Bob Denny: Kids offer solution to bullying
Published: Monday, December 2, 2013 at 3:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 2, 2013 at 3:03 p.m.
A local television station recently brought us a story of Boston first grader Danny Keith. Danny was so happy to serve as the water boy and unofficial “cheerleader” for the fifth grade football team.
Danny has a medical history of a brain hemorrhage, and years of speech therapy. In spite of these challenges, he is a big supporter of the team. He always comes to games, and shows his support with active cheering. He shows respect and appreciation for his team by typically wearing a tie and jacket to all the games.
Recently released from the hospital, he resumed his rooting for his team. But he was victimized by bullying from other boys, who admitted to picking on him, because of his different way of dressing and his speech issues.
But the team wouldn’t put up with their friend and supporter being bullied! They decided to take action of their own. They all came to school dressed like Danny, with ties, to show their respect and appreciation of him.
On the TV interview, one of the boys spoke up for him. The boy had trouble holding back tears, and his voice broke a little as he explained what they were doing, because they love and appreciate him.
With this overwhelming support, do you think the bullying problem will be a thing of the past for Danny, and maybe for the school? I’d like to think so. His mom said that when he went to bed, she noticed he was trying to keep from crying. She asked why he was crying, and Danny said, “I’m so happy because I have so many friends!”
What you can do? Bullying has been a major problem for a large number of kids, and some lives have even been lost along the way. For years, teachers, counselors, administrators, and parents have worked to find workable solutions to the bullying problem.
Many of the ideas probably have helped, but what a breath of fresh air to see fifth graders that are concerned and active, and do what they can to fix the problem themselves!
I think this is a problem that when met with the care, thought, and efforts of these kids, and all of us, will help the victims as well as the perpetrators of bullying to learn better ways to build that positive, happy and successful life and friendships that we all deserve.
Bob Denny has taught psychology at Florida Gateway College for ten years, and is a licensed mental health therapist in Florida. Your comments are welcome at Bob.Denny8@gmail.com.
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