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Bullying is not a new problem in society but it is one that has grown to epidemic proportions. Bullies prey on those who are weak, different, and unique as well as those they deem a threat to their personal ego.  I like these simple definitions from The Free Dictionary:

 bul·ly 1

n. pl. bul·lies

1. A person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people.

2. A hired ruffian; a thug.

3. A pimp.

There is no acceptable place for bullying in society but that should especially be true within the realm of Christianity.  As believers we are to take action, stand for the weak and confront wrong doing. Bullying within our youth ministries may take many forms including cliques.

There are many websites and articles that address the warning signs of bullying (some links included below).  I have gleaned a few of the warning signs from them as listed here:

Warning Signs of Bullying:

  • frightened of walking to and from school
  • change their usual route
  • unwilling to go to school (or be ‘school phobic’)
  • feel ill in the mornings
  • begin doing poorly in their school work
  • come home regularly with clothes or books destroyed
  • come home starving (bully taking dinner money)
  • become withdrawn, start stammering, lack confidence
  • become distressed and anxious, stop eating
  • have unexplained bruises, cuts, scratches
  • begin to bully other smaller children, siblings
  • become aggressive and unreasonable

http://www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov/hhs_psa/pdfs/sbn_tip_7.pdf

http://www.kidscape.org.uk/parents/signsof.shtml

http://www.olweus.org/public/bullying.page

http://www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov/kids/what-is-bullying.aspx

I want to increase awareness of this issue and hopefully by putting a spotlight on it, cause us to take action. My goal in this post is to broadly address the problem as well as kick off a series of blogs that will address 12 different components of bullying during the week of October 4-8. I have listed the URL’s for each blog below; you may want to set them up for RSS so you do not miss any of the vital content.

These blogs will cover the following topics:

  • Warning Signs of Bullying
  • Effects of Bullying
  • Interview (with the fFather of a victim of bullying)
  • Cyber Bullying (part 1 and 2)
  • Laws About Bullying
  • Teacher/Leader Perspective of Bullying
  • Parents’ Perspective on Bullying
  • Ministry to Victims of Bullying
  • Ministry to Perpetrator who Bullies
  • Ministry to Parents of Bullying Victims
  • Ministry to Parents of Bullying Perpetrators

Blogs to watch October 4-8:

mikecalhoun.wol.org

nathanshoultz.wol.org

johnpowley.wol.org

bobbyfrancis.wol.org

raydeck.wol.org

raydeck3.wol.org

Bullying is a viral problem that needs to be addressed Biblically so join us as we expose the problem, not just the symptom. Each of these blogs is designed to do more than just give information; they will give real insight and tools for your ministry.

By the way, Nickelodeon will address issues of bullies in the new Nick News with Linda Ellerbee special, Sticks, Stone and CyberSlams, premiering Sunday, October 3 at 9pm. I plan to DVR it.

For more on this issue, check out these posts: 

Warning Signs of BullyingMike Calhoun

19 Years Later—A victim reflectsBobby Francis

Bullied To Death at Age 13: A Father’s ResponseMike Calhoun

Beyond the ViolenceJohn Powley

Cyberbullying Part 1Nathan Shoultz

Cyberbullying Part 2: Taking ActionNathan Shoultz

Parents vs. BulliesJohn Powley

7 Steps to take if Your Child is Being BulliedRay Deck II

So… YOU’RE the Parents of that BullyRay Deck II

Bullying: Who’s Job is Prevention?RayDeck3

 

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