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You have come upon a meeting ground for creative spirit on a transformational path. We invite you, dear "Storyteller Of The New Millennium," to share a tale and offer a suggestion to nurture creative spirit. What techniques do you use to overcome the challenges of our rapidly changing and complex world?


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Posted by Peter Rosen on November 02, 19100 at 22:13:54:

In Reply to: BULLIES & SCHOOL VIOLENCE! posted by Kathy Noll Dr. Jay Carter on November 02, 19100 at 19:52:48:

We at Creativity Cafe are considering this project and following fwd email spicifically as entry to our next "KidCast For Peace; Solutions For a Better World" multicast being planned for Earth Day 2001. I think what Kathy Noll & Dr. Jay Carter are writing about and uncovering at important ingredients when getting to the bottom of criminal and self abusive behavior in our evolving world.

What do you think? Here is some more info on what the ramifications are on self esteem and other issues. We thank Kathy Noll for the data:

------- FWD ----------------

From: Kthynoll@aol.com
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2000
Subject: Article Inclusion:
To: various@creativity.net

Hello Peter,

The target audience for our book, "Taking the Bully by the Horns," would be
educators, child advocates, parents, and children.
Dr. Carter and myself also have a web site by the same name which offers
information, advice, articles and statistics to everyone who is interested in
learning the skills needed to deal with Bully, School Violence, and
Self-esteem issues.

Also, Dr. Carter is a psychologist, author, and professional speaker and
would be interested in visiting with you for any speaking engagements you may
be holding as far as seminars, conventions, conferences, or if you would just
like him to come educate you on any number of related topics, please let us
know and we can exchange details.
More information about him and his work can also be found at my web site
under the link title - "About the Authors."

Please find below 4 articles submitted to you for possible inclusion on web
sites or publications. Please let us know if there's interest, thank you:

Empowering Kids to Deal with Bullies and Low Self-esteem

By Kathy Noll, Author - "Taking the Bully by the Horns"

Did you know that 23% of 9th graders have carried a weapon to school
recently? According to the US Justice Department, one out of three kids
will be offered or sold drugs at school while one out of four kids is bullied
either mentally or physically every day. Do we really know what happens to
our kids when they leave the safety of our homes to go to school?

Unfortunately, bullying and child violence have become quite common themes
in every school across the country, and outside the US as well.

Dr. Jay Carter and myself have written a book, and run a web site, that
helps parents, teachers, and kids learn the skills they need to deal with
bullies and low self-esteem. On this journey, we've encountered many sad
stories that are all too real.

One that really stands out in my mind, and heart, is in the form of a
letter written by a woman in IL. She starts out by thanking me for writing my
book and wishing she would've had it for her son, Ricky, 5 years earlier.

Ricky was tormented every day at school by his "bullies." He was an
asthmatic, and continually his classmates would take his inhaler medication
from him to spray on themselves, in the air - essentially wasting it. This
went on until one cold day in December, 1994, that has left his mother
devastated. Ricky was found dead at school. He died of an asthma attack. His
inhaler, found empty.

This is only one of many depressing stories. We've all had bad experiences
to some degree that seem to be too close to home. But what can we do?

One of the things that Dr. Carter and myself did to bring awareness was in
collaboration with NBC10 News out of Philadelphia. At a local middle school,
we hid 5 cameras in a classroom of 8th graders. Only one child, Jonathan, was
in on our "sting" operation. He played the role of a bully while wearing a
wire microphone. We then hid in a nearby classroom and monitored his
classmates reactions as he proceeded to harass them. He harassed them with
the arrogance that only a bully knows. We had him making fun of people,
pushing and shoving, and giving off a real "I'm the only all important one"

The reactions varied as you can imagine. They were about as different as
every child's personality. Some moved out of his way, timid and frightened,
while others stood up for themselves screaming, "Get some manners!" One girl
smacked him in the forehead! But we were also touched by the concern of many.
We listened as they approached the teacher and expressed concern for
Jonathan's behavior. They felt he must really be hurting inside to be taking
out so much frustration on them.

Bullies really do have low self-esteem. If there is something about
themselves they don't like, they feel that by putting you down, and teasing
you, they are distracting from their own problems. Bullies are also angry.
Most likely they were also bullied at some point. We call this the "Bully
Cycle." Also in question would be the negative influence of peers, caretakers
who may have abused or enabled them, and exposure to violence in the media.

What can the victim do about his/her bully? Try confronting them and
telling them how they are making you feel. "What did I do to you?" In many
situations ignoring has the best results. If the bully no longer gets a
reaction out of you, he/she will usually move on. It is no longer any fun.
But what about the bully who is very abusive or violent? Make sure the school
knows what is going on, and if they are unwilling to get involved, you need
to contact the bully's parents. This type of bully should be avoided at all
costs. Traveling to school in a group, and staying away from empty buildings
are other wise options.

I'm sure you'll all agree that both the victims and bullies need help and
support. Teach them that their actions have consequences. Instill in them the
Rules for Fighting Fair: Identify the problem. Focus on the problem. Attack
the problem, not the person. Listen with an open mind. Treat a person's
feelings with respect. And finally - Take responsibility for your actions.

Let's all do our part to help prevent the children of our future from
becoming "statistics."

If you are interested in seeing the segment we filmed for the 6 PM news at
NBC10 in Philadelphia, please contact your local NBC stations and ask them to
carry the piece on bullies that appeared Feb. 15, 2000.
If you'd like to learn more about bully and self-esteem issues, please
visit our web site at: http://hometown.aol.com/kthynoll E-mail:
Or send comments, suggestions, book orders ($11.95 each includes S/H) to:
Kathy Noll, 3300 Chestnut St., Reading, PA 19605

Child Violence - How to Prevent Your Child from Becoming a Statistic
By Kathy Noll

Did you know that over 6 million boys and 4 million girls are involved in
fights every year on school grounds? ›Many are physically threatened while a
large number of students are also robbed.
Bullying has become a very serious "Hot" topic today. It's been in the news,
and the theme of several talk shows in the past year. The problem has been
around for as long as people have been around, but it's only been recently
that we've become aware enough to do something about it.
Mental and physical signs for parents to look for to find out if their child
is being bullied include: Cuts, bruises, torn clothing, headaches and/or
stomach pains before it's time to go to school, or a reluctance to go to
school, poor appetites, poor grades, decline/withdrawal from usual
activities, anxiety, not many friends, always loses money, depression, fear,
anger, nervousness, and relates better to adults and teachers than children.
It also helps to understand the different types of abuse the bully can
inflict. This can vary from physical (juvenile violence) to verbal, and
include mental control tactics. (Crushing your self-esteem).
The bully's pattern of physical abuse might include: pushing, tripping,
slapping, hitting, wrestling, choking, kicking, biting, stealing, and
breaking things. (80% of the time bullying becomes physical).
The bully's pattern of verbal abuse might include: twisting your words
around, judging you unfairly, missing the point, passing blame, bossing,
making you self-conscious, embarrassing you, making you cry, confusing you,
and making you feel small so he/she can feel big.
Children between the ages of 5-11 begin using verbal abuse, and are capable
of some physical abuse such as fist fighting, kicking, and choking. However,
once a child reaches the age of 12, psychological changes take place and the
bullying becomes more violent. This might include the use of weapons and
sexual abuse.
Murder between children was up 35% in 1997. Today's 3, 4, and 5 year-olds
could grow up to be a generation of serial killers. Some signs to watch for
in younger children include setting fires, and torturing animals.
Usually bullies come from middle-income families that do not monitor their
activities. The parents of bullies are either extremely tolerant and
permissive, and allow them to get away with everything, or physically
aggressive and abusive.
However, the parents are not always the cause. There are many very loving and
caring parents who do not understand what went wrong.
Other reasons why kids slip into their "bully suits" might include violence
on tv/movies, and the influence of "bully" friends.
You can't watch your child while he/she is at school, so there is the
possibility of him/her hanging out with a child (or children) of negative
influence. Sometimes kids admire bullies for their strength, or befriend them
so as to stay on their good side!
So if you're a wonderful parent knocking yourself for what you did wrong,
understand what a strong influence other peers can have on your child.
Bullies need to be in control of situations, and enjoy (gain power from)
inflicting injury on others. They are not committed to their school work or
teachers and may also show a lack of respect towards their families. Usually
bigger and stronger than other children their own age, bullies believe that
their anger ›and violent behavior is justified. They› see threats where none
exist out of paranoia, or fear of facing reality.
The bully might lash out at people because he's (or she's) angry about
something. Maybe someone in his life is bullying him. He could be hurting
from abuse he received in the past, or maybe he grew up observing those
around him using violence as a means of settling differences.
Sometimes jealousy is the culprit. He needs to feel better about himself in
order to change, and to stop bullying.
Or, in a worse case scenario, he might actually be a sociopath, in which case
he/she would need to get professional help.
What can parents do to prevent their children from getting bullied? Tell your
children to walk or play with friends, not alone, and to avoid ›alleys and
empty buildings, especially after dark. Make a list with the child as to
where they are allowed to go, and places/phone numbers where they can get
Know your child's friends and make sure that everyone understands your view
of teasing and violence. ›Maintain a trusting, open communication with your
child while teaching him/her to be both strong and kind.
If your child is a victim, he needs to know that he's ok, and not the one
with the problem. Have him tell his school guidance counselor the name of the
bully who is victimizing him. Or you might try talking to the principal or
his teachers directly. And if you know the parents of the bully, you might
try confronting them as well. However, there's a good chance they'll either
be in denial, or be as unconcerned as their child.
If physical abuse is the problem, and you're afraid of angering the bully
(revenge), tell the teacher, or whomever, not to pass on your or your child's
name while settling the situation unless it's absolutely necessary. There's a
good chance he's victimizing other children as well, and won't need to know
exactly who busted him.
Children who use violence to resolve conflicts, grow up to be adults who use
violence to resolve conflicts. However, if a child is backed up against a
wall, or into a corner, then he obviously needs to defend himself and should
not stand there while getting pounded. He could walk (or run) away. But in
order to escape conflict in the first place, the child should ignore, or
avoid the bully. Don't play with (or for older kids "hang out" with) the
bullies, and don't play or hang out "near" them. Teach your child to only
fight back if he/she *needs* to defend himself - - as a last resort.
Young people need to believe in themselves in order to feel better.
(self-esteem) Not by winning a fight, or even being part of a fight that
he/she didn't initiate. In order to be a strong person, you have to learn
what to say at the right time, and believe in what you are saying. ("I won't
fight you because it is wrong" or "This isn't what friendship is about")
Walking away from the fight, knowing you are the *better* person, is a lot
healthier for the body and mind.
If verbal abuse is the problem, your child could try confronting the bully
himself. Get him alone. Bullies like to show off by embarrassing you in front
of a group of people. They might not be so tough without a crowd. Tell your
child to be firm, stick up for himself, and tell the bully, "I don't like
what you're doing to me, and I want you to stop."
If the child is old enough to reason, have him tell the bully how it feels to
be bullied. Don't stress what the bully did, or the accusations might make
him defensive. Then he'd be less likely to listen. If he's willing to listen
at all, he might be willing to change. However, if he's unwilling to listen
and starts getting nasty, your child is better off staying away from him, or
ignoring him. But if his verbal abuse turns into threats, notify someone in
Sometimes having things/property stolen victimizes a child. Putting your
child's name on everything is an important thing to do. This means each and
every crayon! It also helps to not allow him/her to take things of any major
importance or value to school. Again, if nothing else works, have the bully
For the past 10 years child on child violence has been increasing. Physical
abuse, sexual harassment and robbery have driven many victims to substance
abuse or suicide.

If you'd like to order a copy of "Taking the Bully by the Horns" by Kathy
Noll & Dr. Carter, to teach your child the skills he/she needs to handle
bullies, and maintain a healthy self-esteem, please send $11.95 (this
includes S. & H.) to:
Kathy Noll
3300 Chestnut St.
Reading, PA 19605
E-mail address: kthynoll@aol.com
To learn more about these timely topics, please visit:


Recent statistics show that:

1 out of 4 kids is Bullied.

1 out of 5 kids admits to being a bully, or doing some "Bullying."

8% of students miss 1 day of class per month for fear of Bullies.

43% fear harassment in the bathroom at school.

100,000 students carry a gun to school.

28% of youths who carry weapons have witnessed violence at home.

A poll of teens ages 12-17 proved that they think violence increased at
their schools.

282,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month.

More youth violence occurs on school grounds as opposed to on the way to

80% of the time, an argument with a bully will end up in a physical fight.

1/3 of students surveyed said they heard another student threaten to kill

1 out of 5 teens knows someone who brings a gun to school.

2 out of 3 say they know how to make a bomb, or know where to get the
info. to do it.

Almost half of all students say they know another student who's capable
of murder.

›Playground statistics - Every 7 minutes a child is bullied. Adult
intervention - 4%. Peer intervention - 11%. No intervention - 85%.

Most Recent Bureau of Justice Statistics - School Crime & Safety

1/3 of students in grades 9-12 reported that someone sold or offered them
an illegal drug on school property.

46% of males, and 26% of females reported they had been in physical

Those in the lower grades reported being in twice as many fights as those
in the higher grades. However, there is a lower rate of serious violent
crimes in the elementary level than in›the middle or high schools.

Teachers are also assaulted, robbed & bullied. 84 crimes per 1,000
teachers per year.


Victims are usually loners. Children who appear to be friendless can be
magnets for bullies. Many times it's how kids carry themselves. The bullies
pick up on that. They also might pick on children who are different - mental
or physical handicaps. Girls in cliques will pick on you simply because you
don't wear your hair or clothes they way they see fit to be cool. (Insults,
Gossip, Rejection, Spreading Rumors) Sometimes there is "no reason" why a
bully picks a certain kid to pick on. But, the bullying leaves the victims
believing there is something wrong with themselves. The result: More
self-esteem has been shattered.
(Everyone has been bullied to some degree, whether mentally or physically)


You *know* there is a problem. The first step is to get your child to admit
there is a problem. He/she may be too embarrassed or scared, and might deny
it. They need to know they can trust you and look to you for help. (Encourage
them) First give them this option: They might want to settle the situation
themselves before getting you involved (you calling the school or bully's
parents). You might try giving them some ideas. For example: If your child is
getting bullied because of poor social skills - his shoes are always untied,
he walks with his head down, shoulders slouched, avoids eye contact, shirt
half tucked in, unclean hair or body, always biting nails or picking nose -
You can help him/her by teaching them better social skills. You also might
try a type of role-playing to see how your child acts around other kids. This
gives you the opportunity to help your child work out acceptable responses.
(especially if he/she is being bullied verbally)


The school should first try to settle the matter since it occurred on their
grounds while the children were their responsibility. But, unfortunately
there are some schools who don't want to get involved outside of teaching the
children. Many parents have written to me about school's/administrators who
simply disregarded their bully incidents. Many parents are now seeking legal
On the other side - there are teachers/schools who contact the parents to
address the problem, but the parents are in denial that their child could
ever be a "bully," they don't believe it, and point a finger at the teacher
accusing him/her of picking on their child.
Everyone needs to work together on solving these problems.


It's all about talking it out: Child to Child (Peer Mediation), Teacher to
Parent (PTO's, PTA's), Teacher to Teacher (in service days), Parent to Child
(at home). There should be town meetings involving the parents, students, and
entire school faculty to discuss Conflict Resolution. The teachers should
also allow the students to give "their" ideas on how they would like
situations handled. For younger students, role playing of "victims" and
"bullies" in the classroom will help them understand the cause and effect -
how it feels. Another idea for younger kids getting picked on could be to
have an older student assigned as a type of mentor that he could talk to, and
who would step in to settle a conflict or dispute. Groups have also been
created where victims and their parents can meet with other victims and
discuss solutions. It's comforting to know you're not alone, and friendships
can be made there.
Many schools admit that the lockers are the most common place that bullying
takes place. Teachers could take turns standing by these lockers during class
The schools can also pass out questionnaires, and do surveys or polls to find
out what students and parents think about what is happening and what they
would like to see done. Some teachers have told me that their schools put up
a peace flag outside on days when there is no conflict in the school. This
promotes a pride in the school, and teaches them that even one person's
actions can have consequences that affect everyone.›Other schools are using
posters, and having the students wear certain colors on certain days.
Teachers are also using, "Taking the Bully by the Horns" for role playing in
the classrooms. Since I believe in my book, and the help it's been giving
children, ›I suggest reading it aloud to the group. The book is written in
first person, so you will be addressing them, and speaking directly to them.
This way, you can teach them the skills they need to handle bullies and feel
good about themselves (self-esteem/life skills). I ask questions in the book,
and you can pause to get their opinions. I also added a bit of humor so it
will be enjoyable for them AND they will learn something. Then, you could try
some role playing, where they take turns acting out situations where they
play both bullies and victims. This will show them how it "feels" and give
them ideas on what to do to help themselves and others.
Our local schools participated in Berks County's Annual Week Without
Violence. One program included, "Hands Around Violence." Students made paper
cutouts of their hand prints and wrote nonviolent messages on them. For
example, "I will not use my hands or words for hurting." The "Pledge Hands"
will serve as a visual reminder that together they can make a difference.
Other activities included a white out, where students wore as much white as
possible to symbolize peace, a unity day, where students wore their school
colors, and a smile day, where each student received a smile card and handed
that card over to the first person to smile at them.
Another great idea schools are using is to have teachers hold up pictures of
kids faces while asking the students, "How does this person feel?" ›This
promotes a discussion aimed at helping kids to identify and describe
emotions. And for teens, pictures of conflicts or stressful situations can be
used to promote discussion & ideas for resolution.
Let kids know it's OK to talk about problems; that parents and teachers are
willing to listen, and eager to help. Also, if your kids/students are
"bystanders" to their friends, or other kids being bullied, tell them how
important it is for them to help these kids by reporting it. If they are
afraid, they can use an anonymous tip, or tell the teachers not to use their
name when confronting the bully.
The anonymous tip was only suggested for those victims who feared revenge
from the bully in the form of physical abuse for their "snitching." Yes, in
many cases the name of the victim would have to be given in order for the
conflict to be directly approached. A bully being accused of attacking a
"nameless" child might try to talk his way out of it. But if a name is used
in relating to a particular incident with a specific child, and if there was
proof, or witnesses, it's harder to deny.


Parents really need to get more involved in their children's lives. That way
they will be more sensitive to problems occurring. Promote honesty. Ask
questions. Listen with an open mind and focus on understanding. Allow
children to express how they feel, and treat a child's feelings with respect.
Set a good example by showing them a healthy temperament. Settle conflicts by
talking things out peacefully. Congratulate or reward them when you see them
using these positive skills to settle a difference. Teach them to identify
"the problem", and focus on the problem, "not" attacking "the person." Tell
them conflicts are a way of life, but violence doesn't have to be. And
finally, teaching them to take responsibility for their own actions will make
for a healthier child, a healthier self-esteem, and there will be no need for
any "bullies" or "victims" in the world.


There are many different things that could be tried in this situation.Ideas
for what your kids can do include three options: ›*confront ›*ignore ›*avoid
They should be used in that order except if the bullies are physically
violent, then "avoid" is the safest choice.
There are many things your child could say back to the bullies:
"Name calling isn't cool"
"I don't want to fight. Can't we be friends instead?"
"Why are you mad at me? I never hurt you."
Bullies usually like the effect they get when they shock or hurt someone.
Maybe if your child just laughed it off, like they are joking, they would get
tired of calling him/her names and it wouldn't seem fun (or effective)
If it keeps up, and nothing your child says helps, and ignoring and avoiding
don't work AND the school won't get involved, then you will have to contact
the parents of the "name callers."
Bullies don't always have a reason for who they pick on or why, but when they
*do* have a reason, it usually results in them singling out a smaller person.
This would include kids who are not as tall, and most definitely would
include younger kids, who obviously would be smaller. This makes you easier
to control. And today there are a lot of cases of older kids picking on
younger kids on the school buses.
In those cases, I recommend sitting far away from the bully. If the seats are
assigned, ask to have them changed. If they are not assigned, ask to have
them assigned. If that doesn't work, inform the school and ask the bus driver
to get involved. Some bus drivers are asked by the school to intervene. They
do this by having the trouble kids sit up front where they can keep a good
eye on them in the mirror. However, the bus driver has a job to do which
requires the safety of many lives, so if the bullying gets so bad that he/she
has to keep turning around or yelling at kids all the time, the perpetrators
should be suspended from the bus for the safety of all.


What did you do?

Why was that a bad thing to do?

Who did you hurt?

What were you trying to accomplish?

Next time you have that goal, how will you meet it without hurting

How will you help the person you hurt?

These questions will help them to: Acknowledge their own actions and the
consequences they have on themselves and others, develop shame and guilt ("I
don't want to go through that again" & "I hurt someone"), change their
actions to stay out of trouble, and learn to trust and form relationships
with helping adults.

If you'd like to order a copy of "Taking the Bully by the Horns" by Kathy
Noll & Dr. Carter, to teach your children/students the skills they need to
handle BULLIES, and improve SELF-ESTEEM, more information can be found on my
web site: http://hometown.aol.com/kthynoll
(e-mail kthynoll@aol.com)
Copies of my book, "Taking the Bully by the Horns," are available for $9.95.
Please mail check or money order for $11.95 ($9.95 plus $2.00 S. & H.) to:
Kathy Noll, 3300 Chestnut St., Reading, PA 19605-2224.

› ›› › › ›››


ÔHe is angry.
ÔSomeone might have bullied him in the past.
ÔHe has a low self-esteem. He thinks controlling you will help him feel
better about himself.
ÔHe might have been exposed to a lot of violence in the media. (TV, books...)
A lot of movies make violence look cool. But if you look closer, the "good
guy" is always cooler!
ÔHis caretakers might have lacked in supervision. They might have been too
busy to teach him how wrong it is to hurt others. Or maybe they spoiled him,
making him think he can do anything he wants, including bullying!


ÔInform your parents and teachers.
ÔTravel to school and social events in groups. Don't walk alone. Avoid the
bully at all costs.
ÔIgnore him. That will take away his power he "thinks" he has over you. He'll
get bored, and go look for someone else to pick on.
ÔConfront him with the problem. Do this only if the bullying is mental, not
physical. Maybe you can explain how it makes you feel. If he doesn't care,
and continues to bully you, report him, and avoid him.
ÔTake a safety training workshop. This should only be used as a last resort
(in self defense). Using this to show off for your friends, or simply because
someone made you angry, could lead to law suits, and YOU becoming a bully!

I hope this information helps you. Take care of yourselves & stay safe.

To learn more about stopping bullies and youth violence go to:
http://hometown.aol.com/kthynoll or order a copy of Kathy Noll & Dr. Jay
Carter's book, "Taking the Bully by the Horns" by sending $11.95 to: Kathy
Noll, 3300 Chestnut St., Reading, PA 19605

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