The following is an editorial from FOX6 WBRC-TV General Manager Lou Kirchen, first aired on Tuesday, June 8, 2010:
We all have had experience with this…either directly or indirectly…it's called bullying. Verbal abuse…a school yard fight... now it's taken a new form…bullying via the internet. Some would say it's just something you have to deal with…part of growing up…no big deal. Well, we have seen the stories, many confirmed,…about the child or teen who has been the victim of bullying and has committed suicide.
Bullies come in all sizes large and small. Children who bully have learned the behavior from someone, perhaps a parent. Bullies, whose bad behavior haven't been dealt with, will grow up to become abusive adults. Our children learn how to behave by watching and emulating us.
What can we do about bullying? It begins at home…with us. We must be respectful in our discussions about and our interactions with all people, including who are different from us. We need to interact with our children in a way that demonstrates both our respect of and expectations for them.
Know who your children's friends are and how your child is using the internet. Encourage your child to tell you about any instances of bullying and then support them by doing whatever it takes to get it stopped.
You might say…why are you telling me this? It's common sense. Yes…you'd think so, wouldn't you?! Well, there are still a lot of bullies out there causing a lot of pain. They only exist because we tolerate them. What do you think?
If you would like to respond to this editorial, email firstname.lastname@example.org, write
P.O. Box 6
Birmingham, Alabama 35201
or call 205 583 4328