Bullying in the NFL: How Much a Part of the Culture is This?

The recent revelation concerning bullying within the Miami Dolphins organization has led us to question whether this type of behavior is a part of team and locker room culture or is it an individual event? The circumstances that surround the ongoing taunting and harassment of Jonathan Martin is an indication that greater problems could exist not only within this organization but the league as well. It is important to establish that the concern of this behavior goes beyond a simple incident to an overall question of the status of the climate that exists within the team concept. Bullying historically is not established as an isolated incident, but a repeated pattern of abuse. One would find it hard to believe that grown men under an established leadership with foundations of individual expectations would feel free to get to the point of hostile and bi-racial slurs. The belief that this is simply an issue of “men being men” would allow us to excuse a man’s behavior in most workplace and group settings. I have learned through the years that culture sets climate. What is allowed and accepted by the leadership of any organization, whether it be a business or a sports team, actually becomes the cornerstone of the expected behavior. If individuals are not expected to maintain a level of professionalism as they go about their duties within any organization, then behavioral issues tend to shortly follow. The need to set the tone to impact or change a culture of bullying and aggressive behavior begins at the top. The concept of “team” in our society in pure definition is meant to overcome a lack of civility through a connectedness toward competition. Our team mates are central to being successful in this competition. Racial slurs become more than an issue of making men tough. It goes to the heart of the issue of human rights in a society which is guided by certain established principles. This should translate in the eyes of leadership of any organization that “right is right” and “wrong is wrong.”

5 Ways to Protect Your Kids From Online Bullying

Man subject to cyber bullyingYour children face challenges that you never had to deal with growing up. A recent tale of cyber bullying involved Audrie Pott, a 15 year old California teenage who committed suicide after pictures of her rape circulated around social networks when her rapists uploaded them. While not all cyber bullying is taken to this kind of extreme, it’s something that is pervasive among adolescents.

According to DoSomething.org, 48% of teens have been the victim of cyber bullying, and 70% of teens have seen an example of cyber bullying. Cyber bullying is a complex problem. Some states, like New Jersey, establish strict anti-bullying laws to cut down on cyber bullying. New Jersey laws, according to the NPR, include a crime-stopper hotline that accepts cyber bully reports from students, a training program to teach students the signs of bullying, and schools are rated on their level of bullying. While state and federal legislature attempts to solve the cyber bullying problem, you have several ways to help on your end.

  1. Educate yourself on the attack methods of cyber bullies. You might not be a texting addict or a Facebook lover, but understanding how students communicate on these services is essential to understanding how a bully can harass your child.
  2. Track behavioral changes in your children. A marked difference in behavior indicates some sort of problem, and may be an early warning sign of cyber bullying.
  3. Watch for anxiety related to answering text messages or getting on social networks. If your children is being harassed through these sites, they might be afraid to log in and check their messages.
  4. Talk to your child to see if they will tell you about any potential bullying activity. If possible, friend their social network accounts or have access to the accounts so you can find out what your child is doing online.
  5. If your children don’t want to talk to you about their online activities, using an Internet monitoring solution may be necessary. These types of software often allow you to lock down Internet usage, blocking sites and monitoring exactly what’s going on when your child uses the Internet.

Another issue with cyberbullying that many parents don’t consider is the potential for identity theft. When a student is getting cyber bullied, he may give out personal information, usernames, and passwords that could lead to his identity information being compromised. Identity theft has many repercussions according to Equifax. Your child may have credit cards taken out in their name, or have the cards sent elsewhere so they never even know they exist. This could greatly affect their credit rating. A service like Lifelock.com monitors this information and provides security measures to stop identity theft from happening.

The internet is a powerful tool, but it is also a powerful weapon in the hands of cyber bullies. While you can’t prevent your child from encountering it entirely, you do have the power to mitigate the damage that it can cause.

Making the Distinction Between Self-Esteem and Selfish Esteem

This issue is well articulated by Jon Siebels, the Guitarist of Eve 6, in his blog on the Huffington Post, “School Bullying: To End It, We Must Change Our Culture”.

“When I think of bullies,” Siegel writes, “the first thing that comes to my mind is that a bully is someone who is overcompensating for low self-esteem or self-worth; however, studies have suggested that the opposite is true.”

“In the corporate world people throw their fellow employees under the bus to get a promotion, and at our schools kids harass each other for being different”

In the ’80s and ’90s there was a big push for parents to promote self-esteem in their kids. Have we taken this too far? Are we teaching our kids that believing in oneself has to come at the expense of belittling others? Is this what they are learning by the way that we treat others?

“Dictionary.com has two definitions of ‘self-esteem.’ The first is ‘respect for or a favorable opinion of oneself,’ and the second is ‘an unduly high opinion of oneself; vanity,’ he observes.

“The second definition seems to be the more accurate one today. The term should probably be changed to ‘selfish-esteem.’ ”

“We’ll do whatever it takes to make ourselves appear in a more favorable light. Just take a look at message boards across the net. There is an unbelievable amount of hate being posted on these sites. In our political races the candidate who wins is the one who makes his opponent look the worst. In professional sports, teams are dominated by one or two power players. In the corporate world people throw their fellow employees under the bus to get a promotion, and at our schools kids harass each other for being different,” Siebels notes.

Instill self-esteem, but also make your children aware of the dangers of letting their real sense of self worth get knocked out of the way by too much selfish ambition.


Bobby Kipper and Bud Ramey have co-authored two books and numerous articles on the crisis in youth violence plaguing our culture, addressing “best practices” for making a difference in the gang crisis and bullying epidemic that is impacting an entire generation. Over 4,400 young people committed suicide last year, largely due to the bullying epidemic. Their books, No BULLIES : Solutions for Saving Our Children from Today’s Bully and No COLORS : 100 Ways to Stop Gangs from Taking Away Our Communities, offer advocacy for at-risk youth.

Bobby Kipper, Director and Founder of the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence, is a career law enforcement officer with extensive experience in the area of preventing youth and community violence nationwide. His background includes working on a number of key national initiatives with the White House, Congress, and the Department of Justice.

Bud Ramey is the 2010 Public Affairs Silver Anvil Award winner of the Public Relations Society of America—the highest public affairs recognition in the world. His grassroots public affairs and humanitarian successes and advocacy for at-risk youth stretch across three decades. 


Start “Bully Talks” With Your Kids About Daily Life and Feelings With Questions Like These:

  • What was one good thing that happened today? Any bad things?
  • What is lunchtime like at your school? Who do you sit with? What do you talk about?
  • If applicable, what is it like to ride the school bus?
  • When it comes time for some direct talk about bullies, you might want to consider the following conversation starters:
  • What does “bullying” mean to you?
  • Describe what kids who bully are like. Why do you think people bully?
  • Who are the adults you trust most when it comes to things like bullying?
  • Have you ever felt scared to go to school because you were afraid of bullying?
  • What ways have you tried to change it?
  • What do you think parents can do to help stop bullying?
  • Have you or your friends left other kids out on purpose? Do you think that was bullying? Why or why not?
  • What do you usually do when you see bullying going on?
  • Do you ever see kids at your school being bullied by other kids? How does it make you feel?
  • Have you ever tried to help someone who is being bullied? What happened? What would you do if it happens again?

In spite of our best efforts, our children, especially our teenagers, don’t always tell us about their lives.

“Once your child enters middle school years,

the real dangers begin…”

We suggest that these important communications occur early in school life and that they continue throughout your kids’ secondary school career.

Younger children are more likely to enjoy storytelling about their day. Get a pulse on their activities. Let your child know that you are interested and actively paying attention to what is going on in his or her life.

Teenagers often require a more subtle touch. They typically resist too much parental supervision in general and inquiry in particular. But these conversations are critical and the earlier they start the better. Once your child enters middle school years, and even before, the real dangers begin as the New American Bully begins to use social media and network with older, more physically developed kids.


Bobby Kipper and Bud Ramey have co-authored two books and numerous articles on the crisis in youth violence plaguing our culture, addressing “best practices” for making a difference in the gang crisis and bullying epidemic that is impacting an entire generation. Over 4,400 young people committed suicide last year, largely due to the bullying epidemic. Their books, No BULLIES : Solutions for Saving Our Children from Today’s Bully and No COLORS : 100 Ways to Stop Gangs from Taking Away Our Communities, offer advocacy for at-risk youth.

Bobby Kipper, Director and Founder of the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence, is a career law enforcement officer with extensive experience in the area of preventing youth and community violence nationwide. His background includes working on a number of key national initiatives with the White House, Congress, and the Department of Justice.

Bud Ramey is the 2010 Public Affairs Silver Anvil Award winner of the Public Relations Society of America—the highest public affairs recognition in the world. His grassroots public affairs and humanitarian successes and advocacy for at-risk youth stretch across three decades. 


StopBullying.gov

http://www.eduguide.org/library/viewarticle/2139.

Jon Siebels, Talk with Your Children and Teenagers about Bullying

the Guitarist of Eve 6, in his blog on the Huffington Post, “School Bullying: To End It, We Must Change Our Culture.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jon-siebels.

Leave Nothing Unsaid with Your Child: Have Regular “Bully Talks”

One of the first things we should observe is our children’s relationship with their friends.

If you don’t see any interaction with classmates or neighborhood kids, this could be an open message that your child is struggling socially.

If your child does have frequent interaction with friends, part of your discussion with him or her should include the suggestion to step up for those kids who seem isolated.

Suggest to your child that he or she might have lunch with the kid who sits alone in the cafeteria. Reducing this social isolation is a strong antidote to bullying. If you’re told that such an action may be in violation of unspoken clique rules, it’s also time to include that notion that your kid may be in the wrong clique as part of the talk.

Research tells us that children really do look to parents and caregivers for advice and help on tough decisions. Sometimes spending 15 minutes a day talking can reassure kids that they can talk to their parents if they have a problem.


Bobby Kipper and Bud Ramey have co-authored two books and numerous articles on the crisis in youth violence plaguing our culture, addressing “best practices” for making a difference in the gang crisis and bullying epidemic that is impacting an entire generation. Over 4,400 young people committed suicide last year, largely due to the bullying epidemic. Their books, No BULLIES : Solutions for Saving Our Children from Today’s Bully and No COLORS : 100 Ways to Stop Gangs from Taking Away Our Communities, offer advocacy for at-risk youth.

Bobby Kipper, Director and Founder of the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence, is a career law enforcement officer with extensive experience in the area of preventing youth and community violence nationwide. His background includes working on a number of key national initiatives with the White House, Congress, and the Department of Justice.

Bud Ramey is the 2010 Public Affairs Silver Anvil Award winner of the Public Relations Society of America—the highest public affairs recognition in the world. His grassroots public affairs and humanitarian successes and advocacy for at-risk youth stretch across three decades. 

What Bullying and Gangs Have in Common

[one_half]

BULLIES                                                      

Want recognition

Love “the show”

Don’t mind hurting others

Like strength in numbers*

Seek dominance

Disrespect authority

Want to be admired

Often pay a heavy price as adult

[/one_half]

GANG MEMBERS

Want recognition

Love “the show”

Don’t mind hurting others

Like strength in numbers*

Seek dominance

Disrespect authority

Want to be admired

Often pay a heavy price as adult

*But bullies also act alone, one-on-one


Bobby Kipper and Bud Ramey have co-authored two books and numerous articles on the crisis in youth violence plaguing our culture, addressing “best practices” for making a difference in the gang crisis and bullying epidemic that is impacting an entire generation. Over 4,400 young people committed suicide last year, largely due to the bullying epidemic. Their books, No BULLIES : Solutions for Saving Our Children from Today’s Bully and No COLORS : 100 Ways to Stop Gangs from Taking Away Our Communities, offer advocacy for at-risk youth.

Bobby Kipper, Director and Founder of the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence, is a career law enforcement officer with extensive experience in the area of preventing youth and community violence nationwide. His background includes working on a number of key national initiatives with the White House, Congress, and the Department of Justice.

Bud Ramey is the 2010 Public Affairs Silver Anvil Award winner of the Public Relations Society of America—the highest public affairs recognition in the world. His grassroots public affairs and humanitarian successes and advocacy for at-risk youth stretch across three decades. 

The U.S. is Finally Fighting the Cyberbullying Disease

bully newspaper

The faceless, sometimes even nameless, threat of cyberbullying is a modern inception that has grown exponentially withthe popularity of social networks. As these new threats arise, new policies are needed to combat them, and many of these policies have come in the form of laws intended to slow down the wave of cyberbullying.

Laws, Present and Pending

In 2011, the state of New Jersey enacted a law that makes cyberbullying an infraction that will go on a student’s permanent record. In a push for a similar law in Florida, a bill that passed the Florida Senate will make online bullying the jurisdiction of the state’s public school system, giving school officials the right to reprimand students for actions carried out online.

All in all, every state in the country, with the exception of Montana, has an anti-bullying law, according to Sameer Hinduja and Justin W. Patching of the Cyberbullying Research Center.

The Effects of Cyberbullying

The effects of cyberbullying are endless. A New Jersey anti-bullying law was enacted in response to a rash of suicides linked to online bullying. While this is the most extreme outcome, studies have shown that cyberbullying has the same effects as traditional bullying, making victims feel powerless and causing psychiatric disturbances that last into adulthood, according to a study by U.S.- and UK-based university researchers, published in the JAMA Psychiatry journal. Mental disorders linked to childhood bullying include panic disorders, anxiety, agoraphobia and depression.

Kids Will Be Kids or Crimes

Cyberbullying laws are up for debate. Proponents of the law claim that something must be done to protect kids online. Opponents argue that these laws go too far and don’t accomplish what they are meant to accomplish.

In New Jersey, for example, parents have appealed bullying reports on their children’s records, starting at their local school boards, but working their way into the court system, according to New Jersey Online. It’s escalations like this, opponents say, that waste public resources.

Some anti-gay politicians have taken the position that laws against bullying are just part of the “homosexual agenda,” and protect only LGBT students.

How Parents Help

The opportunity for exposure to things parents would prefer their children not to see is increasing. Directtv, a standard satellite package, has 285 channels, making it more difficult for parents to monitor what their kids see and hear. With 67 percent of all Internet users using social networks, according to Pew Research Center.

Parents do have an ability to affect the prevalence and outcome of cyberbullying. The National Crime Prevention Council offer tips for parents that include keeping your home computers in communal areas, knowing your children’s account information, reviewing their friend lists and discussing what cyberbullying is and if your children have ever experienced it.

As an advent of our new, interconnected world, cyberbullying won’t be solved quickly. Like any epidemic, it will take time for parents, schools and lawmakers to come up with the right solution. Keeping on top of their children’s online activities provides parents with the greatest opportunity to keep cyberbullying out of their children’s lives.

Between Meanness and Bullying

Both meanness and bullying can involve an imbalance of power between the bully and victim with that imbalance including both social class and physical differences.  But meanness has a subjective component and what one person perceives as mean or even cruel behavior may be more the result of underdeveloped social skills and unintentional slights on the part of the perpetrator.

The key difference seems to be frequency, and the intent to control. A bully seeks to make another submissive to his or her power, through social, psychological and physical aggression.

Bullying is a relationship in which one individual seeks to gain power and control over the life of another.

Most experts agree that the behavior becomes “bullying” when it is frequent and intentional.

“The key difference seems to be

not only the frequency

but the intent to control.”

Bullying is repeated and frequent intentional actions that bring harm to an individual.


Bobby Kipper and Bud Ramey have co-authored two books and numerous articles on the crisis in youth violence plaguing our culture, addressing “best practices” for making a difference in the gang crisis and bullying epidemic that is impacting an entire generation. Over 4,400 young people committed suicide last year, largely due to the bullying epidemic. Their books, No BULLIES : Solutions for Saving Our Children from Today’s Bully and No COLORS : 100 Ways to Stop Gangs from Taking Away Our Communities, offer advocacy for at-risk youth.

Bobby Kipper, Director and Founder of the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence, is a career law enforcement officer with extensive experience in the area of preventing youth and community violence nationwide. His background includes working on a number of key national initiatives with the White House, Congress, and the Department of Justice.

Bud Ramey is the 2010 Public Affairs Silver Anvil Award winner of the Public Relations Society of America—the highest public affairs recognition in the world. His grassroots public affairs and humanitarian successes and advocacy for at-risk youth stretch across three decades. 

At What Age Does Bullying Become a Danger to Kids?

While bullying can occur even in the pre-school period of a child’s life, it often reaches its peak when most boys are at puberty and trying to impress the girls who have reached that point an average of two years earlier. While some studies show that the direct physical assault aspect of bullying peaks in the middle school or early high school years and then declines, the verbal abuse aspect appears to remain relatively constant.

“There is a willingness to try out being mean”

In many cases, there is a willingness to “try out” being mean among both girls and boys. Both have discovered new powers but do not have an owner’s manual on how to use them.  In fact, the 21st century dominance culture seems to demand that young people road test some of the relationship notions (and of course, bullying itself is a form of dysfunctional relationship) they recently acquired.

We call it the “landing” of the culture. Our society trains and promotes dominant and aggressive behavior and by middle school it’s looking for a place to touch down.

“Shall I be civil or uncivil?” is the decision at hand.

By the time these kids enter high school, the decision has usually been made.

The good news is that the decision need not be permanent; nor does it need to result in overwhelming sanctions. But it needs to be exposed, counseled, monitored and made accountable if it doesn’t stop.

The best anecdote is teaching your child empathy by role modeling, beginning as early as possible. Exhibit a sincere caring for others, an absence of any kind, a love for animals and nature and at every opportunity, explain the empathetic action to your kids when they see it happening. Kids pay attention.

Teaching assertiveness is also advised. For example, when another child says, “those are the ugliest shoes I have even seen” — the assertive response would be, “That’s not nice. You shouldn’t speak to other people that way.”*

*Civic Commons Radio Program Bullies Be Gone, Cleveland, Ohio, Hosts Dan Moulthrop and Noelle Celeste with Dr. Lisa Damour, April 10, 2012, http://theciviccommons.com/radioshow/bullies-be-gone.


Bobby Kipper and Bud Ramey have co-authored two books and numerous articles on the crisis in youth violence plaguing our culture, addressing “best practices” for making a difference in the gang crisis and bullying epidemic that is impacting an entire generation. Over 4,400 young people committed suicide last year, largely due to the bullying epidemic. Their books, No BULLIES : Solutions for Saving Our Children from Today’s Bully and No COLORS : 100 Ways to Stop Gangs from Taking Away Our Communities, offer advocacy for at-risk youth.

Bobby Kipper, Director and Founder of the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence, is a career law enforcement officer with extensive experience in the area of preventing youth and community violence nationwide. His background includes working on a number of key national initiatives with the White House, Congress, and the Department of Justice.

Bud Ramey is the 2010 Public Affairs Silver Anvil Award winner of the Public Relations Society of America—the highest public affairs recognition in the world. His grassroots public affairs and humanitarian successes and advocacy for at-risk youth stretch across three decades. 

Understand All Five Traditional Forms of Bullying

Isolation

Many of us can remember not being invited to a party or social function. We may also remember days when we were not picked for the kickball team or maybe sat alone at the lunch table. Part of this behavior may be due to the normal developmental insensitivity that many children exhibit toward their peers. But purposeful social isolation and the ongoing attempt to separate and intentionally exclude individuals should be seen as a viable weapon in the bully’s arsenal.

Put downs

When someone made fun of us by making comments about the way we dressed, or possibly our actions in a given situation, it hurt. It still does.

Name-calling

Labeling one another is often a kind of short hand for how we organize the world. But continuously substituting someone’s real name with some sort of critical label or nickname has an emotionally painful impact that bullies understand all too well.

Taunting

Taunting with its ongoing attack and intimidation elements is a powerful bully’s tool. It can take place through inflammatory text messages, social media or through close physical proximity to the bully.

Ongoing Physical Contact

Bullying is rarely about a single incident, the shove delivered unseen in the school corridor, the fight that resolves the issue or any single physical encounter.  Bullying is far more related to patterns. And those patterns often become escalated, leading to the potential for serious physical harm.


Bobby Kipper and Bud Ramey have co-authored two books and numerous articles on the crisis in youth violence plaguing our culture, addressing “best practices” for making a difference in the gang crisis and bullying epidemic that is impacting an entire generation. Over 4,400 young people committed suicide last year, largely due to the bullying epidemic. Their books, No BULLIES : Solutions for Saving Our Children from Today’s Bully and No COLORS : 100 Ways to Stop Gangs from Taking Away Our Communities, offer advocacy for at-risk youth.

Bobby Kipper, Director and Founder of the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence, is a career law enforcement officer with extensive experience in the area of preventing youth and community violence nationwide. His background includes working on a number of key national initiatives with the White House, Congress, and the Department of Justice.

Bud Ramey is the 2010 Public Affairs Silver Anvil Award winner of the Public Relations Society of America—the highest public affairs recognition in the world. His grassroots public affairs and humanitarian successes and advocacy for at-risk youth stretch across three decades.