Adults must wake up to bullying

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It’s not your daddy’s schoolyard anymore.

Comparing the so-called easy lives of your children and grandchildren to those of your own childhood is fruitless and unfair. Nothing is the same as it used to be.

And one of the byproducts of life without the proverbial “10-mile walk in the snow to school, uphill, both ways” is an increased threat from bullies.

Bullies don’t take your milk and give you a black eye in the alley anymore. Instead, they nibble away slowly and painfully at the faith, values and self-esteem our children once had.

The Internet has opened up a largely unchecked avenue for bullies; text messaging is much the same.

And by-and-large, parents are clueless.

But schools aren’t. The principals, teachers and officials that spend time with our children daily have seen an increase in trouble. They are worried about bullying and the long-term effects it may have, and they want to do something about it.

The Natchez-Adams School Board took a first step last week, implementing a new policy about bullying.

The policy outlines what a student who feels bullied should do — tell someone.

The step is small, but important.

More steps, in our public and private schools, must follow. As adults, we have to find ways to help children help themselves. Could a Crime Stoppers-like school hotline allow for anonymous tips? Can more one-on-one time with students uncover hidden secrets?

We have to be more involved, more knowledgeable and more accepting of the fact that life just isn’t what it used to be.