Bully on Bullying
Much is being written right now on the so called Anti-Bully movement, how to handle bullies, beat the bully, bully be gone, beware of bullies, and bully this-bully that. Since the tragic incidents at Columbine High School many attempts have been made to link specific tragedies with bullying. While I will not deny that bullying behavior may have been a contributing factor, the case for directly linking bullying to some of these acts violence is not adequately made from my perspective. This is a very specific claim of a causal relationship from bullying experience to these incidences. But is it true?
Quaere verum Bully Busters
There are millions of individuals who have been bullied and never committed suicide. There are millions of individuals targeted for bullying who never went on violent shooting sprees. Why? Are we to deny the other elements? Are we simply seeking the holy grail or silver bullet- a quick and easy fix? Are we seeking an emotional outlet by demonizing bullies and affixing blame to only "the bully"? Are we creating a rewarding victim culture? Making such specific argument comes with some serious responsibility. This whole "Stop The Bully Epidemic" and "Anti-Bully" ideology raises many questions for me.
Is Bullying Such a Mystery?
My research thus far has indicated that bullying behavior in an of itself is not the sole cause of these violent incidences. It is part of a larger matrix. To attribute a single factor as the primary cause may be dangerous and result in us to stop looking for context, and all the other contributing factors that lead up to the incident. It is not a mystery. In fact, my teacher Gavin de Becker (leading expert/author The Gift of Fear) teaches us that one of the greatest tools we have for learning to predict violence situations is to start by refusing to it call it a mystery. This puts us in a seat of responsibility and on a good track to learn and prevent such incidents in the future. A must read for parents and teachers is Protecting The Gift by Gavin de Becker. It will change your life.
How Seriously Do I Take Bullying?
My position does not mean that bullying is not a serious issue. That does not mean that I do not take bullying very seriously. That does not diminish the lives of those who have passed away with some element of bullying. Quite the opposite, I have devoted my life to teaching men, women and children to live safer, happier, healthier lives. I am devoting serious resources, time and energy from my personal life, security company and martial arts school to help others because we can make a difference.
So Called Anti-Bullying Programs
My point is that we must tread carefully here and make sure we do our due diligence. We need to make sure that this bullying movement does not turn into a modern day witch hunt. In my view, this latest bullying movement is the result of some very powerful and persuasive, well-intentioned non-experts. Just take a look and you will clearly see that most of the so called "anti-bullying" programs were developed by people who are not professional protectors. That is not to say that academics and individuals from other fields do not have something valuable to contribute. I'm just saying that the butcher shouldn't be teaching how to do a liver transplant just because he sees livers every day or feels strongly about it. I think liver transplants are better left to specialists who you guessed it... actually transplant livers.
Personal Security & Self Defense from Bullying
My courses were developed through the lens of a protector, a bodyguard, military and law enforcement trainer and a teacher who has helped thousands of children (and adults) successfully deal with bullying. I'm proud to say that most of those incidents were resolved peacefully. If they did get physical, the harm was minimized on both sides due to the techniques and tactics my team and I teach. Perhaps more importantly, we use this opportunity to teach much broader safety and personal protection skills for the dangerous situations children are more likely to encounter.
Has Bullying Become the Latest Scare Tactic? Remember Stranger Danger?
I respectfully disagree with the "Anti-bully" effort. Our research indicates that it is causing more harm than good in some cases. Does it really warrant Government (your tax dollars) funding, and anti-bullying legislation? Is this a governmental responsibility? Anytime I hear of "new legislation" being introduced it gives me pause to consider the potential erosion of our constitutional freedoms and liberties. In this case, it gives me cause for concern because I have always believed children's safety as a parental, teacher and protectors domain.
"I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there."- Mother Teresa - War - Peace
I've been posting blog articles about it and I cannot reconcile any effort that would vilify a child. Our approach is pro-children and pro-peace. We advocate a different manner of thinking - a somewhat holistic one. I advocate a bullying prevention program driven by facts, evidence and shared best practices.
"Make the bullies go away" is like wishing all criminals magically disappeared to the land of gumdrops, unicorns and rainbows. No matter how one attempts to rationalize it, denial is never a good safety strategy.
Nothing Provides Peace of Mind Like Living Informed With Truth & The Confidence of Being Able To Defend Yourself. You Can Give The Gift of Confidence to Your Child.
Our bully prevention and education training is developed to give children, parents and teachers peace of mind. We also advocate two other programs if you cannot access ours.
Founder, Arizona Bullying Intervention Initiative
The Bullying Prevention Project
For more information on our Bullying Prevention Education Training Programs contact:
The Arizona Bullying Intervention Initiative - AZ Bullying Prevention Project