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Defining bullying down
By Emily Bazelon
New York Times
March 12, 2013
This is a really thought-provoking perspective on “bullying” that everyone who wants to address the problem of bullying should probably read. At least the cliff notes.

Bazelon’s primary argument is that the word “bullying” is being overused “expanding, accordion-like, to encompass both appalling violence or harassment and a few mean words.” This overuse trivializes serious forms of violence and harassment and makes the real—but limited—problem seem insurmountable.

Read more about this argument and Bazelon’s suggestions for how to deal with it here and here

For the full discussion, check out Bazelon’s book, "Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy"

Guidebook for the film “Bully”
This film is about the problem of bullying in schools. It shows several scenarios, including one lesbian teen. The video has painful scenes and offers no solutions for working to end bullying, so debriefing by knowledgeable adults will be important. The organization “Facing History and Ourselves” has released an official guide to the film. This facilitator’s guide will help students and adults confront the stories in the film and its meaning for themselves and their communities.

A brief discussion of the film and a link to download the guide are at http://safeschools.facinghistory.org/content/about-facing-history-and-bully

Playgrounds and Prejudice: Elementary School Climate in the United States
A survey of teachers and students conducted on Behalf of GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) by Harris Interactive
February, 2012
Previous research has documented the prevalence of biased language, name‐calling and bullying, as well as supportive resources, at the secondary school level. Yet, the precursors to secondary school climate are less understood. This study examined school climate, student experiences, and teacher practices at the elementary school level. The study examined biased remarks at school, bullying and school safety, teachers’ beliefs and practices, and school-wide efforts and professional development.

High School Gay–Straight Alliances (GSAs) and Young Adult Well-Being: An Examination of GSA Presence, Participation, and Perceived Effectiveness
By Russell B. Toomey, Caitlin Ryan, Rafeal M. Diaz, and Stephen T. Russell
Applied Developmental Science, 15(4)
November, 2011
This recent publication from the Family Acceptance Project at San Francisco State University shows that the presence of a GSA, participation in a GSA, and perceived GSA effectiveness in promoting school safety were associated with young adult well-being and, in some cases, reduced the negative effect of school victimization on well-being.

This very moving video was made by a 13-year old boy, describing his fear of bullying. It’s gone viral Internet, evoking a response from politicians and celebrities.

A year after teen suicide spate, more gay students are speaking out, schools taking action
Associated Press (in the Washington Post)
Oct. 22, 2011
School officials across the country are responding to recent media attention about anti-LGBT bullying and teen suicides with new policies aimed at encouraging bullied students to report harassment. Students are also getting involved, according to this article.

A Separate Peace?
By Kayla Webley
Oct. 13, 2011
Special schools for LGBTQ youth: Are they the answer to the problem of harassment, fear, and isolation that many queer youth experience? Or are they more problematic than helpful. This article introduces a variety of perspectives on this complicated issue.

Two shifts educators can make to improve outcomes for LGBTQ students
Oct 2011
A disproportionate number of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) students are at increased risk for bullying, suicide and falling behind in school in their middle school and high-school years. A new Inservice blog post points to research published by AERA that not only explores educational outcomes for this group but offers strategies that educators can use to turn things around. Read research takeaways and tips for middle- and high-school educators in the post.

Minnesota Public Schools: Dealing with gay students, bullying in very different ways
by Chris Welch
Oct. 12, 2011
In January, the Minneapolis school board unanimously passed a unique resolution instructing administrators to track bullying incidents related to the harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students. The measure also requires all staff to be trained on LGBT issues. It injects LGBT topics into the curriculum, which includes adding an LGBT component to sex ed. They will eventually add an elective high school course on LGBT history.
Just a few miles away, another Minneapolis-area school district has attracted national attention for its policy that deals with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students much differently. The Anoka-Hennepin School District’s curriculum policy, adopted in 2009, bars teachers from taking a position on homosexuality in the classroom and says such matters are best addressed outside of school. It's become known as the neutrality policy. But many argue that I leaves LGBT students without protection from harassment.

With NY Teen's Suicide Come Spotlight, Caution
Associated Press
Sept. 28, 2011
After a 14-year old gay boy committed suicide, activists, journalists and Gaga herself seized on the suicide, decrying the loss of another promising life to bullying. But the incomplete and conflicting portrait of this boy’s life did not convey the complexities of the teenage mind and the reality that bullying is rarely the sole factor at work. It also highlighted the risk of creating an icon at the price of glamorizing suicide as an option for other bullied or attention-seeking teens. "If we portray it as something that is admirable and very sympathetic, vulnerable youth may hear that as, 'Look at the attention this case is getting and everyone is feeling sorry and praising this individual,' and it can form a narrative that can be compelling," said Ann Haas, senior project specialist at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Bullying as True Drama
by Dannah Boyd & Alice Marwick
New York Times
Sept. 22, 2011
Ready to re-think your ideas about bullying prevention? This article suggests that if the goal is to intervene at the moment of victimization, the focus should be to work within teenagers’ cultural frame, encourage empathy, and help young people understand when and where “drama” has serious consequences. The key is to help young people feel independently strong, confident, and capable without first requiring them to see themselves as either an oppressed person or an oppressor.

In Minnesota Suburb, Battle Goes Public on Bullying Gay Students
By Erik Eckholm
New York Times
Sept. 13, 2011
This sprawling suburban school system is caught in the eye of one of the country’s hottest culture wars — how homosexuality should be discussed in the schools. In July, six students brought a lawsuit contending that school officials have failed to stop relentless antigay bullying and that a district policy requiring teachers to remain “neutral” on issues of sexual orientation has fostered oppressive silence and a corrosive stigma.

Eight Suicides in Two Years at Anoka-Hennepin School District
By Erik Eckholm
New York Times
Sept. 13, 2011
The eight student suicides in two years have been a painful challenge to the Anoka-Hennepin school district. A group of parents, teachers and former friends of the dead students, in contrast, say that at least four of them were definitely gay or bisexual and had struggled with harassment.

Teens — gay or straight — more likely to attempt suicide in conservative towns
By Lindsey Tanner
Associated Press
April 18, 2011
Suicide attempts by gay teens — and even straight kids — are more common in politically conservative areas where schools don't have programs supporting gay rights, a study involving nearly 32,000 high school students found.

Those factors raised the odds and were a substantial influence on suicide attempts even when known risk contributors like depression and being bullied were considered.

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