There is a lot of public outcry about bullying on the televised news, in the daily papers, and across the myriad Internet forums. It’s a popular lead, with plenty of shock value, drama and blame to go around.

It’s the proverbial water cooler conversation. Did you see that story? Someone was being bullied and he/she had to switch schools, was physically assaulted, or became so depressed that they killed themselves. Isn’t it terrible? There is a little hand wringing – nothing really we can do about it – and then on to the next topic.

Or, your son comes home with a black eye. Your daughter is mocking someone on facebook. And still we revert to “Oh, boys will be boys,” or “Girls that age are mean one day and best friends the next.” We forget that these behaviors are learned and will continue as long as we allow them to continue.

There are things that we can do. Post an entry on this site. Continue to raise awareness. Learn how to redirect behavior with words and pass it along to adults as well as children.

Make it personal before it is personal.

Maryfrances Palmisano
Former social worker and juvenile/criminal defense attorney
Instructor at JK Lee Black Belt Academy in Milwaukee, WI
Mother of three children