Sunday, September 30, 2007

Schools Back In Session and so am I

It's been a while since I've sat down and written. In that time I have been in Alabama, (sweet home Alabama) where I did an inservice for a school district. The people I had the opportunity to meet with were certainly caring individuals. Many came up to me after my presentation and asked for clarification of what they might do to help the kids who are being bullied.

Most recently I just returned from Durango, Colorado. Talk about beautiful! I had the opportunity to speak to two middle schools, was a keynote speaker at the annual "Parents Make The Difference" conference and did a presentation open to the public. Again, my hostesses were extremely congenial and offered me the 10cent tour of their wonderful community.

So in the matter of just a couple of weeks I had gone from the deep south where Helen Keller made her home and you can find full sized rockets on display to near the four corners area rich in southwest tradition and motif.

The one uniting factor is that both areas experience bullying. Of course Colorado is noted for Columbine... need more be said?

New York is calling me later this school year and I look forward to returning there.

Unfortunately bullying continues to rear its ugly head. Thankfully there are enough concerned individuals, parents and teachers and administrators who care enough about our children that they invite someone like me in to try and make a difference.

My message is simple, Bullying Hurts! No one deserves to live in pain! Students have the ability/power to help end bullying. Make bullying not cool by not repeating the name calling, rumors, forwarding derogatory e-mails. Stepping in and rescuing a victim from the bullies. When bullying is no longer seen as being cool, it will begin to end.

That's all for now. Don't forget, visit my website, and take the bully survey. While you're there, take a look around, there is a lot of good information. Drop me an e-mail, let me know your thoughts.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

I didn't mean it ... What I did on my summer vacation

Well, it certainly is nice to be in a position where you can take off a whole month and do nothing. OK, that's not exactly what I did during July. Had lots of visits from family and friends,did a little travelling, lots of landscaping work around the house and managed a little time for some pontoon boat time on the lake:)

Last year about this time I buried my younger brother. Talk about being a victim, poor David rarely caught a break. He held several jobs at a time but could never quite make ends meet. He was one of those people for whom life is a struggle. David was a severe diabetic and was confined to a wheel chair since having both legs amputated. He was a hard worker and great at robbing Peter to pay Paul. Growing up in our dysfunctional family he managed to survive the rath and dislike of our Dad. David had the misfortune of having a speechimpediment and being overweight. "You sound like a #$%##!@@ foriegner, speak #$%^&#@ English." Wonderful words of encouragement coming from your father. Well, he survived, but then we all did, just some better than others.

David gave up his struggle last year about this time. I personally think life became too difficult for him to deal with anymore. As a memorial we planted a tree in his name and care for it daily. David, you aren't forgotten.

Neither are all the people who sufer from being bullied or being bullies. Just day or two ago Eric Hainstock, the 16 yr old from Wisconsin was convicted of shooting his Principal to death. The school cotends Eric was a bully and this shooting was in retaliation for his suspensions. His Defene attorney says he suffers from ADD and was bullied and brought the guns to school to scare the principal into stopping the kids from teasing him.

Doesn't really matter does it? Someone brought a gun or guns to school. The were either bullying or beng bullied and wanted to scare others into action. Bottom line, someon wound up hurt. Even worse, they wound up dead!

STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!!! What part of STUPID do you not understand? What we have in ths country is a lack, hell, it seems to be a complete absence of RESPECT! You are different from me, so I don't have to respect you! You are different so I don't have to care about you! YOU AREN'T LIKE ME, YOU'RE DIFFERENT!

Lets get back to basics. TREAT OTHERS THE WAY YOU WOULD LIKE TO BE TREATED! Everyone deserves RESPECT! Of course they are different, thats what we call DIVERSITY! It makes the world go 'round! Let's try a little LOVE instead of hatred and mistrust.

I wasn't in the World Trade Center on 9/11, but I bet no one made a frantic phone call to let someone know they hated them. NO! They called home to say "I LOVE YOU!" LOVE WINS in all instances!

Let's spread a little love and give respect to others in our corner of the world and together we will make the whole world a better place.

As always your comments are welcome. Let me know what you think.

I'm off to Alabama to present at a District In Service, back in a few days. Check out my website,


Monday, June 25, 2007


I read that a young Middle School student received detention for putting his arm around his girlfriend. It seems as if it would have been an innocent gesture, however this particular school has a “NO TOUCH” policy.I think I can understand the mentality behind this policy. With a firm NO TOUCH policy in effect it would certainly cut down on the physical incidents of bullying. It also cuts down on one of human kinds most basic and necessary instincts/needs; to touch and be touched.

There are those who claim this no touch policy is a violation of our First Amendment Rights, perhaps so…touching is certainly one way in which we express ourselves. I think whether it is a violation or not is best left up to the legal minds to decide. Is it right however, for a school or any institution to implement a policy of NO TOUCH? That is open for discussion.

I consider myself to be an expert on bullying, based on my experiences and research. I know that bullying takes on numerous forms and perhaps foremost in our minds is physical bullying. Goodness knows when I was in my bullying years I was involved in my share of physical bullying. However, if you were to ask a present day student what the majority of bullying is, physical or emotional, I bet the answer would be a hands down EMOTIONAL BULLYING.

Emotional bullying is making someone feel as if they are less than they are. Calling someone names, starting rumors about someone or ostracizing them, ignoring them, all forms of EMOTIONAL BULLYING! All destructive, all intended to make someone feel bad about themselves. I recently had the opportunity to meet a woman who’s daughter committed “bullycide” (see or “Bulycide” is the name given to suicide victims who choose to take their own lives to avoid being bullied. This woman shared the story of her daughter’s bullycide. It seems she was being emotionally bullied by her ex-friends, no longer part of the “group” for whatever reason. They turned to sending her notes and telling her she was worthless, “go home and kill yourself” they said and wrote to her in notes. She did. So, is a NO TOUCH policy effective in ending bullying and harassment? Maybe, but teaching manners, appreciation of diversity and education that we are all in this life together and depend upon each other might be a better way to help stop bullying. What do you think? Your opinions and comments are always welcome, don’t forget to visit my website

Thursday, June 14, 2007

In my own backyard

I recently became aware of an incident of "hazing" right here in my own virtual backyard. It seems that this has been going on for some while, now, that it has been brought into the public attention it is even more shocking!

Students have been subjected to sexual transgressions often associated with incarceration. Yes, it does happen even in "safe, sleepy little communities! IT IS CALLED BULLYING! It exists in all levels of society, in all economic strata, in homes, schools, the workplace and in society.

As I would have told the students in Coopersville, MI, "Bullying hurts! No one deserves to live in pain."

You have the power to begin to eliminate bullying....don't support it! Don't empower the bully, don't repeat rumors, help those who are being bullied or at the very least, make sure they get helped. REPORT and Dangerous, Disturbing or possibly Destructive incident you are aware of.

Someone was aware of what was being done to these students! Someone knew it wasn't right! Someone did REPORT and quite possibly, lives were saved. What are your thoughts?

Don't forget to visit my website,, take the bully survey and drop me an e-mail if I can help. Til next time....

The Recovering Bully