Bullying is everyone’s problem

We’ve all heard the expression — “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
Sep 26, 2013

Some of us may have directed those words to someone, and perhaps it was even directed at some of us.

Regardless, bullying is a major issue being addressed by schools all across the country. 

The stats are alarming. According to federal agency statistics, it is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation. 

U.S. schools harbor approximately 2.1 million bullies and 2.7 million victims.   

In the Ottawa County 2011 Youth Assessment Survey, 24.6 percent of students responded that they had been bully victims during the past 12 months. 

David Theune, English and drama teacher at Spring Lake High School, decided to take action and set out to do something about it. He formed a book club for the community to read and discuss the book “Sticks and Stones.” The idea is to combat bullying through reading and conversation.

This isn’t just a school issue — it’s a community issue. And this book club creates a forum for discussion to take place. 

It’s critical that everyone does their part to curb bullying whether it’s on the playground, the bathroom at school, the bus stop, or part of social media. Forty-three percent of students have experienced cyber-bullying.

Hats off to Mr. Theune and the Spring Lake administration for moving forward on this topic and getting the conversation started. It’s now up to parents to step up and take part. 

It’s not easy to talk about it, but it’s a conversation that must be had. Get started today.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

 

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