We are encouraged when we see real progress against bullying. We strongly believe the bully problem can’t be fixed with a single event, or even an annual event like a seminar or rally. These don’t hurt, but they don’t really help as much as we need.
The root of bullying starts way before the act. To get at the root of the problem, we must foster an environment of inclusion. One recent article talks about “acceptance training”. Physical training often focuses on muscle memory, where your body starts to know what to do through repetition. This can also be applied to mentally training through repetition.
At King Philip Middle School in West Hartford, Connecticut, they talk about anti-bullying, but more importantly, they have a “Character Counts” program. Cultivate the roots of goodness to keep the weeds of bullying from growing. From this, 8th grader, Kyra Bukowski, says, “After awhile, it’s in your mindset. So, you start to do more acts like that without even knowing it.” This is the “muscle memory” of compassion we believe can be instrumental at keeping bullying at bay.