On April 6, 2009, a nightmare became Sirdeaner Walker's reality. Her eleven year old son, Carl Joseph Walker-Hoover ended his own life. He could no longer bear being called the f-word and other anti-gay slurs at school. It didn't matter to his peers that Carl never identified himself as gay or straight. They continued to verbally attack him until that fateful night when Carl took matters into his own hands.
The school knew about the bullying -- Sirdeaner had reported it. The school administration's response? This type of thing is everyday kid's play and will eventually work itself out.
It never did.
This past month, Phoebe Prince, another youth from Massachusetts killed herself because of bullying.
The reason that I'm bringing you this information today is twofold:
First, and I cannot emphasize this enough: old-worn out authoritarian models of shame, disappointment, extreme harsh consequences, yelling, abandoning, expelling and threatening - set young bullies back, if not on a path to prison.
"Misguided use of 'zero tolerance' school discipline and high-stakes testing poses a serious threat to the educational opportunities of America's youth. While they are usually considered separately, these two policies are actually closely related. Together, zero tolerance and high-stakes testing have turned schools into hostile and alienating environments for many of our youth. The devastating end result has been a "school-to-prison pipeline," in which huge numbers of students throughout the country are being pushed out of school and toward the juvenile and criminal justice systems." - Judith Browne-Dianis
Do Something Different: A humane approach will work in extreme situations, and it will most certainly resolve any conceivable issue you have with problematic behaviors and academic struggle.
If you really want to propel challenging - bullying - youth forward into their "best" selves, you must work with them! Understand, there is a reason why they are bullying! Find the "What" and you will get your solution. Connect with compassion and positive, affirmative, directive attention, no matter how blatantly awful their behavior choices have been.
My www.AcademicSuccess101.com Online Course provides strategies that work for professionals and parents who are dealing with Today's Youth. This program will yield self-sustaining results that will achieve the desired outcomes in reducing behavioral problems and meeting today's academic standards!
Rather than looking at the bad behavior as "bad," you will learn how we are inadvertently participating in the continuation of the behavior in "infinitesimal" ways that, once "fine-tuned," will yield amazing results.
Its companion gift book, Make A Difference with the Power of Connection, is an excellent read for educators who need simple, immediately applicable strategies without spending days mired in text and extensive program implementation and processes.
Take thirty minutes to read, Make A Difference with the Power of Connection, in its entirety at:
Then, when you see how what you've read has changed how you think, speak and work things out with today's youth, take advantage of our 20-50% Discounts and make the investment in this book for everyone within your circle of influence. It's the gift book that will remain on a person's desk to be reached for time and time again.
Reaching out to make a difference...
PS ...We accept P.Os. at: http://makeadifference.com/U/?BuyWithPO
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