Bullying – it’s out of the closet!

 

An ages-old practice is still with us: bullying and its motley shades of harassment, belittling, insults, teasing, and abuse. The only new thing is that now it is out of the closet.

 

So now that it’s out of the closet there are conversations, curriculum, and media about bullying, about kids humiliating kids – demeaning others physically, psychologically, and, in a twenty-first century twist, digitally. 

 

This photo originally appeared in my book from the 90's entitled Secrets. It is still relevant.

 

However, in an age of economic scarcity for schools, combined with the avalanche of tests and regulations unleashed by No Child Left Behind, it is worrisome that the new awareness of harassment may not be able to make it into classrooms everywhere. So it’s up to the teachers, parents, and kids in-the-know on this subject to personally keep the heat on as much as possible!

 

I just viewed an interesting video on bullying that I responded to more strongly than others I’ve seen recently. Here’s why: when I’m on a photoshoot, I strive to become invisible, letting the kids be themselves so that the finished photos show real-life children. (You’d think it would be hard to be invisible toting around 10 pounds or so of equipment and being almost twice as tall as your subjects but, honestly, it’s not! Kids are generally so unself-conscious that they stop paying attention to me really quickly.) However, in this thirty-minute video called How to UnMake a Bully, with not a spec of adult narration, the kids run the show so it feels very real.

 

Check it out and pass it around, it’s really all about kids speaking to kids about bullying. And the video editing, btw, is excellent so it’s enjoyable to watch! Congrats to director-producer Mike Feurstein, who also produces an online Sci-Fi Adventure Series called eScape with acting done by, who else but, real kids! Plus, SenisiMultimedia musician Steven Senisi has written lots of the music heard in the eScape series.

 

Photo requests on this subject are increasing so it looks like the word is getting out. I have scheduled two photo shoots for January (one with girls, one with boys) to gather new material on bullying to add to the ones I already have, such as these below. It’s not an easy subject because you’re always just a hair’s breadth away from it all looking fake!

 

 

Bullying in action