The moment the "B" word is mentioned to middle or high school students, they turn their ears off. Why? Because the word "bullying" has become one of the most overused and misused words in schools across America.
I've been speaking to teenagers for 27 years and we are witnessing the word, "bullying" get bullied. It's just a word, but everything is labeled bullying anymore. Take the time to read a handful of bullying polices/laws in different schools in different states and you will quickly notice that professionals and educators have opposing thoughts on what is considered bullying.
"Actual bullying, many educators and social scientists say, is intentional, repetitive abuse by a powerful person toward a less powerful target." CNN
But, many professionals believe that it does not have to be repetitive and its "bullying" even if its a one-time situation. Is it bullying to whisper behind someones back or tease someone or fight or laugh when someone trips etc? No matter what you feel, the truth and reality of the situation is that everything is quickly slapped with the bullying label. Worst yet, the kids we are trying to help are still being hurt.
One thing we can all agree on school bullying and cyber bullying through social media has increased. We must do something! Our youth need us more than ever before. Solutions to end bullying all began with great intentions when schools, educators, professionals and the state governments created laws to protect the bullied. But, in the meantime, our kids are tuning us out over this one word, BULLYING.
What do we do?
As a motivational youth speaker, my hope is for people to stop debating over what may or may not be bullying and dig down deep to the root cause of BULLYING. Our school assembly (Destroy Illusions) NEVER mentions the word, "bullying" at all and yet, we are honored to be considered one of the top BULLYING prevention school assemblies in America.
I honestly believe that inspiring students to RESPECT themselves & others is the solution. My goal of each school assembly is to change the atmosphere of the hallways, classrooms and home life of the students. During the school assembly, I use of some comedy magic tricks and raw and real talk to destroy the illusions/lies students have been believing about others and then I am able to replace those lies with truth/reality. Creating that atmosphere of kindness is having a positive impact in ways that I never imagined. The best compliment we receive is when parents reach out to us through email or social media and say, "I don't know what was said during the assembly, but it completely changed my child and our home life."
My wife and I along with the help of Bryan Wright, founder of Dynamic Family Solutions
have spent the last couple years writing a 5 week REAL RESPECT curriculum that will be geared for parents to do weekly sessions with their children as well as schools to do with students. Just like the school assembly, this curriculum will NEVER mention the word "bullying", yet the result will be seeing much © KIND'R students.
The fact is, BULLYING is a problem. I wish I could stand before you and tell you that we could end it. I can't. But, I do believe that we CAN make KINDNESS the norm. I do believe that teaching and focusing on REAL RESPECT rather than the "B" word is and will continue to impact our youth in a much more positive way.
For more information about bringing motivational speaker, Tom Coverly to your school to speak, please go to DestroyIllusionsTour.com.