Stopping the cycle of bullying requires community involvement

Bullying is a serious issue for many school-age children and one that needs constant intervention and prevention efforts to ensure that our children are healthy and happy. Ongoing communication involving children, parents, teachers and the greater community is necessary in order to tackle and end the cycle of bullying in our schools and communities.

Earlier this month, Jewish teens and their parents addressed bullying issues at the event “Bully: The Movie – An Exclusive Screening and Workshop for Jewish Teens and Parents,” sponsored by JF&CS, the Agency for Jewish Learning and Rodef Shalom Congregation and made possible by the Lauren Webster Young Adult Initiative. The event included a screening of the movie “Bully” at the Manor Theater in Squirrel Hill, as well as a discussion and workshop at the Jewish Community Center in Squirrel Hill with teens and parents. Educators from the Agency for Jewish Learning and experts from JF&CS reviewed the movie and discussed bullying issues from the perspective of Jewish values. We hope you’ll take a moment to read the article about the event in an earlier issue of The Jewish Chronicle.

The program and discussion made a lasting impact on our community and have drawn support and a renewed commitment to end bullying from many area agencies, organizations and community members. In addition, The Jewish Chronicle published an opinion piece supporting efforts to curb bullying within the Jewish community and beyond. You can read their stance on the issue here.

If you were unable to attend the event, or just would like more information to help you understand, spot and stop bullying, check out our quick reference guide to learn more and to address questions.

Bullying behaviors can have tremendous negative effects on bullying victims, but they can also be harmful to the children who perpetrate these behaviors. Parents, administrators, parents and students are often encouraged to work together at home and in school to help address and reduce bullying incidents. Sometimes, though, therapeutic interventions can make a big difference. A professional therapist can help strategize and facilitate communication and coping techniques to help children deal with negative feelings related to being bullied, or to help children who are bullying to relate to others in more positive ways.

At Squirrel Hill Psychological Services, we are ready to help. If you or your child need counseling related to bullying or any other personal or school-related concerns, please call us at 412-521-3800 or visit www.squirrelhillpsych.org.

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