The Norman City Council passed a Bullying Prevention Proclamation last Tuesday night. The Norman Police Department is working closely with the Norman Public Schools, parent groups and churches to come together as a community-wide effort to prevent bullying. This is not just about the targets of bullying but those who bully too. We need to address the causes of this behavior and the reactions to it as well.
Crossroads has an anti-bullying program that will help both targets and perpetrators. Every child deserves to grow up and learn in a safe environment. Bullying has caused everything from poor school performance to suicides . Those who are bullied can sometimes be the one to exploded, as studies show 75% of school shooters were bullied.
Some people have expressed concern for Freedom of Speech, with regards to anti-bulling programs and laws. I suspect those folks have not read or understood the definition of bullying. We all have a fundamental right to express our views but we also have a responsibly to do so in a respectful and non- harassing manner. Simply put, your rights end where my nose begins.
Most of us have witnessed or seen the effects of bullying on children. We cannot remain silent about the things that matter, to paraphrase the Reverend Dr. King. The efforts by groups from many walks of life, over the next few months will be to protect all children in our community.Just as importantly, to focus on helping rather than punishing the perpetrators and the targets.