Bullying is a violation of Human Rights to those being threatened, harassed and violated with words, actions, threats and intimidation. The United Nations Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights “ 948 states, Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law. These works concerning Human Rights originated from the atrocities of both World Wars. It cannot be stated that bullying is not a serious action when young people have committed suicide or murder as the results of unwanted actions of others.
The denial of universal rights of safety and freedom from persecution for any reason. Bullying has received noticeable attention through the unfortunate deaths of bright, talented, and intelligent young people. These young people so full of life, the spark of living glowing with the potential to bring love, happiness and hope into this world, but that spark was extinguished by the actions of others through continuous, unrelenting, intentional, and demoralizing acts of bullying.
President Obama and the First Lady held a conference on Bullying Prevention
exclaiming that the acts of Bullying should not be “an acceptable practice.” As a teacher of 23 years I have conducted presentations personally on bullying to young people, to develop in them an understanding the seriousness of the demoralizing actions that have caused fear, anguish, mental and emotional damage that physical damage can never compare to. There seems to be a disconnection in the reality of what bullying actually does and how it has long term effects on the victim and perpetrator. Children starting from 3 years of age have the potential to bully, learned from either modeled behaviors or executing them on their own displaying power over another individual or group. Usually children at this early age perform these actions to get what they want and learn this behavior.
The White House conference started with words from the First Lady, not as the First Lady of the United States, but as a mother and parent. There is an important distinction in that the First Lady understands that to address this issue it does not take the powers of the United States government, but the responsibility as adults to be parents.
Mrs. Obama’s speech directly related to her relationship with her children. Her focus was that everyone involved with children have a responsibility to be involved and be accountable. Mrs. Obama made an eloquent and sincere plea for parents to model appropriate and accountable behaviors; parents are a child’s, their child’s or children’s first mentor, role models and teachers. The petition is for parents to be more engaged with their children to talk to children and consider their own behaviors. The parent sets the example on how their children act, if a parent accepts a bullying or violent behavior, the child will continue to display and accelerate these behaviors.
I can relate to what President Obama said about kids being bullied at school, I have witnessed bullying in the elementary environment even though studies show that bullying is more prevalent in Middle School environments, but there is a transition from Elementary to Middle School. Data shows that bullying can and does start as young as three (3) years old. The seriousness is evident in studies by the Department of Education (1999); American children eight to 15 years of age rate bullying as a greater problem than racism or pressure to have sex or use alcohol and other drugs.
President Obama elaborated on student’s fears, apprehensions and their distress even to attending
school because of the threat of bullying. His remarks demonstrate and give a testimony that students cut school, do not eat lunch, do not ride the school bus or are fearful of walking home because of bullying. Stated during the conference that; “We cannot turn a blind eye to bullying any longer. Children are taking their lives or taking the lives of others.” The National Threat Assessment Center found that the attackers in more than two thirds of 37 mass school shootings felt “persecuted, bullied, threatened, attacked, or injured by others,” and that revenge was an underlying motive (American Medical Association 2004).
The definition of bullying centers around; a person is repeatedly, and over time, exposed to negative comments or actions by another person or group. These negative actions can cause injury (e.g. physical violence by pushing) or emotional discomfort to another person (e.g. name calling, spreading rumors) and mental distress (e.g. low self-esteem, demoralization); Virtualmedicalcentre.com 2009. Our human rights are “the rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled.” The universal concepts that all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood)
Article 1 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)
The United States of America is a model for the world, the statement that, “We hold these truths that all men are created equal, endowed with the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” (United States Declaration of Independence). Parents must model appropriate behavior, set high expectations for their youth and continue to communicate, model and teach. Listen to the words of the First Family, President of the United States and model from their example, their challenges and their lives as parents first. These are just some of the models that set this nation straight, with dignity, compassion, accountability and love.
Bullying is a violation of human rights and must be stopped with education, compassion, empathy and love.
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