CNN Blog: Who Says There Is No Solution to Bullying?


By Becki Cohn-Vargas, Not In Our School Director

All of us have experienced cruel behavior, either as a participant, victim or witness.The Not In Our School “Break Bullying”public service announcement, donated by theMAKE ad agency, appears to bring back those bad memories. The announcement depicts adults in a professional environment re-enacting the personal middle school bullying experience of the director, Mike Nelson. His point: If we would not stand for this at work, why do we stand for it happening to kids in schools? The purpose of the PSA is to make us want to do something—to intervene, unlike the co-workers who watch their colleague pushed to the floor.

Not In Our School focuses on solutions. It provides positive films and resources to networks of schools, so when MAKE first presented the video, we weren’t sure we could use it. But then we saw what happened when people viewed it. They started talking about how it looked when adults felt the kind of pain children experience every day. …


Bullying is a systemic problem and can only be prevented or stopped by teaching a culture of personal respect for everyone in the school, the workplace, or even in the church. Bullying hurts not just the victims but also those who look on and do nothing. Many bystanders, including superintendents, principals, teachers, parents, as well as children and youth, abhor the guilt and helplessness they live with for lack of good tools for change. Deep down they know on some level that in standing by they are participating in a system that supports looking the other way, which grows the problem. Most people are doing the best they know how, and when we all believe that, we can stop judging and can get down to the important work of really seeing and hearing other points of view. I’m very pleased to know of the solution focused work of NIOS. How can we bring it to other parts of the country?


Reprinted from on


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