“Any discussion of bullying requires an acknowledgement that it’s replete with significant variables,” Leddy writes. “Traditional bullying if often not apparent, and cyberbullying, even when open and notorious, is very difficult to stop.”
After explaining from a legal perspective why laws against bullying are so ineffective, Leddy concludes:
Despite passionate demands for official action against the various sizes and shapes of bullying, it is parents who remain their children’s best line of defense against those who would make their young lives miserable.
Leddy’s point was illustrated by the experience of a student at Auburn Junior High School in upstate New York.
Seventh grader Lizzy Dickson was picked on regularly in school and on the way home. When her abusers moved from nasty comments to pushing and shoving her, Lizzy decided she’d had enough.
Amy Dickson’s concern for her daughter didn’t make her lash out at the school for not doing their jobs.
She didn’t start a campaign to get the bullies locked up.
Instead she worked with her daughter to create a support group for students who were targets of bullies to empower them to stand up for themselves and others.
Together Lizzy and her mother created a Facebook page called “Stop the Bull” to support other local students who were bullied. They created bright green T-shirts with the words of a poem called “Haters” on the back. Lizzy and a friend wear the T-shirts to school to promote the anti-bullying campaign, which is gaining support from fellow students and teachers.
And Amy Dickson talked to her daughter about the hurts bullies may have experienced that make them feel the need to lash out at others.
Daniel Leddy would be impressed.