A Clever and Informative Response to “That’s So Gay”
At Ignite Boulder, a night of presentations in Boulder, CO featuring speakers about their topic of choice, LGBTQ advocate Ash Beckham gave a hilarious and clever presentation about the proper usage of the phrase, “That’s so gay.” Ash creates a humorous flowchart depicting the proper situations to use the term “that’s so gay” in the hopes of creating a larger societal shift towards acceptance of the LGBTQ community. The overall message of her presentation is made even more clear when she says, “Say what you mean, and mean what you say, because the words that you choose matter.”
Bill in Iowa house addresses cyberbullying
A new anti-bullying bill in Iowa has won initial approval in the Iowa House. This bill cracks down on bullying that takes place outside of school hours during school-sponsored events, and even extends to cyberbullying. Rep. Frank Wood, a supporter of the bill, said, “We are seeing an increasing amount of social bullying going on or harassment going on with Twitter and Facebook and all the other social media. This is a very much needed bill.” Some questioned how this would expand the roles of educators as “behavior and civility police.” Want to know what if any anti-bullying regulations exist in your area? Visit StopBullying.gov and click on their interactive map to find out about the anti-bullying laws are in your state.
The BULLY Effect on Anderson Cooper 360°
On Feb. 28, a new hour-long documentary special, The BULLY Effect, premiered on Anderson Cooper 360° on CNN. The film shows the impact of the documentary BULLY and how filmmaker Lee Hirsch’s helped spark an international social movement to address bullying and intolerance. AC360° has documented the journeys of several of the remarkable young men and women in the film and depicts how the movement impacted their lives. Read more about The BULLY Effect here. You can also purchase a copy of the BULLY Educator DVD and Toolkit, which features 2 short NIOS films and our Quick-Start Guide.
Training Kids for Kindness
According to author and Ph.D candidate Brooke Dodson-Lavelle, we must train kids for kindness and compassion and doing so will help the issue of bullying in schools. Dodson-Lavelle and her colleagues believe that people have a natural tendency for empathy and compassion, which is easy to evoke for people we care about. However, for those we dislike, we feel little discomfort in their suffering. To address compassion for others, Dodson-Lavelle and her colleagues created a new program called the Cognitively-Based Compassion Training Program (CBCT) based on impartiality, affection, and self-compassion. Dodson-Lavelle and her colleagues from Emory University have used the program successfully in elementary schools, and hope to expand the program to train kids to be kind and compassionate.
Efforts grow to halt workplace bullying
Workplace bullying can take many forms. It can involve verbal harassment, threats, mean comments, relentless teasing, or even physical harm. We depicted the issue of workplace bullying in our short film, "Break Bullying." In 2011, over half of employers reported workplace bullying in their organizations. A workplace bullying law would protect those who are bullied that are not in protected groups. Currently, more than a dozen states are considering laws against workplace bullying that will help the victims pursue benefits, lost wages, and even medical expenses to push employers to prevent hostile work environments. Those who oppose the bill feel that workplace bullying will create “frivolous” lawsuits. However, England, Ireland, and Sweden already have workplace anti-bullying laws in effect.
Do reality TV shows glorify bullying?
Psychologists argue that the media sends conflicting messages about the seriousness of bullying, essentially glorifying bullying for entertainment. The same networks that focus on the epidemic of bullying in the U.S. also air reality TV shows depicting verbal abuse and behavioral aggression for the sake of the show. Psychologists worry about the long-term effect of these conflicting messages. According to psychologist Sarah Coyne, "Research shows in the short term our own concepts of aggression are activated in the brain when we watch these shows, and we are primed to behave aggressively." Viewers may unintentionally model the relational aggression depicted on reality TV in their relationships, friendships, and behavior at the workplace. "In the end, being nice makes for dull entertainment," said Gary Namie, psychologist who runs the Workplace Bullying Institute.