Solutions to Bullying at School
provided by Joshua Caleb Johnson
Long Island Families Find Solutions to Bullying from a Surprising Source
When Lori Allen received a phone call from the nurse’s office at her daughter’s Wyandanch, New York, school, she thought it was for something minor, like an upset stomach. But this time, it was different. Her daughter had been bullied — and it was all on video.
As millions of children head back to school this year, more than one in five of them will have a similar experience, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. And in a national study by the Cyberbullying Research Center, nearly 21% of tweens said they had been a target, aggressor or witness to bullying online or by other electronic means.
As parents search for ways to protect their children, a growing group of families are turning to an unlikely source for practical guidance: the Bible.
The Allens talked with both of their children about helpful scriptural principles they learned through their faith as Jehovah’s Witnesses. “I always pray for my son and daughter,” Roland said. They appreciate the Bible’s principles regarding how to treat others kindly, even when doing so is difficult.
They also went to jw.org, the Witnesses’ official website, where a search for the term bullying brought up a wealth of free resources including videos, articles, worksheets and other online activities on topics young people face at school. Those resources include a whiteboard animation entitled, “Beat a Bully Without Using Your Fists” and an animated cartoon about the powerful effect of prayer for those who are being bullied.
The Allens’ children often watch these videos to gain encouragement and advice. “I like the part where it tells you to avoid the danger when you see it,” their son said. “So in school, I know where I should go and where I should avoid.”
“The Bible has proven to be a practical resource for many families to navigate difficult situations in life. The principles found in this ancient book can help adults and children resolve conflict and maintain peaceful relationships with others. – Robert Hendriks III – U.S. SPOKESMAN FOR JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
Madison Bechtle, of Clifton, New Jersey, also turned to the Scriptures when a cyberbully started harassing her in the eighth grade with dozens of disturbing notifications on her cell phone. “It was really crazy. He was sending me pictures of my house. I was really paranoid all the time,” she said.
Reading the Bible and praying calmed her anxiety. “It’s just you and God, and you’re just talking one-on-one,” she said. “It’s very comforting, and it works.”
She also followed the practical steps outlined in the jw.org whiteboard animation “Be Social-Network Smart” to protect herself. She told her parents and teachers about the situation and deleted the social media account her bully had targeted. “I still don’t have that account to this day,” said Madison, now 21.
“Not every situation resolves so easily. But applying the Bible’s advice and focusing on the big picture can help individuals cope and maintain their sense of self-worth,” said Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses.
“The Bible has proven to be a practical resource for many families to navigate difficult situations in life,” said Hendriks. “The principles found in this ancient book can help adults and children resolve conflict and maintain peaceful relationships with others.”
Principles like the so-called Golden Rule of treating others as you’d want to be treated, showing love and being slow to anger are tools Roland Allen said help his family in many circumstances.
About the photo – Lori and Roland Allen look to jw.org to help prepare their children to successfully deal with bullying. –PHOTO COURTESY OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES
Jehovah’s Witnesses come from hundreds of ethnic and language backgrounds, yet we are united by common goals. Above all, we want to honor Jehovah, the God of the Bible. We do our best to imitate Jesus Christ and are proud to be called Christians. Each of us regularly spends time helping people learn about the Bible and God’s Kingdom. Because we witness, or talk, about Jehovah God and his Kingdom, we are known as Jehovah’s Witnesses. To read the Bible online and learn more about us and our beliefs visit jw.org.
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