On Monday evening Emily Bazelon, author of Sticks and Stones: Defeating the Culture of Bullying and Rediscovering the Power of Character and Empathy, spoke to a packed auditorium at the Harvard School of Education. Here’s what you missed:
1. Bullying, defined: According to Bazelon, bullying is harassment that repeats over time and involves a power imbalance. It’s not garden-variety “kids-will-be-kids” roughhousing. It is not teasing. And it’s not normal.
2. Bullying, in context: Bullying isn’t necessarily more widespread than it was in the past. But we are more aware of it now, in part because modern-day bullying spills from the playground onto the computer screen, smartphone, and Facebook page, allowing more people, including parents, to witness the cruelty. Cultural awareness of bullying has experienced two recent waves: the first around 2001, shortly after the Columbine massacre, and the second, after the suicide of Phoebe Prince in 2010, which inspired state legislatures to get more serious about preventing bullying. [Read more…]