As a doctor in an emergency department that only sees children, I have the unfortunate experience of witnessing the impact of violence on our youngest members of society. Getting through adolescence is difficult enough, but for teens exposed to violence the transition to adulthood can be disrupted and even more difficult.
Walking back into my middle school classroom after being out the previous day at a training, I first noticed that the colorful plastic chairs were not stacked neatly on desks as they usually are. I could also see some papers scattered on the floor; usually my students are great about following the clean-up routine.
As “bathroom bills,” military transgender bans and elimination of protections for LGBTQ federal employees demonstrate, we are a long way from a society in which coming out is a realistic option for all. The truth of this likely hits youth the hardest, who still risk family rejection, bullying, even homelessness for coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer.
Collective action is needed to ensure the safety of lesbian, gay and bisexual students, who experience violence and other health risks at higher rates than their heterosexual peers, a new federal report says.
In prison I could often tell who would be a target for victimization. I developed this ability the old fashioned way, through observation. Predators abound in that world, so opportunities to witness their attacks were common. Whether it was robbery, rape, extortion or some other attempt to dominate those who were on the losing end had often had something in common. According to the convict code the victims were “weak.” This isn’t surprising, since the code was created by those with an interest in perpetuating such crimes.
Back in the fall of 2011, kids bullied Alycin Mabry so severely that her mom decided to home school the Atlanta 14-year-old. At the time, her mom Annise Mabry saw homeschooling as the shining answer the family needed. But today, Mabry says, it’s clear that their struggle was far from over. “Maybe two or three months into the online school, Ali started to become more and more isolated,” Mabry said. “I just couldn’t get her out of the room.
Given the high rate of torment suffered by LGBT youth in custody, activists applauded last week’s finalizing of a landmark law that took nine years to get from adoption to implementation. Last Monday, the federal Department of Justice finalized a set of guidelines under the Prison Rape Elimination Act that could help stem the risks of the already at-risk LGBT population that is incarcerated, including minors. “We were already working on this issue while PREA was being passed, but this raises awareness,” said Sarah Schriber, senior policy analyst with the Chicago-based Health and Medicine Policy Research group and community convener for the Illinois Court Involved LGBTQ Youth Task Force. According to Schriber, few juvenile detention center personnel even knew what the existing anti-harassment rules were. “A much harder part is making those policies meaningful on the ground,” she said.
A wider (and younger) audience will be allowed to see the documentary “Bully” in theaters thanks to a new edit of the film that received a “PG-13” rating. The film was initially rated “R” by the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) ratings board meaning anyone under 17-years-old must be accompanied by an adult, Reuters reports. The new rating lowers that to 13-years-old. Lee Hirsch, director of the anti-bully film, cut three scenes because of language but left in a key scene for which he lobbied hard. “I’m just glad that we held strong.
“Bully,” a documentary movie that follows five kids who are brutalized by classmates over the course of the year, is set to hit theatres by the end of the month, but not as many teens may be seeing the movie as the producers had hoped. When the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) stamped the movie with an “R” rating back in February, a number of people raised concerns that it may not reach many in the demographic the film aimed to impact — those under 17 and still dealing with aspects of bullying in their daily lives. What do you think of when you hear about bullying? Hitting, slapping, harassment, name-calling and profanity are but a few of the adjectives that come to mind. All are present in the movie — and why wouldn’t they be?
A collaboration between the Southern Education Desk and JJIE will air on Georgia Public Broadcasting’s 17 radio stations this week. The series, focusing on bullying, was written by GPB’s Maura Walz and JJIE’s Chandra Thomas. Below is a breakdown of the series’ schedule:
Tuesday, November 8 during All Things Considered (5:50pm) and Wednesday, November 9 during Morning Edition (between 6:00-9:00am)
1. Georgia’s Revamped Bullying Law Arrives In Schools (Maura Walz) Description: Public school students and parents are seeing some changes this year in the way their schools handle bullying. That’s because of a law passed by the legislature last year that schools are now starting to put into practice.