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Banishing Bullying Behavior

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Banishing Bullying Behavior

The recent tragic suicide of Phoebe Prince has once again catapulted the topic of bullying to the front and center of our attention. It’s not only parents, schools and counselors who need to be aware of the devastating behavior of kids to one another. We all need to be informed of the seriousness of bullying behavior because kids cannot tackle this problem on their own.

I’m so fortunate to have a dear friend and colleague who is an expert in the field of bullying. SuEllen Fried has co-authored three books on bullying, beginning in 1996 with Bullies & Victims, three years before Columbine. Her second book, also co-authored with her daughter, Paula Fried, PhD, Bullies, Targets & Witnesses, was published in 2003. Banishing Bullying Behavior, co-authored with Blanche Sosland, Phd was released at the end of 2009.

In 2002 SuEllen founded BullySafeUSA, a program she has delivered to over 85,000 students in 36 states, as well as to thousands of educators and parents. She is passionate about empowering children to recognize that the pain they are causing for each other is not just bullying; it is a form of peer to peer abuse. She has appeared on the TODAY Show, MSNBC, and was featured on A & E, Bill Kurtis Reports, Bullied to Death.

I’m delighted to share with you a recent conversation I had with SuEllen Fried.

Joanne: How could the tragic suicide of Phoebe Prince happen?

SuEllen: It can happen when school personnel are not on high alert and vigilant about intervening before the bullying becomes physical. It is essential to take a report from a parent very seriously and never to assume that a target will be able to handle peer abuse without adult intervention.

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Joanne Stern

Joanne Stern, PhD, is a psychotherapist with a private practice emphasizing counseling with families, parents, couples and teens. She’s a teacher, consultant, speaker, and expert guest on parenting and family topics, including communication, discipline, self-esteem, addictions, eating disorders, grief, and loss. Parenting Is a Contact Sport: 8 Ways to Stay Connected to Your Kids for Life is her first book. A mother and grandmother, she and her husband, Terry Hale, live in Aspen, Colorado.


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8:22AM PDT on Apr 25, 2014

Let’s End This Madness


8:22AM PDT on Apr 25, 2014

As a society, we admire and reward the success of focused directness. The question is: What happens when acceptable “assertiveness” is shoved over… into unacceptable “aggressiveness” and bullying? Where is this line drawn, and who actually draws that line between the two?

Our children, our family, friends, and every person breathing on this earth are important, are worthy, are loved and cherished for who they are. We are important, worthy, and cherished for who we are—and not what we do, what we look like, how much money we have, etc.

If children grew up with this knowledge embedded in their hearts, I believe that there would be less potential victims of bullying; teen suicides and/or attempted suicides would be reduced; and so many other positive effects will follow them through adulthood.

If adults had this knowledge embedded in their hearts, I believe that there would be less abuse, fewer suicides, and less domestic violence and killings.

If all of us believed this in our own hearts, we wouldn’t sit back and allow others to be threatened, bullied, or abused. We would have the courage to step in and do something… and not stand by and let things happen, because we’re afraid of getting involved.

We need to do is share this simple message—over and over again—until this knowledge is so deeply embedded in everyone we come in contact with that no words, actions, or persons can take that away from them.

2:46AM PST on Feb 3, 2012

Thanks for the helpful info.

8:16PM PST on Dec 2, 2010

Trust me! A school can be "excellent" under grade academics...but what about Bullied Children....does that make an "excellent school"? And when innocent parents who have cried out for 'help' because their child is severely bullied and that bullied child duplicates what is done to them towards them from school...the parent doesn't know about why the child is unruly and violent and those parents "cry out for help" for a ten yr. old child...Do you think it is protocol, correct and justifiable for innocent parents to be condemned as emotional abusers by the system? They didn't know what to do for the child...even the very school didn't want to hear a child's cry when he/she was being bullied...or do you think it's correct for child to not be heard about bullying and he/she be called a lier? by teachers and principals? And the parents are said to go overboard when they are trying to stop bullying?

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5:32PM PDT on Oct 6, 2010

bullying is ridiculous behavior.

6:10PM PDT on Oct 1, 2010

It's excellent that more and more anti-bullying programs are being founded and taking off. I was bullied terribly in school--to the point where I wanted to kill myself. Being on the autism spectrum didn't help; it was probably part of the reason why I got bullied. The only critique I have is that the bullying cannot focus on just general bullying. It has to address the factors that go into bullying. People fear what they don't understand--and if they don't understand someone, they target that person for bullying.

12:58AM PDT on Jul 6, 2010


7:02AM PDT on Jun 29, 2010

I was bullied in grade school, it sucked. But that was a long time ago. No one should have to put up with this, especially at school or work.

6:41PM PDT on Jun 25, 2010

Yes Bullying is vvvvvery BAD so.............We need to learn to respect ourselves Then we can respect others ?AND STOP BULLYING>ADULTS must REACT .....OTHERWISE IT WILL GET OUT OF HAND?

10:22AM PDT on Jun 19, 2010

Thank you for the article.

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Outstanding article and very pragmatic. Abuse crosses every socio-economic line. It is not a functio…


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