No place for bullying in Northeast Michigan

Like it or not, most of us are going to be exposed to a bully in our lives.

Bullying has been going on since the dawn of time, although what makes it particularly dangerous today is that social media inadvertently gives bullies more power and victims less self-worth.

The false picture that social media paints makes victims feel “all alone” and, thus, much more vulnerable.

There are ways of pushing back against bullying, but it requires action by all of us: parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, and community leaders.

First, we need to communicate openly and frequently with our sons and daughters, grandkids, or friends. We need to listen to them, and we need to encourage them . We need to return to a time when families gathered around an evening meal and broke bread together.

Second, if we learn of a bullying incident, we need to intervene. We need to contact the appropriate authorities, whether that be teachers, employers or law enforcement.

We need to stop the bullying and support the person being bullied.

Third, we need to teach young people better social skills. They need to be taught the proper way to handle disputes. They need to learn respect and the value of showing that to others. They need to learn healthy ways of dealing with emotions and frustrations.

Fourth, we need to pray for our children. We need to surround them each day with “hedges of protection” throughout their days.

And fifth, we need to build awareness in our communities. We need to stand up to violence and make a statement that bullying is not part of who we are as a community.

There is no place for bullying in Northeast Michigan. Let’s draw that line in the sand and work together to stop bullying once and for all.

(THE ALPENA NEWS)