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“Say Something” – Silence Is Not Always Golden – Peggy Moss, Guest Of The CyberHood Watch – CHWradio

by dballard on April 6, 2010


Empower Our Children - There Is No Room For Bullies

Peggy Moss, author of “Say Something”, and why you would want to talk to Peggy about bullying. Peggy was a lawyer with the Attorney General’s office working with the Civil Rights Team Project and the Civil Rights Unit, which afforded Peggy Moss a unique perspective dealing with hate violence and bullying.

Peggy brought to our attention something that should be a concern for all parents, and that is the age of children impacted by hate violence is becoming younger and younger. Personally, that is disheartening to hear. It seems the age of innocence is slowly eroding and it should be the concern of every parent as to why. The outcome of the team’s investigation did not expose any one particular demographics that demonstrated hate violence. However, one answer as to why younger and younger children are exposed to hate violence may be their access to information. “Kids are learning the language of hate, at a much younger age, they don’t always know what they’re saying”, said Peggy.


Author Peggy Moss - Guest of The CyberHood Watch - CHWradio

Peggy’s approach and the team was to start working with schools, teachers, students, and parents and how to prevent hate violence, bullying, and teasing before it escalates and someone gets badly hurt.

During the interview, Peggy shared with us the story of Sara, and how her story became the catalyst to writing, “Say Something”. Sometimes, feeling sorry for someone or saying, “Sorry you were treated that way” doesn’t cut it, and will not get you the absolution you may be wanting. There was something else Peggy said, it is not good enough to feel vindicated because you were not the bully and would not behave like that, even though you walked on by without doing anything. However, Sara’s story is a lesson for those who witness the bullying of others and what steps an individual bystander can take to help stop the bullying.


Kids Who Are Scared...Don't Learn.

By the time, an incident had reached Peggy and the Attorney General’s office often it has escalated to a point of harming someone or something. When asked if there were something that could be learned from these instances, Peggy noted that when an incident was reversed engineered to the beginning they found typically it stemmed from “words” and/or “teasing”. Moreover, within these schools certain words, put-downs, or epithets were sanctioned and completely acceptable.

When these behaviors become the norm and permitted, the victim is no longer seen as Mary and/or Jimmy, but as objects of the words or teasing, and seen exclusively as a racial or anti-gay epithet and no longer as a person. You no longer see them as someone who has brothers or sisters or having dreams and aspirations, but the stigma associated with the hateful violent words.


"Say Something"

A tip for parents, do not worry about being the “Fun Sponge”.  When you hear something inappropriate that is hurtful…Say something. At that moment, saying something, whether or not you feel awkward, saying something, is better than allowing an inappropriate comment to be assumed acceptable, it is not…Stop the hurt.

How does a child step in to help when they fear retaliation from the bully? Peggy Moss tells kids never put you between the bully and the target and never escalate the problem. You can approach the situation not by addressing the bully; you can call out to the “target” and say. “Hey come here a second, I want to ask you something”. Pulling the target away under another pretense from the bully and walking away together can diffuse the situation.

Kids who are scared…Cannot learn. Do not deny our children free public education because of bullies.

david c ballard

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