The recent suicide of a Rutgers University freshman has brought the media's attention to the issue of bullying and cyber bullying, in particular. The University of Houston has experts available to discuss issues related to bullying, reasons for the trend, what parents and students can do, and what's happening in schools.
COURAGE IN A CULTURE OF CRUELTY
Brené Brown, research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, has spent the past ten years studying courage, shame, vulnerability, and authenticity. Her work has been featured on PBS, NPR, and was the topic of two recent TEDx talks. In addition to her work on how teens and young adults navigate the very real need for belonging, she proposes that bullying is not just a school problem, but a cultural crisis that stems from pervasive disconnection. She is the author of the newly released book, "The Gifts of Imperfection." See a list of Brown's recent publications here: http://www.brenebrown.com/
Allison G. Dempsey, an assistant professor in the department of educational psychology at the University of Houston writes, "Bullying is a significant problem that can have serious consequences for all involved parties. Advances in cyber technology have created new venues for bullies to target their victims. Schools and parents should focus not only on preventing cyber bullying through education and monitoring proper Internet use, but also on providing support services to victims." See a list of Dempsey's recent publications here: http://tinyurl.com/28fnl84
LGBTQ STUDENTS IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS
G. Thomas Schanding Jr., an assistant professor in the department of educational psychology at the University of Houston and chair of the National Association of School Psychologists GLBTQ Committee writes, "Bullying has become a problem of epic proportions in U.S. schools. I believe schools, as well as students, parents and community members, need to make a commitment that school will be a safe, nurturing environment for all students. While this is an important issue for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) youth, all students will benefit from taking actions to solve these problems." Schanding is conducting research related to LGBTQ students in our public schools." See a list of Schanding's recent publications here http://tinyurl.com/3xc2bps
John P. Vincent, a professor and director of the Center of Forensic Psychology at the University of Houston writes, "Once considered a relatively benign and temporary blight on child and adolescent development, bullying is now recognized as having far more serious, long-lasting and sometimes tragic effects. Physical intimidation has been supplanted by emotional bullying ranging from subtle forms of innuendo to more flagrant character and reputational assassination. Face-to-face confrontation also has morphed into cyber bullying, where the perpetrator often hides behind a computer screen and takes advantage of the viral nature of negative communication transmitted through social networks. Effective intervention targets both perpetrators and victims, and the reluctance of many to come forward only after significant damage has already been done."
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