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Bullying back in the spotlight

Posted: November 9, 2013 - 1:39pm

The furor coming out of the Miami Dolphins locker room has brought the topics of bullying and workplace harassment into the national conversation, but the sad truth of the matter is that this is hardly an isolated incident.

Bullying is defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior among that involves a real or perceived power imbalance on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ stopbullying.gov website. The definition goes on the say that “the behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.”

While stopbullying.gov specifically addresses school-aged issues, bullying occurs all across our society, from grade school to college to the workplace to home. No one is immune.

The recently released Youth Risk Behavior survey reported that 20.7 percent of Alaska high school students said they had been bullied on school property within the past year. But the behavior hardly stops with the end of the school day, especially with the pervasive nature of social media, and the incidence of cyberbullying is growing.

We see intimidation and harassment in the workplace — “hostile work environment” has become part of the lexicon — while domestic violence and child abuse statistics indicate that for many people, home is not a safe place either. According to the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, some 8.3 percent of adult Alaskans utilized services from a domestic violence or sexual assault agency during the 2012 state fiscal year; 2.7 percent of Alaska youth received services.

As troubling as the issue is, the typical response may be more so. Dolphins teammates have defended the player identified as the aggressor, essentially blaming the victim for not being tough enough. “You don’t understand our culture,” is a common response.

Is that any different from what we commonly hear in other instances of bullying? “It builds character.” “It’s just kids being kids.” “That’s not bullying, it’s being aggressive.”

Awareness, education and intervention are keys to reducing bullying in society, and certainly efforts are under way at all levels to address the issue. We are beginning to understand just how devastating bullying in any form can be.

But we also need to take a serious look at what it means to be a victim, and how we as a community respond to victimization. Otherwise, the rest of us are no better than the bullies.

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RaySouthwell
1054
Points
RaySouthwell 11/10/13 - 11:40 am
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I repeat your last thoughts

“But we also need to take a serious look at what it means to be a victim, and how we as a community respond to victimization. Otherwise, the rest of us are no better than the bullies.”

So true

Those who want to understand more about workplacebullying can look at these sites I have studied.
http://www.workplacebullying.org/
or Law Professor David Yamada blog
http://newworkplace.wordpress.com/about/

Those who want to become active at the Alaskan legislative level can check this out on Facebook.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/218765534843030/

My nurse friends in Alaska can support the Alaska Nurses Association Resolution #5 Passed in 2009 by the Association.
http://www.aknurse.org/layouts/aknurse/files/documents/bylaws/AaNA_2009R...

RaySouthwell
1054
Points
RaySouthwell 11/11/13 - 08:13 am
0
0
History judges a culture

History judges a culture based on how we treat each other. Here is a documentary on how we treat each other.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfOQhh5-Ei8

Raoulduke
3055
Points
Raoulduke 11/11/13 - 05:55 pm
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judging

Well! I would suppose.We will be harshly judged.We have openly advocated,and allowed torture,Jailing without being charged in a Democracy,and many citizen's losing ALL of their Constitutional Rights if our government deems it one of the many necessary evils to provide National Security,or Global Corporate Security. Does anyone remember the phrase " A KINDER,GENTLER NATION"?

RaySouthwell
1054
Points
RaySouthwell 11/11/13 - 07:21 pm
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Focus on Alaska?

Perhaps we should place our energies on Alaska. I believe DC is a lost cause. We can make a difference here.

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