How to fight bullyism

Stuart Haskin of Get SAFE teaches parents how to spot kids who are bullied.

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and for Lori Ciccarelli of Mammoth Lakes it’s a time to raise awareness. Ciccarelli sits on the State Council on Developmental Disabilities. At one of her board meetings, Stuart Haskin of the organization GET SAFE made a presentation.

Haskin made an impression, and Ciccarelli invited him to Mammoth Lakes where he spoke to first responders.Haskin raises awareness among first responders on how developmentally disabled may respond in emergencies and how to recognize them. Ciccarelli said Mammoth paramedics and others appreciated Haskin’s training. Ciccarelli personally understands bullying concerns because her son is autistic. She said she saw bullying of him because of his difference. Haskin says that it is estimated 1 in 10 students are bullied by their peers. The number goes up for kids with autism and other learning disabilities.

For them bullying goes up to 57%, according to surveys. Haskin’s organization GET SAFE focuses on raising awareness. He also advises schools and other groups to create anti-bullying programs. Haskin advises open communication with children but not insistence that they talk about bullying. He says talk to your children about school, their friends and activities to see if they open up.

He adds that parents should look for drastic changes in your child’s personality or typical behavior. Haskin also says that confident children are less likely to be bullied and that adults should encourage children to ask for help. Finally, check out your school’s bullying policies. In earlier years, Haskin earned black belts in many martial arts disciplines and through his own martial arts school learned about his students’ bad experiences. He turned to development of his own personal safety programs. Check out GET SAFE programs at

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59 Responses to How to fight bullyism

  1. Big AL November 2, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

    With regard, as well, on your comment of observation in relation to by standers involving themselves in the acts.

    Some times there are different reasons for by standers to participate, as you say, fear of being the next victim, or that they join in willingly with the “Crowd mentality”.

    This is another area we need to teach our kids, not only to stand up for themselves, but to stand up for others as well.

    In situations where someone is being harassed or bullied, to not just stand by and watch, but to rectify the situation somehow, to help in the time of need.

    Teach them not to be a victim, or let others be victims.

  2. define bullying November 1, 2012 at 6:42 am #

    I’m afraid your definition of the word bully is a tad too narrow.Bullies pick on anyone they think they can get away with bullying, not only special needs people. In today’s dog-eat-dog world, bullying is running rampant.

    • Trouble November 1, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

      define bullying- I think you got it totally backwards. There is a hundred times less violence in the schools these days than in my past. Remember the racial fights and when all you got was detention when you got into a scuffle. Now they expel you and have the cops take you away for a little horse play. These are kids we are talking about.

      • Bad Boys November 1, 2012 at 6:51 pm #

        Boys will be boys.
        And some who are stronger, bigger, or more mature sometimes learn the wrong things at home and bring their totally backward thinking (bullying) to school with them.
        This is usually how our more prominent criminals in our society got their first start.

      • Big AL November 1, 2012 at 11:27 pm #

        Trouble, I totally agree, these are kids we’re talking about. Cops shouldn’t be involved unless it is serious enough to bring them in, parents and kids, and school officials should first work it out, which in my opinion can be worked out in most cases, if all involved are willing to try.

        There really isn’t a whole lot different between the situations in school now days as apposed to the same, in the past.

        Only difference, people want to make it an issue of and for the law to handle, take it out to of their hands, or to make someone pay!

        Years ago our daughter was verbally abused as they say now days, by two boys she attended high school with. They were calling her a lesbian and other such things, because they didn’t respond to their advances. She had nothing to do with them.

        When we heard about this I was furious. I went down to the office and I asked for a meeting with all involved, the vice principle agreed, he said the one boys parents, probably wouldn’t respond too or agree to meeting, he would contact the other parent involved.

        So we met with them, the parent and the one boy. I initially was pretty pissed, but as I thought about it ,, I realized what I needed to do. That was to express to the one boy who did come to the meeting, that this was not right of him to do, I wanted a positive outcome, and in this case, it was very much so, with this young man who made a mistake.

        At their graduation, he apologized in front of the whole school for what he had done to her. The other young man, I am not sure if he ever thought about it, he is married now with a family.

        But this is how we should be trying to work with our young people, give reason and common sense a chance before you need to take further steps, but it seems society does not want to do that, or let us think for ourselves, or work things out … just bust em!

        • School bullying November 2, 2012 at 9:52 am #

          School Bullying is a type of bullying that occurs in connection with education.Bullying can be physical, verbal, or emotional.

          In schools, bullying occurs in all areas. It can occur in nearly any part in or around the school building, though it more often occurs in PE, recess, hallways, bathrooms, on school buses and waiting for buses, classes that require group work and/or after school activities.Bullying in school sometimes consists of a group of students taking advantage of or isolating one student in particular and gaining the loyalty of bystanders who, in some cases, want to avoid becoming the next victim. These bullies taunt and tease their target before physically bullying the target. Targets of bullying in school are often pupils who are considered strange or different by their peers to begin with, making the situation harder for them to deal with.

          One student or a group can bully another student or a group of students. Bystanders may participate or watch, sometimes out of fear of becoming the next victim. However, there is some research suggesting that a significant proportion of “normal” school children may not evaluate school-based violence (student-on-student victimization) as negatively or as being unacceptable as much as adults generally do, and may even derive enjoyment from it, and they may thus not see a reason to prevent it if it brings them joy on some level.

          Bullying can also be perpetrated by teachers and the school system itself: There is an inherent power differential in the system that can easily predispose to subtle or covert abuse (relational aggression or passive aggression), humiliation, or exclusion — even while maintaining overt commitments to anti-bullying policies.

          Anti-bullying programs are designed to teach students cooperation, as well as training peer moderators in intervention and dispute resolution techniques, as a form of peer support.

          source: wikipedia

          • Big AL November 2, 2012 at 9:00 pm #

            Hmm some good points there Dr. We need to teach the kids how to truly treat each other, and to stand up for themselves in the face of adversity.

          • Trouble November 3, 2012 at 7:20 am #

            Schoolbullying- that’s a hell of a definition you got there. Maybe now the school consolers can go back to helping these kids get into college.

          • Ken Warner November 4, 2012 at 11:51 am #

            Maybe if Disney and other “children’s” media outlets didn’t cram violence as conflict resolution into the psyches of impressionable children, there would be less violence over all.

      • source of bullying data November 2, 2012 at 6:17 am #

        “a hundred times less violence in schools today”
        “cops take you away…”

        Trouble, could you please quote the official source of this data?

        • Trouble November 3, 2012 at 10:22 am #

          Ya, my kids get into a hundred times less trouble than I.

          • Big AL November 3, 2012 at 10:06 pm #

            Hence the nick .. Trouble .. Trouble? … hehe

        • No supporting facts November 3, 2012 at 3:41 pm #

          I see “Trouble” has been unable to provide any hard statistics on his claims regarding “there 100 times is less violence today” and any data on arrests made.
          Formats like these can be very productive if FACTS are presented to support the point of view.

          • Big AL November 3, 2012 at 10:10 pm #

            Well facts or no facts Dr. … if you want to base it on arrest statistics, then yeah .. you can skew it that way merely for the fact that .. they barely made arrests in schools 10 to 15 years ago. At least in a school like Bishop schools.

            If you want to base it on juvenile incident statistics, then you might be able to make a case.

          • Trouble November 4, 2012 at 5:20 am #

            Dr. Facts- what’s that? Does bloggers rule 2.65 say I have to have three sources to back up my blogs to you? I say what I believe and quite enjoy responded to junk blogs .

  3. Trouble October 31, 2012 at 8:07 pm #

    No to bullies- I agree with you when it comes to people picking on special needs people. But someone more able should be allowed to put that jerk in his place. To me, that’s what friends are for. Just calling a kid a bully does nothing .

  4. Trouble October 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    Maybe I shouldn’t have said that, but I think a boy needs to learn to stand up for himself at some point in his life. I wouldn’t tell my kid to run to the principal and tell ’em he’s being bullied. I’ll leave that advise for his mom.

    • Bullying is running rampant October 30, 2012 at 3:33 pm #

    • JeanGenie October 30, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

      Boys aren’t the only ones bullied, and it doesn’t always have something to do with how big a kid is, and it isn’t even necessarily physical. You’re right, telling the principal every little thing isn’t right. But by its very nature, bullying isn’t a one time incident, generally its a pattern of behavior that continues.

      • Trouble October 30, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

        JeanGenie-I know your correct in a lot of ways, but sometimes i think it is better for the person taking the abuse to stand up to the jerks. Some people think otherwise.

        • No to bullies October 31, 2012 at 5:49 pm #

          Trouble – please read the article, which points out that autistic children and children with other learning disabilities are bullied at a higher rate.

          Autistic children tend to be less socially aware and actually quite peaceful kids. Saying that someone like that needs to “stand up for themselves” is just silly. It’s excusing bullying by proclaiming that “might makes right.” I hope you don’t mean that a naturally peaceful child should be turned into a fighting machine, instead of the responsible adults going after the naturally obnoxious bullies!

          Kudos to Haka no ka oi and od for pointing out that sometimes those people don’t change as they get older. For sure the worst bullying I’ve experienced has been in the work place, and yes, right here in our communities!

          • an observation November 1, 2012 at 7:49 am #

            Bullies in school grow up to be Rush Limbaughs later in life.

          • Big AL November 2, 2012 at 12:14 am #

            You’re right … abuse doesn’t usually stop with the end of high school. I have seen it happen every where in the adult realm.

            I have seen at school here, where kids in general are not so abusive towards special needs kids. I think this is due to the small town atmosphere here. I think the numbers you are saying are occurring in the larger metropolitan schools where kids do not seem to have the more personal neighborhood interaction that smaller schools in smaller towns have.

            Just an observation, not meaning to pick a fight about this ..

    • Big AL November 2, 2012 at 12:05 am #

      hehe good one Trouble, and yes .. you should stand up for yourself! when you are being harassed, and at the point you need to take a stand.

      I kinda see what you’re saying Dr. Facts … but we need to teach our children, not just boys, to stand up for themselves and not be anyone’s push over. And to be right minded and not to be one to mistreat others, just as importantly!

      There should be some forgiveness, but when it comes to being abused … you don’t take abuse, you take a stand and stop it.

  5. It's in the culture October 30, 2012 at 7:41 am #

    Sad that there are those today who believesuch barbaric notions such as: “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” or “Boys will be boys, and if some of the bigger, stronger, boys enjoy bullying the weaker, smaller boys, so what?” And “boys need to be challenged – let’s create some wars to help these boys grow into manly-men.”

  6. Wayne Deja October 30, 2012 at 6:54 am #

    Trouble….What’s your idea of a “wimpy kid” ?…..One that doesn’t want to go through their early lives in and out of trouble by acting all tough around a bunch of guys and getting into fights ?…I can remember a story a long time ago in high school….This big,so-called “tough guy” football player picking on this quiet kid that did well in school,but never got into the “guy crowd” thing…One day in PE,the quiet kid had enough of it,and beat the living crap out of the “tough guy”….after that .the “tough guy” was never the same,having to totally change his image from “tough guy” to just someone with a big mouth that had to totally change his persona….sometimes that’s what it takes..

    • sierragrl October 30, 2012 at 10:41 am #

      sounds like a TV afternoon special movie

    • its the size that counts October 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm #

      People like “Tourbillon” are having a difficult time trying to imagine the size of the Bully vs the size of the person being bullied.

      I’ve yet to hear a bullying story where the bully went after somebody bigger than he.

      • JeanGenie October 30, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

        Not so Size,
        The kid everybody was afraid of when my kid was in school was a little guy, I couldn’t believe it when I saw him. But apparently he had older brothers and a Dad who whipped up on him all the time, so he wasn’t afraid to fight.

        • Benett Kessler October 30, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

          This gets back to the point I was trying to make with you earlier. If we, as individuals – like the parents of the little guy who became a bully, worked on
          themselves not to be angry and violent, it would not spread.

      • Tourbillon October 30, 2012 at 7:39 pm #

        People like “it’s the size that counts” are having a difficult time trying to imagine that it isn’t the size of the bully, it’s the size of the victim’s heart. Heart the size of a pea, you’re gonna get bullied by a shrimp even if you’re seven feet tall.

        Sometimes you have to realize that raising a child to peak as a 16 year old boy is different than raising a child to be a success as a 30 year old man. This is true for parents of bullies, and their victims.

      • Big AL November 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

        I have seen bully’s go up against people bigger than them ..sometimes they’re the bug, sometimes they’re the windshield.

        A bully is a bully, no matter, big or small, male or female, tough or not.

        You never know going into a fight, if you will end up with the ass whoopin or do the ass whoopin or both.

        I’m not promoting it .. just pointing … bully’s come in all sizes and all mental capacities.

  7. Trouble October 29, 2012 at 6:52 pm #

    Bullyism should be defined as a term mothers of wimpy kids came up with to protect their over protected kids.

    • Big AL October 29, 2012 at 10:52 pm #

      hehe yeah Trouble … a new word .. like a lot of others

      • Big AL October 29, 2012 at 10:55 pm #

        seriously though .. yes how can we stop the cycle, if we are not willing to look at ourselves and make a change to start with?

  8. JeanGenie October 29, 2012 at 3:27 pm #

    Seems to me nobody cared about bullying until some that claimed they were bullied and picked on started picking up weapons and wiping out their perceived tormentors, which includes the general public. There seems to be a lot of lip service to stopping bullying, but it doesn’t seem to change much.

    • Benett Kessler October 29, 2012 at 5:51 pm #

      We can only change problems one individual at a time, starting with ourselves.

      • JeanGenie October 30, 2012 at 10:06 am #

        That does not, did not stop the bullying my kid experienced in school, and what his kids are experiencing. What does your comment mean? I should tell my kids that they need to change themselves, because the school will never really try to stop bullies or teasing? About the only place that kids experience bullying is at school, because they are forced to be there and at the mercy of whomever is in charge. It happens at organized sports too, but then they can (and do) just drop out.
        My son’s brand new tires were slashed at school in the supposed “safe” area at Home Street. When I complained to the principal (at that time) he said he’d pay for new ones (which he never did) and gave me some sob story about how hard his job was because not only did he have to worry about my son, but about the kid who did the tire slashing, who by the way was never identified or punished, because the principal really could have cared less about catching him.
        As Wayne was saying, one day my kid had enough, and he thumped one of his tormentors, and after that they all left him alone.

        • Benett Kessler October 30, 2012 at 10:13 am #

          My comment was generic about how to live. I personally support kids, and adults, standing up for themselves against bullies.

          • Tourbillon October 30, 2012 at 12:23 pm #

            That’s the key, standing up for yourself against a bully. Stops bullying cold.

            The problem is that modern schools typically punish anyone who physically defends themselves as being “just as bad” as the aggressor. I’ve seen it play out time and again that way. Instead of raising kids to stand up for themselves we are teaching them that the only acceptable defense to aggression is squealing to the teacher. The schools discourage independent action and insist on constant appeal to and reliance on higher authority. This eventually has its consequences, not the least of which is the growth of unaccountable bureaucracy you write about every week. Rugged individualism is growing more mythical in America by the day.

          • Realist October 30, 2012 at 2:09 pm #

            The biggest bully on the block is LADWP!!!

          • Big AL November 1, 2012 at 11:48 pm #

            Amen Tourbillon, If you try to defend yourself, you are questioned at the least, and then punished as well for being an aggressor in the situation. If a kid .. or an adult, snaps under the pressure of being harassed, and puts a stop to it, he or she is the aggressor and is punished, the one that has drove the person to that point .. skates.

            Sick sort of way society and the law views it. But then the law is blind right? it only serves society to mete out justice and injustice, depending on societies political correctness.

            Rugged individualism is not politically correct anymore. We all have to fit into the same mold, so we are better controlled. You’re right it is fastly becoming a thing of the past, that people will read about, about how not to be.

            And every case is seen black and white, and the truth of the situations is not seen or attempted to be understood, There is no excuse for it. In trying to remedy or relieve ourselves of such behavior, we are taking away individualism for the sake of pacifism. When we lose the former, then we are in danger.

  9. od October 28, 2012 at 9:37 am #

    School bullies become older bullies and continue their behaviors in our neighborhoods and workplaces. Unfortunately in this community this behavior is condoned by employers and at times encouraged. What is even sadder is that bullying in the workplace is not illegal in California unless the victim is part of a protected group. Most surveys state that at least 1 in 10 persons have experienced bullying in the workplace and I bet if employees in the the community were surveyed without retribution we would find this statistic is the same here. Many times when employees report this behavior they are sub

  10. Haka no ka oi October 27, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    Not news. This behavior continues into adulthood, the workplace, and where we live. Our quiet neighborhood has been disrupted by a bully who feels he is the center of the universe and is suing over one third of the neighborhood. All his nearest neighbors and then some. The man isn’t sane! Where does he put his picnic table? Just feet from his neighbor’s paddock with two horses, and then has the nerve to complain about the smell. Of course he flood irrigates, all the way down the driveway and into the street, then has the nerve to complain he never gets the water he so justly deserves to flood the street on a daily basis. Get real! Adults bully as much and more than children, the bully they were as children grew up to be obnoxious neighbors.

    • Big AL October 28, 2012 at 12:23 am #

      Um .. that is kinda what I was saying Kaka no ka oi.

  11. Big AL October 25, 2012 at 4:35 pm #

    Sure is funny … how all of a sudden .. after centuries of bullying, it is such an epidemic. Yes it is a big problem, always has been. I guess people are dealing with it now. You can’t expect your kids to change, and or not begin bullying, if they see you do it too.

    Bullyism Trouble? hey new word there bro! Just say to to bullyism, be politically correct. But more than that … be right.

    now people are making money off of going around to tell others all about bullyism, hehe .. I shoulda been on board with that. LOL .. Don’t bully .. Dr, Facts, hehe just kidding.

  12. upthecreek October 25, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    The biggest Bully on the block = Our Government


    • Benett Kessler October 25, 2012 at 5:34 pm #

      Amen to that, upthecreek.

      • A brief essay of understanding October 29, 2012 at 8:40 am #

        Pardon the essay, but this is a complex situation.

        In the 1930’s Germany, where the economy was as strained as the U.S. economy is today, a group of people existed who viewed themselves as The Übermensch. They were famous for their right-wing authoritarian ways and found great comfort in scapegoating entire groups of people whom they believed were the source of the countries’ sociological and economic problems. Among those considered inferior (Untermenschen), undesirable or dangerous, were: Slavic peoples, the mentally ill, the deaf, the physically disabled and mentally retarded; homosexual and transsexual people; political opponents such as social democrats and socialists; all Leftists, and religious dissidents, ie. members of Jehovah’s Witnesses and Catholics. These ultra-conservative people were also not very fond of Jewish people. Fast-forward to today and you may once again find that some modern scapegoats exist including: Mexicans, homosexuals, African-Americans, Reproductive Rights people, Arabic people, and once again, all Leftists (aka Liberals,) (aka Democrats). We are witnessing conspiracy-minded groups that see the federal government as their primary enemy. They peaked in 1996, a year after the Oklahoma City bombing, with 858 groups making noise.

        The movement came roaring back beginning in late 2008, just as the economy went south with the subprime collapse and, more importantly, as Barack Obama appeared on the political scene as the Democratic nominee and, ultimately, the president-elect. Even as most of the nation cheered the election of the first black president that November, an angry backlash developed that included several plots to murder Obama. Many Americans, infused with populist fury over bank and auto bailouts and a feeling that they had lost their country, joined Patriot groups and started paying attention to people like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Ann Coulter. I fear we have entered into a brand-new cycle of fear and hatred today and are hearing from those who are trying to pass themselves off as “Patriotic Americans.” We are witnessing the rise of anti-gay groups, anti-muslim groups, black separatists groups, christian identity groups, ku klux klan groups, nativists extremist groups, neo-confederate groups, and white nationalist groups. It seems to me the most difficult task ahead is to expect those embroiled in hate-based groups to grasp the understanding that their motives are very much the same as The 3rd Reich’s.

        • Benett Kessler October 29, 2012 at 9:26 am #

          It’s good to be aware of history, and your post gives us all a good reason to foster the best human qualities – compassion, thoughtful intelligence, self-discipline, concern for our fellow humans, and the positive understanding that life is as good as we make it.
          Benett Kessler

        • Tourbillon October 29, 2012 at 11:47 am #

          Very good Professor. Look forward to your next essay about the Soviet pogroms, the Maoist cleansing of addicts and the mentally ill in China, and the summary executions perpetrated by the privileged Argentine boy named Che, the “revolutionary”-cum-psychopath still idolized by the Left. Will be interesting how you tie them to the vitriol oozing out of MSNBC, The Nation magazine, and a nasty, snarky campaign whose leader demeans and insults his opponent as a “bull_itter.”

          • Bemused October 29, 2012 at 3:19 pm #

            Actually, calling Romney a bullshit*er is only an insult to bullshit*ers…as, in reality, he’s a straight-up lying fraud.

  13. Trouble October 25, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    To many ism’s in this world for me.

  14. Dingo October 25, 2012 at 11:56 am #

    In my experience when I was in school, in the 70’s and 80’s I saw the football coach bully the teachers of star football team players making sure the players have good enough grades to play in the next big game. The star football players saw it too and followed the “meat head coach’s” lead and turned and bullied others in school, usually if not always smaller kids. The need to win for the school seemed to justify the actions of the coach. And we tell our kids that “winning isn’t everything”. Yeah right kiss my — I mean give me a break.

  15. Trouble October 25, 2012 at 6:03 am #

    So should we get our kids a shrink or a black belt?

    • Benett Kessler October 25, 2012 at 9:25 am #

      Try communication yourself first.

    • Bullyism is honored by some October 25, 2012 at 10:57 am #

      A casual observation today might reveal that in some circles bullying is honored.
      It’s a power-freak sort of thing.
      Any idea how large Rush Limbaugh’s audience is today?

      • Tourbillon October 25, 2012 at 3:17 pm #

        Larger than MSNBC’s, aka Bully Central. So by that indication bullying appears to be less “honored” than you think.

        • consider the source October 29, 2012 at 8:27 am #

          You must go to the source.
          There was a time when people read the paper, listened to the nightly news, chatted at the barber shop etc. for their political information.
          Today, we are witnessing groups of people willing to listen to the likes of hate-mongers Rush Limbaugh, 3 straight hours per day, 5 days a week and reruns on weekends, and read all Ann Coulter’s “Why I hate Liberals” books all of which has a lot of us scratching our heads in disbelief wondering just how close to a fascist state are we are moving towards.
          “When Fascism comes to America – it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.” – From “It Can’t Happen Here” by Sinclair Lews
          Tea Party movements, Oklahoma City bombings, new militia groups forming by the sackful, editors and their non-stop “Governments are Evil” activities …
          These are very interesting times.


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