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November 29, 2012
Nancy is the Project Manager at the Family Online Safety Institute.
On Tuesday, November 27th, I was honored to participate in a Google+ Hangout discussion about bullying with Judge Katie O’Malley, the First Lady of the State of Maryland. The event included Maryland’s State Superintendent, Lillian Lowery, and Assistant Superintendent, Ann Chafin. Among the experts invited to participate were Gabrielle Glorioso, a school psychologist, Catherine Hyde, coordinator for the Howard County chapter of PFLAG (Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays), Rosalind Wiseman, author and parenting expert (as well as PfG Advisor!) and myself.
Governor Martin O’Malley and First Lady Katie O’Malley have demonstrated tremendous commitment to bullying awareness and prevention. With a multi-faceted approach that includes new policies, education, training and promotion of bullying prevention, Governor and Judge O’Malley have dedicated substantial time and effort to this issue.
During the online event, I had the opportunity to hear about the challenges faced by schools and families around the issue of bullying. There was a clear recognition that this issue could not be dealt with simply at the school level. Instead, support, training and education are needed for parents, teachers and kids – allowing them to work together to prevent and combat bullying.
For my contribution to the discussion, I stressed that bullying is a behavior engaged in by a minority of kids. I highlighted the positive approach we have taken with A Platform for Good: rather than focus on the negative behaviors of a few, we prefer to emphasize stories about teens who have demonstrated kindness, compassion and resiliency. From the story of Daniel Cui a soccer player whose classmates rallied around him and supported him after he missed a key goal; to that of the @westbroshigh Twitter account launched by high-schoolers who posted anonymous compliments to their classmates; to Bennie Cinkle, who shared her story with PfG about rising above virtual criticism, we believe there is much to celebrate and to inspire us to continue our work to connect, share and do good.
You can watch the whole Google+ Hangout here.
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