Empowering youth to combat bullying & cyberbullying
Youth Bullying (and adult bullying too) has been around for a very long time, but over the past couple of decades it’s evolved — hence the term “cyberbullying.”
At the end of the day, bullying — whether in school or online — is still bullying so strategies to combat cyberbullying have to be integrated into the entire school climate.
There are a lot of programs that seek to accomplish this and what the good ones have in common is the understanding that young people themselves are an essential part of the solution. One such program, Community Matters, has been around since 1996. The Northern-California based non-profit reports that it has worked with more than 1,000 schools, agencies and organizations across 30 states, Puerto Rico, Guam and Canada.
And, as its CEO and founder Rick Phillips said in an interview (scroll down to listen to 14 minute podcast) the organization’s strategy is to “see the young people in our schools (including those who may have engaged in bullying) not just as the perpetrator but as the solution.” He added that “young people are in the best position to intervene because they see, hear and know about these things before an adult ever knows about them.” He said that “young people are powerful,” but “adults underutilize youth.”