The stories on the news this week are not surprising. Obesity can trigger bullying. Parents need to be involved in their children’s lives. The new laws being enacted are not perfect and may present constitutional challenges. It almost makes you want to shake your head at them and say … “Duh.”

All of the stories remind us that we need to take a holistic approach to the bullying problem. Self defense includes good eating habits. It includes getting exercise. It includes learning how to talk about all the things that bother us with our teachers, parents and peers.

We need to learn how to work out frustration and bias. We need to build up confidence and self esteem. We need to be positive role models for each other. For those who won’t learn better, we need to establish some legal guidelines.

All of these small areas contribute to a big anti-bullying picture and they aren’t going to change overnight. We need to keep the dialogue continuing until things change.

And we need to believe that things can change.

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