From the Desk of Kim Thompson
Silverdale Baptist Academy
February 5, 2016
We have just concluded our Courageous Community Conference with Paul Coughlin of the Protectors Series. Our conference began last Sunday evening with a community meeting attended by parents, teachers and students from our SBA and local community. In addition, Paul had a full schedule as we hosted breakfasts for local pastors, guidance counselors and private and public school administrators. He spoke at a large public middle and high school and also to our student body. You may have seen and heard him on our local news programs and talk radio around the city. Here are some of the top takeaway points from the conference:
- Bullying is the #1 form of child abuse in America. It sears the psychological skin of children everyday as they face physical or verbal torment. It is a cultural problem - not a school problem. It must be addressed in the home and through the parents first and foremost.
- There is a difference between occasional rudeness, a mean comment, and bullying. Rudeness: Inadvertently saying or doing something that hurts someone else. Meanness: Purposefully saying or doing something to hurt someone once. Bullying: Intentionally aggressive behavior, repeated over time, that involves an intent to harm, a power of imbalance and repeated acts or threats of aggressive behavior. It may be physical, verbal, relational or carried out via technology.
- Physical aggression: hitting, punching, kicking, spitting, tripping, hair pulling, slamming a child into a locker and a range of other behaviors that involve physical aggression. Verbal aggression: Our parents used to tell us to just "ignore" verbal aggression but we all know that words and threats can, indeed, hurt and cause profound and lasting harm. Relational aggression: when kids use their friendship or threat of taking it away to hurt someone. Social exclusion, shunning, hazing, and rumor spreading are all forms of bullying that crush our kids. Cyberbullying: willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of electronic devices.
- God hates this type of behavior - Proverbs 6:16-19 "There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes (looking down on others), a lying tongue (outright lies or leading others to believe a lie) and hands that shed innocent blood (doing something to others for no good reason), a heart that devises wicked plans (bullies plan their attacks), feet that make haste to run to evil (joining with others to do wrong when the authority is not present, a false witness who breathes out lies (some lie as easily as they breathed), and one who sows discord among brothers (teasing, gossiping, slandering, leading others to imagine the worst about someone). These are all present in the life of a bully. Read more information here.
- It has been believed that bullies lack self-esteem but it is actually the opposite - they have an inflated ego and extreme self-esteem. They have the "I look down on you because I am better" attitude.
- Research shows that it is more effective to help bystanders to become courageous than it is to try to reform a bully, especially a serial bully.
- Research has shown that if a hundred kids see a kid being bullied, that only 13 would come to the aid of the target (13%). Of those 13, most would be girls. (We must teach our boys what it means to be a man that protects others.) It also shows that 40-60 would actually join in with the bully in some form.
- Over 60% of bullying incidents could be stopped if a bystander would step up and intervene in some way.
- We must teach our kids to be courageous. It is a sin not to be courageous according to scripture.
- Paul Coughlin's book, How to Bullyproof Your Child, is a resource that will help parents to raise confident children who will be less likely to draw a bully. Download it today on your favorite e-reader device.
I am so thankful to be here at Silverdale Baptist Academy where we have the privilege of addressing these issues at the heart level with our students. May God give us all wisdom as we seek to influence the next generation for Him.