Submitted by: Julie Clingerman
Years ago one of my children was the victim of bullying at a private school. It was a horrifying series of incidents but I am proud to say she is a strong, beautiful young lady in spite of the experience. Since that time, it seems anti-bullying campaigns have become prevalent in our community with many programs implemented in the schools to help children cope with and overcome bullying. I am a huge advocate of these programs and applaud the groups that initiate them.
Even with the wonderful programs in place, and the fabulous job our schools are doing to eradicate bullying, I have observed a major influence in our community that is counter-productive to the anti-bullying campaign.
The negative influence is the parents themselves. On any given day, parents can be observed bullying each other in the carpool lanes and school parking lots. Bullying takes place among and against PFC/PTA members, in church groups, committees, and while driving the local streets of our community. This past week parents of a young child bullied a Pleasanton sports league to allow their daughter to play on a team that she was not selected for during tryouts. When their attempts at bullying the coach failed, they went to the board where their bullying efforts paid off.
It does not matter how many wonderful anti-bullying programs and campaigns we initiate, if we do not model appropriate behavior at home and in our community, our children will never be free from this terrorizing harassment. It is imperative that we do not engage in or condone bullying behavior. By giving in to the bullying demands of parents, such as the parents who bullied the sports league, it is only rewarding them for their atrocious behavior and will encourage them to continue acting in the same despicable manner.
The greatest teacher a child has is his parents and putting an end to bullying starts in the home them.
Thank you for your time,