Bullying is something parents, students and educators are talking about, and children’s author Peter J. Goodman has put out a list of things to think about. (Goodman is the author of “We’re All Different But We’re All Kitty Cats.”) We often talk about the victims, but what about the perpetrator? What about the root of the problem? Very interesting stuff. Here are some things Goodman says about bullies:
- They aren’t sure about the best way to communicate their feelings. Usually, there is something that a bully wants, but they tend to go about trying to get it in the wrong way. While people have typically thought that bullies were never the popular kids, for example, research shows that they are often popular kids. They tend to bully because they are trying to look good to their peers, and become even more popular.
- They may be hurting inside and want you to hurt, too. Some kids who bully don’t feel good about themselves and may be bullying others to help offset their own feelings. Bullies usually want to feel stronger. Bullying others makes them feel stronger and more powerful. Bullies, especially those who bully to raise their social status, want desperately to fit in with their peers and be accepted.
- They are probably bullying people in the home, too. If someone is a bully at school, there is also a good chance they are bullying someone in the home, such as a sibling. Research published in the British Journal of Developmental Psychology found that children who bully at school are likely also bullying their siblings in the home.
- They have probably also been bullied, somewhere along the way. Some children who bully have learned the behavior at home. Research has found that many children who bully have seen such behavior in the home, or are more likely to have been exposed to violence in the home.
- They probably sought you out because they thought you were weak. According to the American Psychological Association, a typical victim is sensitive, quiet, withdrawn, shy, insecure, has low self-esteem, and appears physically weaker than the bully. Those students who appear not to have at least one good friend are often seen as easy targets by bullies.
The Oklahoma City School Board is meeting tonight, and one of the agenda items is to name members of the Gifted and Talented Education program committee. Here’s the slate:
- Ms. Passion Bradley, GATE district coordinator and academic interventionist (photo at right)
- Dr. Wilbur House, executive director of curriculum development
- Ms. Natalie Johnson, professional growth and development
- Ms. Deann Davis, executive director of elementary schools and reform
- Ms. Jackie Mania, administrator of the Innovations Virtual Institute
- Ms. Anika Wilson, district volunteer coordinator
- Ms. Brittany Couch, Youth for Christ – Impact
- Mr. Scott McAdoo, Classen School of Advanced Studies assistant principal
- Mr. Kirk Wilson, Wilson Elementary principal
- Mr. John Mulzet, Taft Middle School teacher
- Ms. Mandy Williams, Quail Creek Elementary parent
Here’s information from the Norman Public Schools administration:
The Norman Board of Education tonight increased teacher pay and support personnel (such as bus drivers, maintenance staff, school secretaries, crossing guards, teacher assistants, interpreters, etc.) for the 2012-2013 school year. The teacher pay increase is approximately $1.1 million and the support increase is approximately $750,000, which is a total of nearly $2 million for both NPS employee groups. This action is not a result of an increase in state funding but rather the district utilizing reserve funds to make it possible. A press release on tonight’s action is posted at: http://www.norman.k12.ok.us/index.php?news-press-releases&action=view&post_id=43 .The press release also includes hyperlinks to an opinion piece the superintendent wrote and which was published last week regarding the district’s reserve funds.
You have one more day to nominate someone!
GlobalHealth announced today that its Inspiration Award for Employees in Education, which recognizes outstanding education professionals in the community, will return in August to school districts across Oklahoma.
GlobalHealth is an Oklahoma-based health maintenance organization that provides affordable healthcare coverage for federal, state, education and local government employees. The GlobalHealth Inspiration Award is a statewide campaign to honor and recognize education professionals who make a difference in their communities.
“This is a great opportunity to reward education employees throughout the state for inspiring students,” said Former Oklahoma first lady and former teacher, Kim Henry. “As a former educator, I know how hard educators work to make sure their students succeed inside and outside the classroom.”
In order to qualify, the nominee must be employed full-time by the participating school district. The 10 education employees who receive the most nominations will become finalists. The community will then vote for the most inspiring education professional in each district. The person who receives the most votes will win $100, and the winner’s school will receive $1,000 from GlobalHealth. Each district participating will also receive a $3,000 donation from GlobalHealth.
Community members can begin nominating employees on Aug. 8 by visiting the GlobalHealth Facebook page at www.facebook.com/globalhealthinc. Users must also “like” the GlobalHealth Facebook page to nominate or vote. Facebook users may nominate as many education employees as they like, with a limit of one nomination for each employee per day. Nominations will close on Sept. 5, and voting will begin Sept. 7.
Participating districts include: Bixby Public Schools, Bristow Public Schools, Coweta Public Schools, Enid Public Schools, Jenks Public Schools, Henryetta Public Schools, Muskogee Public Schools, Owasso Public Schools, Pryor Public Schools, Sand Springs Public Schools, Stillwell Public Schools, Wagoner Public Schools and Yukon Public Schools.
This is intersting:
Handing your child a sports or energy drink right an hour on the playground may not be the best thing you can do for your child.
“Even though sports and energy drinks are marketed to kids under the age of 18, they’re really not a good choice for children,” stressed Diana Romano, a Registered Dietitian and the Family and Consumer Sciences Educator for the Oklahoma County OSU Cooperative Extension Service. “They’re especially inappropriate when they’re consumed as meals or snacks in place of low-fat milk or water.”
Romano indicated that many parents perceive sports and energy drinks to be healthier choices than soft drinks, but routine consumption of sports drinks can lead to excessive calories and can actually increase a child’s risk of being overweight, obese or developing diabetes.
“Obesity and too much weight continue to be major problems for the youth in our state,” Romano explained. “Also, the citric acid that is a common ingredient in sports drinks can cause dental erosion.”
According to Romano, sports drinks are flavored beverages that contain carbohydrates, minerals and electrolytes and were developed for endurance athletes who need optimum performance and need to replace the electrolytes and fluids lost during excessive sweating.
“If your child is involved in prolonged, vigorous physical activity in hot, humid weather, a sports drink might be some benefit,” Romano said. “But in most cases, water is the best thing for young people to drink.”
Even though Romano and other dietitians caution against routine use of sports drinks, they do stress the need for adequate hydration during exercise and even routine daily activity.
“A person’s need for water increases during exercise and in environmental conditions including heat, humidity and sun exposure,” Romano said. “Lack of adequate water intake results in dehydration, which can affect sports performance.”
But Romano stressed that water should be the “routine” beverage of choice for youth, especially during the school day.
When it comes to energy drinks, Romano indicated that they can pose potential health risks for children because of their stimulant content.
“Caffeine is the primary source of stimulants in energy drinks and these drinks usually contain much later amounts found in a serving of cola,” Roman indicated.
The effects of high levels of caffeine in children and adolescents have not been studied, Romano said, but there is increased evidence of caffeine toxicity and addiction in youth, which can affect the development of neurological and cardiovascular systems.
“For that reason, we never recommend energy drinks for children or adolescents,” Romano stressed. “And we would only recommend a sports drinks if children are involved in strenuous endurance activities that last for an hour or more or during extremely hot or humid weather.”
Romano also indicated that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends eliminating all calorie-containing beverages from a well-balanced diet, with the exception of low-fat or fat-free milk.
“We have to help our children so that they will not suffer from being overweight or even obese,” Romano said. “One of the best ways to do that is to encourage our children to drink plenty of water and stay away from sugary drinks.”