When It Comes to Bullying of LGBTQ Teens Local Politics Matters | Corona, CA

By Cara Murez, HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, July 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Youth who identify as LGBTQ+ suffer more bullying at their schools when they live in areas with politically conservative voting records, a new study finds.

School boards should do more to implement policies that go beyond minimum protections for LGBTQ+ youth, regardless of political affiliation, the researchers suggested.

“To my knowledge, nobody has really looked at this connection between a school district’s political attitudes and the experiences of LGBTQ+ students in schools,” said study co-author Paul Kwon, a professor of psychology at Washington State University. “This project highlights an inequity that is not talked about a lot and shows the need for more explicit and inclusive anti-bullying legislation and policies that help mitigate the risks to LGBTQ+ youth, regardless of district political attitudes.”

The study examined school district voting records in the 2016 presidential election, as well as bullying experiences in schools and mental health outcomes of LGBTQ+ students in Washington state using the 2018 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey. The survey included 50,000 students in grades eight to 12, asking about sexual and gender identity, bullying and whether or not teachers intervened during instances of bullying. About 20% of the students included in the survey identified as being LGBTQ+.

Researchers found that LGBTQ+ students are at a higher risk for psychological distress and suicidal thoughts as a result of bullying, particularly in school districts that voted for former President Donald Trump in the 2016 election. These students also reported their teachers were less likely to intervene in instances of bullying than students who responded from more liberal voting districts. The study only found an association between political leanings, bullying and teacher intervention; it wasn’t designed to prove a cause-and-effect link.

In areas where teachers intervened almost always, instances of bullying for LGBTQ+ students matched their non-LGBTQ+ peers, whereas without intervention the LGBTQ+ students reported more bullying.

“This was especially prevalent in more conservative school districts where LGBTQ+ youth report less teacher intervention despite experiencing more bullying,” Kwon said in a university news release. “Over 35% of youth in our study are students in a conservative-leaning school district, possibly placing them at greater risk for more bullying experiences and higher psychological distress.”

The researchers suggested school policy should include explicit parameters for training and education for teachers regarding LGBTQ+ bullying, as well as steps for teachers and administrators to intervene following LGBTQ+ bullying experiences. All school websites should explicitly describe anti-bullying policies as they relate to LGBTQ+ youth using specific examples, the authors said.

“We also recommend educators discuss anti-bullying policy with students and families at the start of each school year, while concurrently highlighting LGBTQ+ identities, particularly in conservative districts,” Kwon said. “After all, students have little choice in the school they attend, almost no choice in the school district they belong to and are unable to vote until they are 18. Thus, they are subjected to the environment of the school and broader culture of the school district chosen for them.”

The findings were published recently in the journal Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy.

The Trevor Lifeline provides LGBTQ+ individuals with crisis intervention and suicide prevention help.

SOURCE: Washington State University, news release, July 19, 2021

If you would like to learn more about anti-bullying efforts, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Anti-Bullying Event to Host Special Guests, Celebrities | Corona, CA

By Susan Canfora | Staff Reporter

Bodyguard Bubba Almony offers tips to students at the R.J. Martial Arts’ School of the Elites summer camp in Selbyville, teaching them the skills he said can help them avoid being bullied.

A message against bullying, and assurance that help is available, will be the focus of a regional event planned for Saturday, Aug. 28, at the Worcester County (Md.) Recreational Center in Snow Hill, Md.

Organized by local bodyguard Bubba Almony, it will feature speakers including Khalilah Ali, widow of boxing champion Muhammad Ali and mother of four of his children. She herself has a third-degree black belt in karate, earned a ninth-degree black belt, has appeared on the cover of Ebony magazine seven times and appeared in the movie “The China Syndrome.’

Former Baltimore Ravens football player Jacoby Jones will be there, as well as Al “Hondo” Handy, former head of recreation and parks in Ocean City, Md., who was named the Ocean City Citizen of the Year in 2015 and who will talk about sportsmanship.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford have been invited, and the mayors of both Pocomoke City, Md., and Snow Hill will attend, with Jennifer Jewell, mayor of Snow Hill, presenting a proclamation designating Aug. 28 as Bubba Almony Day.

“I am a big advocate of anti-bullying,” Almony said. “Bullying is prevalent all across the nation. I see it when I travel as a bodyguard. It’s in prisons, in the military. There is police brutality. It is happening everywhere.

Bullying is something we can’t tackle alone,” he added. “We need everybody’s help. Our goal at this event is to bring an anti-bullying message to the community. We will also talk about good, positive community policing. We will have dignitaries from the fire departments there, from the police departments.

“We want everybody to come and be heard, be seen and know people care about you and what you are going through. Our speakers will give encouragement to youth and talk about why this event is so important. They will talk about themselves. Dr. Ali will talk about her experiences growing up with bullying, why it’s important to have faith and never give up,” he said.

Vendors will provide information about how people can find help if they are bullied, as well as for mental-health concerns. The Recreation Center’s concession stand will be open, and the Mister Softee truck will be on the grounds.

Adriano ‘Bubba’ Almony, a part-time resident of Ocean View, is a professional body guard. He was named LV Magazine’s Humanitarian of the Year and this summer is teaching local kids how to avoid being bullied.

Following what Almony called “an outdoor fanfest” at noon, to give those attending the opportunity to meet the guests, doors will open at 3:30 p.m., and a celebrity basketball game will take place at 5 p.m.

Admission for the event costs $20, or $40 for a VIP ticket that allows ticketholders to sit near the basketball players and take photographs with them. See www.bubbaalmony.com for more information.

The winning basketball team will receive a trophy, and proceeds from the event will benefit organizations that work to improve mental health and to fight cancer and bullying. Almony said he hopes to raise as much as $50,000 and expects 2,000 people to attend from Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.

Other guests will include former NFL offensive tackle Vinston Painter; 12-year-old Samaya Clark-Gabriel, an athlete and actress, and the only child to perform with the Harlem Globetrotters; Jonte Hall, the shortest Harlem Globetrotter, at 5 feet, 2 inches tall. The guest list also includes 14-year-old Demarjay Smith, known as “the Young Jamaican Trainer,” who, at age 8, made a video and gave a motivational speech about being healthy and fit, causing it to go viral and getting him an invitation to be a guest on the “Ellen” TV show; and officer Tommy Norman, who has worked for the North Little Rock, Ark., police department since 1998 and received national attention for charitable actions toward youth.

Almony said he’s hoping to see the U.S. Army National Guard land a Black Hawk helicopter at the event.

Sherman, the Delmarva Shorebirds mascot, will be there, as well as Salisbury University cheerleaders and a Salisbury Zoo reptile display.

To protect against transmission of the coronavirus, masks will be recommended indoors and everyone’s temperature will be taken at the door. Hand sanitizer will be available, and the facility will the cleaned throughout the day.

“Bringing all these people together, we want to show those who have been bullied or have other issues that there are others that care about them, that love them, that want to treat the issues they are having as their own. We are ready to help them in their battles, to share our examples and experiences,” Almony said.

“If people come to this event, they could get skills that could save their lives and make their community more tightly knit.”

If you would like to learn more about anti-bullying efforts, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Family Dynamics: Sibling Rivalry | Corona, CA

Unless you are an only child, you have to deal with siblings. They could be the same sex, they could be opposite, you could have a mixture of both. But no matter what the equation, siblings enrich a family’s dynamic in some of the best ways. It also spurs a little something we call sibling rivalry.

Let’s be honest – even the closest of sibling will fight. It’s gone on since the beginning of time and will likely never stop. Friendly competition is a good thing. Challenging each other helps us grow. But there is a difference between sibling rivalry, and bullying.

But ordinary skirmishes over the remote or a certain toy are one thing. But constant physical and verbal abuse is another. A study involving children and adolescents around the country found that those who were attacked, threatened or intimidated by a sibling had increased levels of depression, anger and anxiety. And now that we are all stuck together in a house due to COVID-19, it is important to analyze these behaviors and make changes as soon as possible.

Normal rivalries with siblings can encourage healthy competition but when the line between healthy relations and abuse is crossed it is cause for alarm. When one child is consistently the victim of another and the aggression is intended to cause harm and humiliation, it is then to be considered a serious situation.

Overall, a third of the children in the study reported being victimized by a sibling, and their scores were higher on measures of anxiety, depression and anger. During this time, let’s take a moment to enjoy our time together and make improvements to solidify your family bonds.

If you would like to learn more about sibling rivalry, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Compassion Is Vital | Corona, CA

As much as we hate to admit it, summer is passing by so quickly. Soon the kids will be back at school and all the business of autumn is with us. Back to early mornings and after-school routines will be in full force, so many of us begin to adjust our schedules accordingly before the end of summer. This way, the transition is a bit easier once these school days are upon us. While we are preparing for waking up earlier and growing a bit smarter in the upcoming year, make sure that you also address the attitudes that will begin the year as well.

There’s no denying the fact that bullying is running rampant throughout our world. But it doesn’t need to trickle into our little human’s mind. They need to begin their next school year excited and ready to learn.

So, this school year we would like to encourage you to help your children become sensitive to the feelings that they see in their classmates, friends and family. Your sensitivity will be a big part of their developing it within themselves. If you are already helping a friend or family member as they are dealing with a problem, let them see what you are doing. It could be as simple as their knowing that you have been sitting with that friend or family member. When they begin to understand that you will always be there for them, perhaps not having to solve the problem, but just letting that person know they are cared for, your child will be on a great journey to compassion and caring that will serve them all their lives. Be that great example for your children at home.

If you would like to learn more about bullying prevention, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Rise like a Phoenix | Corona, CA

When we are bullied as kids, it often feels like it’ll never end – that we will always be bullied, no matter what we do. Fortunately, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Believe it or not, but there are many celebrities that have not only had bullies growing up but grew into fantastic adults. And while we may never rid the world of bullying, it is important to let our children know it isn’t the end of the world. Time heals all wounds – even ones caused by bullying. Still unsure? Take a look at some of our greatest bullied celebrities.

Elon Musk. Closer to being a real-life Iron Man than Robert Downey Jr., Elon was severely bullied, and was once hospitalized when a group of boys threw him down a flight of stairs, and then beat him until he blacked out. Musk is now a multi-billionaire and plans to colonize Mars by 2040.

Kate Middleton. A story similar to a Disney tale, the Duchess only lasted two terms at Downe House boarding school because fellow students tormented her. She now supports anti-bullying charities with her husband, Prince William.

Michael Phelps. The most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael was bullied about his lisp and his big ears. He told Yahoo Sports; “I kind of laugh at it now. I think it made me stronger going through that.”

Tony Hawk. When Tony Hawk was in high school, being into skateboarding was the equivalent of being into ultimate Frisbee today. In an interview, Hawk said; “[The bullying] gave me the fire to push it even further. I liked that it set me apart and I didn’t care what they thought.”

If you would like to learn more about bullying prevention, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

What You Can Do to Stop Bullying | Corona, CA

bullying

Bullying is a terrible thing to witness. Not only is it mean, but the victim of the bullying is hurt. When you do nothing, you send the message that bullying is acceptable. If you ignore or minimize the problem, victims will not believe that adults understand or care, or that they can help. And if you don’t intervene, their peers won’t either. So, when you see someone being bullied, take a moment to step in and help stop it. Not sure how to do it? Here are some simple ways to make a difference:

Intervene immediately. Stand between or near the victim and the bully, separating them if necessary, so as to stop the bullying behaviors. For young children, consider removing them from the situation to a “time-out” area or room. Remain calm but convey the seriousness of the situation. Announce that the bullying must stop. Describe the behavior you observed and why it is unacceptable.

Get help if needed. If the bully is using physical force, or there is more than one bully, you may need to find another adult to help keep children safe and protect yourself.

Don’t impose immediate consequences. Make sure you gather all the information before deciding the best course of disciplinary action and refrain from punishing the bully in front of peers.

Don’t ask children to “work things out” for themselves.  Bullying is different from an argument or conflict – it involves a power imbalance that requires adult intervention.

Give praise and show appreciation to helpful bystanders.  Children who try to help the victim or stop the bully are key to bullying prevention.

Stick around. Remain in the area until you are sure the behavior has stopped.

If you would like to learn more about bullying prevention, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Students at Risk for Bullying | Corona, CA

There’s no doubt that bullying has become a problematic epidemic in the United States, but just how much of a problem has it become? Whether it be cyber bullying or bullying in real life, just about everyone has experienced some degree of bullying throughout their lifetime. Though some children and teens experience bullying at high rates and with more persistence than others, just about every child around the country is mostly likely going to have some type of connection to bullying.

Sadly, children and teens that are considered different than others are the most frequent targets of bullies. Youth with disabilities; gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students; students that are overweight; and students that are perceived as weak or insecure are the most likely targets of bullies. However, even if a child does have these risk factors, it doesn’t mean they will get bullied.

The problem really stems from the fact that many bullied students will not speak up when it happens, for fear of retaliation, not being believed, etc. And sadly, we continue to hear how this bullying is affecting the students directly – at times having an incredibly tragic end. We, as adults, need to be able to make our children feel comfortable with speaking up without feeling scared to do so.

In addition, parents and teachers that are in close contact with children on the school’s campus need to help put bullying to an end. It takes a village to raise a child – we all need to come together to support and accept one another to help reduces these alarming statistics as a community.

If you would like to learn more about bullying, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Why Students May Not Talk About Bullying | Corona, CA

Many of us know a child who has stayed home from school because they were afraid of being bullied – but you may not realize it. An average of 160,000 students around the country stay home daily out of fear of being bullied each day but do not tell an adult. There are 5 universal reasons why this is the case…

Don’t tattle. We have all been taught not to tattle, but it is vitally important that children learn the difference between tattling about unimportant things and telling someone when bullying is taking place.

Don’t make it worse. Children may fear that things could escalate if the issue is addressed.

Won’t be believed. Some children feel that they will not be listened to and that the issue will not be believed if they tell an adult or suggest it was self-inflicted.

Won’t help. A majority of children believe that telling an adult does nothing to stop the bullying. Sadly, research tends to support this thought. If children learn that adults won’t help, then they are not very likely to report the incidents.

Shame. When children are bullied, they often feel ashamed or embarrassed. These feelings alone can keep them from reporting issues, because they don’t want people to know that they were being bullied.

The challenges that children face when not telling adults that they are being bullied can be dealt with by having a bully prevention program in place in every school, as well as parents and adults talking to children about bullying and the importance of telling someone in authority when it happens, and treated in a positive light.

If you would like to learn more about bullying statistics, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

Just the Facts, Sir: Bullying Edition | Corona, CA

With as much media attention as has been given to the tragic consequences of bullying, one only has to read the comments section of online articles about bullying to really see that many adults still don’t fully comprehend the negative impact that bullying has on so many children every day. And unfortunately, there are many times that parents will be unaware of any bullying their child may be facing in their daily life. It doesn’t even matter where you live or who you are – there are bullies everywhere.

In order to fully grasp just how incredible bullying has gotten in the last few years, let’s take a look at some bullying statistics:

Because of bullying, 160,000 kids in the US stay home from school every day.

83% of bullying incidents receive no intervention and continue to happen.

Bullies are four times more likely to engage in criminal behavior as an adult and often develop suicidal thoughts.

Male bullying more often consists of verbal and physical abuse, whereas female bullies use verbal abuse and social bullying by spreading of rumors.

Only half of educators have received training on how to handle bullying situations.

In a 2007 report it showed that nearly 80% of students who experienced bullying stated that it occurred inside the school grounds.

Verbal assaults amongst children more often target appearances and behaviors rather than race or religious affiliations.

33.1% of middle and high school students surveyed agree or strongly agrees that teachers can stop bullying.  And 2/3 of these students are not confident that they can get help from their teachers.

Approximately one out of ten Internet users aged 10-17 had been the victim of cyber bullying.

If you would like to learn more about bullying statistics, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.

‘Tis the Season to Stop Bullying | Corona, CA

It’s the holidays – a time to be with our loved ones celebrating our love of one another during this festive time of year. But even the most joyous occasions can be ruined by a bully. Why would anyone want to spoil this magical time of year with bullying? Well, individuals bully for a number of reasons, understanding why they bully can help you overcome bullying or help others who may be being bullied move past it as well. The truth is bullies are basically lashing out as a form of concealing their own troubles or shortcomings.

Walk away from the bully. Bullies want to know they have control over your emotions so don’t react with anger or retaliate with physical force. If you walk away, ignore them, or calmly and assertively tell them you’re not interested in what they have to say, you’re demonstrating that they don’t have control over you.

Protect yourself. If you can’t walk away and are being physically hurt, protect yourself so you can get away. Your safety is the first priority.

Report the bullying to a trusted adult. If you don’t report threats and assaults, a bully will often become more and more aggressive. In many cases adults can find ways to help with the problem without letting the bully know it was you who reported them.

Repeat as necessary. Like the bully, you may have to be relentless. Report each and every bullying incident until it stops. There is no reason for you to ever put up with bullying. Enjoy this holiday season bully-free.

If you would like to learn more about anti-bullying techniques, contact Simple Acts of Care and Kindness at 866-459-7225 or visit www.simpleacts.org for additional information.