Flint (WJRT) (10/23/17) - A lot more attention is being paid to bullying and the harm that it causes. One expert thinks it will be tough to eliminate. Dr. Brian Ivory of Mott Community College teaches about the social forces that keep bullying alive. He appreciates what the First Lady is trying to accomplish.
"It's nice when someone as visible as Melania Trump is willing to come to schools and speak about the topic of civility and inclusion in the classroom. It always helps when our role models set that tone. That's a good place to start but parents are role models, teachers are role models, even the bus drivers are role models," Ivory.
He says teachers are being better educated about bullying and he applauds what Melania Trump is doing as First Lady. But children are still getting slapped, hit and choked by those who see themselves as having physical or social power over the victims.
The most common form of bullying is verbal, which includes name-calling, taunting and cruel criticism. If a boy is smaller, weaker or overweight, he can become a target. If a girl doesn't keep up with fashion trends or is overweight, nasty comments can follow.
In recent years, social media has become a popular way to destroy someone's reputation. Ivory urges parents to keep an eye on their childrern's posts and make sure nothing is being said that could be hurtful
"Bullying spreads through social media. There was a time when it spread person-to-person-to-person for example gossiping about somebody. and now all a student has to do is hit a button and 150 people have that message in an instant and that's where the real damage is done," said Ivory.
It's been said that if more bystanders were willing to defuse a bullying situation, fewer people would be scarred by it.