. In many cases the issue has surfaced previously and the actions taken at that time may have worked, if nothing else by pure luck. However, the speediest method is to gloss over the episode, push the incident into the future, and move on with the lesson at hand.

It is important to note that criticism is not hate. One of the most counterproductive comment is that a criticism of something is being negative. Nothing could be further from the truth. Calling someone negative may make the caller feel better, as name calling frequently does, but in fact, the name caller is the one being negative. Criticism is meant to improve something. It may not be accurate, but it is certainly needs to be carefully studied as it roots can reveal a great deal about how others see an issue and fresh viewpoints can result in positive improvements. There is a quote by Robert Ingersloll. We Rise by Lifting Others that reads, “Being critical means one cares.” That being said, negativity may just be the result of not being able to see another person’s point of view. In A Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy there is a segment where a gun is revealed whose sole purpose if to fire at someone and inflict on them the ability to see things from the gunner’s point of view. A very valuable weapon. I am sure that every teacher would own one for classroom use.

Hating is something difficult to evade. For example, if you are a good teacher and someone acknowledges that there may be another who feels he or she is just as good they could turn that feeling into hate. A great deal of hate can be traced to someone being jealous of another and seeing that individual’s success as not deserved. Something as simple as someone getting a better grade can result in negative, hateful remarks. Being successful nurtures hate. Call it human nature. Even those who profess religious tolerance and obedience have difficulty avoiding hatred. Here are several quotes from the Bible about hate

This is not to delve into the freedom of speech quandary over hate. That is another issue. This essay is about how to deal with hate based on your background and those of the individuals involved to the best of your ability. To mention the fact that dealing with hate is complex is an understatement. At best dealing with hate in a productive manner can nullify, perhaps for the moment, hate and turn it into a lesson that others may benefit from. In other words, a teachable moment.

The number one rule when dealing with hate is that although it is universal, it is not universal. In other words, not everyone hates someone or something, but someone is going to hate. Indeed, that is what makes people so attuned to it. You can have 35 students in your classroom but the one who hates you is the one who gets your attention. And since hate is usually learned, it may well mean that his or her parents may also support that hate. So your ignore the good and turn to the squeaky wheel that needs attention . So rule number one is to confront the issue by trying to find out the cause. That does not mean you have to agree with the cause, but you need to understand what caused it before you react. One of the most dramatic causes is that haters may feel that they are the center of the world. It revolves around them and this may well be fermented and brewed at home. At school it can be a leading cause of bulling. Bullying is essentially a display of hate for others that must be learned behavior. Babies are not born with it, to the best of my knowledge. Bullying is encouraged by those whose self-esteem is built upon expressing their disdain for others. It could be a fear of being low man on the totem pole or the belief that putting someone down enables their status and enables them a step up on their self-esteem chart. Thus is it imperative that you find out the cause of the hate by asking the hater for his or her feelings on the manner. They may not know why, but by opening their eyes to the possible results of their actions it may stop hating in the future. I broke up a student fight one day and after pulling the two participants apart asked them what caused it. One boy said the other deserved it. The other boy had no idea what caused it. I warned and dismissed them with the usual warning. I didn’t make it a teachable moment. I regret that now. What if I would have sat down with both of them to get to the bottom of the disagreement? Maybe nothing would be resolved, but at least they would understand each other better and I wouldn’t have to get my Hitchhiker gun.

Lesson number two is not to let hate get the better of you. Google fight reveals that there are 100 negative student comments to one positive comment. Although not clearly an academic study, it does reveal that is negative clearly gets more attention. I had an assistant superintendent of instruction who didn’t like me at all despite my successes or, perhaps, because of them. When I was being interviewed for a mentor position she asked me what day would be best. I said that Wednesday wouldn’t be good for me knowing that I had classes on the other days. She told me that Wednesday was the only day she could make it. I told her I would try and make arrangements. I took great pride on how I didn’t let her hate get the better of me. Of course I was rejected, but her use of her position enabled her to do so and left me powerless overall. This is the same bullying that rears its ugly head when students who are viewed as more popular use their “power” to regale others with negative views. Learning how to deal with hate sometimes requires a support group, but always requires the individual learn how to cope without endangering themselves mentally or physically.

Lesson number three is to not underestimate the danger of hate. It lingers and can cause damage to all concerned. Glossing over even something as simply as name calling can manifest itself in lifetime of harm and thoughts of retaliation. Indeed, there is a clear need for a battle plan for dealing with hate. First, invest in a good anti-bullying campaign such as http://beyondbullies.org/ and use it for the entire school. Using peers is always best as there is inherit mistrust of adults by some. Secondly, there should be a procedure to follow and it should be part of a staff development plan. First, investigate the cause or causes. Secondly, don’t make judgments. Third, don’t blame. Fourth, support both parties by educating them to the potential impact of their acts. Fourth, make a time line to follow up with those involved. Don’t let the matter drop. Finally, see how widespread this hate might be. Talking to students without naming names can provide depth.

Often time the problem with finding the cause of hate isn’t easy to ascertain. Online videos of students who have been bullied or the victim of hate are shown and yet students frequently miss the point. They think it was terrible, no doubt, especially if the featured child commits suicide. But they don’t understand that people react differently to hate. Was it the child’s fault that he or she couldn’t “take it?” Studies of the impact of hate on an individuals all point to its negative and dangerous nature. What is missing is what should have been done to stop it. There are many instances where a student or parent complained to the school and nothing was done. Unfortunately, it was probably because those involved were too busy, thought they had solved the problem, or wanted the problem to go away. So the final rule is get feedback and act on it. I would suggest that dealing with bullying and hate be part of standardized testing. Having students read about it and write conclusions clearly fits into Common Core standards and yet such reading lessons are non-existent at present.

Last rule: You must do an anti-hate/bullying program school wide using a quality program. Everyone must be involved from classified to certified in the training. Changing attitudes is not a one assembly or staff development program. That is why it is critical to have administration support such causes with time and funding. A district wide policy would be even more effective. Using student mentors is essential as well. And, to gain the maximum benefit the program should give students the opportunity to write about concerns and learn how to deal with them. The program should develop a cadre of students who are trained to help curtain hate and bullying.

Conclusion: Haters are going to hate. They get satisfaction from that and the notoriety may provide the support they need to continue to spread hate. When you see images, read articles, and listen to rhetoric against groups or individuals by adults you have to question what happened to them in life and in school that empowered them to be so hateful. Perhaps just one teacher’s caring remarks and follow up might have made the difference. Regardless, the issue of dealing with hate should be part of every teacher preparation program and every district’s mission statement. There are rules of behavior posted in nearly every school room and yet there are few posted about hate and bullying. Perhaps it is time to move dealing with hate up a notch in the curriculum hierarchy and treat it as a crime against humanity.


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