I recently finished reading Jann Arden’s book, Falling Backwards: A Memoir. It is one of the most candid stories of growing up that I have ever read. The stories she shares about her experiences will make you laugh and cry, but mostly they will make you see that she is real and genuine and funny and honest. Many of the memories that she recalls are painful but after reading them and then reflecting on how she has managed to overcome them, I have even more respect for her than I had before. One of the reasons I have enjoyed reading this book on my Kindle is that I have the option to highlight and save quotes from the book, sharing them to Facebook or Twitter, if I’d like.
A while back I wrote a post about a great activity for demonstrating the long-term effects of bullying on a child. One of the great quotes that I read in Jann Arden’s book is the following:
Being silent about bullying is just as bad as being the bully. You’re either the good guy or the bad guy. You can’t sit on the fence. I wish I had known that then, but wisdom is not for the young. Time doles it out. That’s the only way to get your hands on it. ~Jann Arden, Falling Backwards: A Memoir
A recent article in The Leader Post explains that a professor at the University of Regina, Rod Dolmage, doesn’t believe that anti-bullying programs work. His theory is that there is often such a difference between what we teach at school and what happens in a child’s out-of-school experiences in the family unit and in society that what we attempt in our classrooms isn’t consistent and therefore isn’t effective.
It is a problem that needs to be addressed and I think that most schools believe they are doing everything they can to reduce and prevent bullying. I think we need to continue to work on it. I think we need to try to reach as many kids as young as we can. And I hope that we can raise more ‘good guys.’