Bullying is a community problem and it is of utmost importance that all of us get involved to reduce the bullying around us. To make everyone from the community involved in this initiative, we need to establish a relationship amongst everyone.
Bullying, being a community problem, makes the police more involved than ever before. When bullying is not corrected, this bad behavior turns into vandalism, stealing, and even murder.
While travelling across Canada and the United States, I have noticed that the police are recognizing the importance of what bullying is doing to their communities. The police have the most important position when it comes to reducing bullying. Who has more relationships than the police force? They have relationships with school boards, teachers, students, businesses, leaders, organizations, and the list goes on and on. They have relationships with the entire community.
As with educating teachers and parents, we need to bring in our Police Force into your Anti Bullying Program. Now and then, I see and hear about the police coming into schools to talk about bullying, but they usually only talk about the bully and the consequences. The goal is to educate the police on all aspects of bullying and their role inside the school and outside of school property.
We can’t ask them to do their job if they’re not trained properly. I was addressing at a D.A.R.E. Police conference and I can tell after I was done they left with the knowledge of how they can help stop this problem and how to start to be proactive instead of being reactive. I think the big wake-up call was when they recognized that bullying isn’t a school problem, but a community problem.
We also need to take the approach of educating students to speak up to their local police officials when they witness or become a victim of bullying, anytime and anywhere. When students know that the police force is there for their protection, then and only then can we start changing this epidemic and start moving towards a safer community.
A story I once heard a long time ago:
There was a father who took his son to the local pond to feed the ducks. The boy grabbed the bread and started to feed the ducks. Suddenly, the boy said, “Dad, I think that duck is sick, he isn’t eating any bread.” His dad looked over and started to chuckle. “Son, that is not a real duck, but a decoy duck made out of wood.” His son replied, “Well that’s silly, it doesn’t eat, it doesn’t quack and it doesn’t fly either.”
The father sat down with his son and told him that the wooden duck had a lot of value. “You see son, when the spring time comes, the owner of this pond puts the wooden duck in the middle of the pond. When the other ducks fly over they see a duck and decide to make the pond their home for the summer. You see, without the wooden duck, these other ducks would not be present.”
The police force in your community has so much value.