Bullying: Silence No More!

“Bullying is not a new phenomenon, and schools should be attentive to the needs of all bullied students, not just to those most vocal about their plight” says Dr. Den Trumbull, President of the American College of Pediatricians.

This week is the annual observance of the “Day of Silence” sponsored by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network to bring attention to children and youth who are bullied for their expression of alternate sexual identities. The American College of Pediatricians, however, believes this focus is too narrow and is concerned for all children and adolescents subject to bullying, harassment or other forms of peer-intimidation.  Consequently, the College is releasing a policy statement today on “Bullying at School.”

Because no child should be harassed for his or her unique characteristics, schools should promote an environment of respectful self-expression for all students.  No group should be singled out for special protection, isolation or treatment.

Bullying behaviors extend beyond the school, into neighborhoods, homes and society, and, therefore, parental involvement should be a school’s primary method of addressing the issue of bullying.  Schools should set the tone in the classrooms by emphasizing general respectfulness of all persons and re-affirm that this respect extends to all people in all places.

“In our Statement, we define bullying, clarify the forms of suspect behavior, note the characteristics and effects of bullies, and comment on the prevention of what is a global problem,” Dr. Trumbull explains.  “We ask that in the years ahead the concepts of tolerance for differences of any sort and sensitivity to the feelings of others be incorporated into core curricular programs. This is not a time for ‘silence,’ but rather a time for a strong voice in support of kindness and respect.”

For more information on Schools and the Sexual Orientation of Youth, see the following links:

On the Promotion of Homosexuality in the Schools

Facts About Youth: Informing About the Sexual Development of Youth