Panelist: Bullying must be addressed
Several residents attended the Bullskin Township Neighborhood Watch meeting on Tuesday to learn more about bullying and how to combat it.
Watch-group member Edwin Zylka questioned panelists who included Heath Randolph, chief for the Fayette County Juvenile Probation Office; Cale White, deputy chief for the Fayette County Juvenile Probation Office; Chris Harbaugh, a teacher at Mt. Carmel Christian School; and Dan Krofcheck, principal of Southmoreland High School.
White said bullying occurs in every social setting in which an individual or individuals attempt to establish a hierarchy.
“A child attempts to reach a higher status through physical means, whereas adults can use finances or their job position to reach it,” he said.
Krofcheck said bullying has existed in some form and to some level throughout the years, but it has become more prevalent with the continued introduction of new technology and social media.
“Face-to-face bullying is very rare compared to online bullying these days,” he said.
Don Witt, a former teacher with the Connellsville Area School District, explained his program on violence prevention. He offers a R.A.D. (resisting aggression defensively) kids' safety program.
Three rules taught in his program:
• No one has the right to hurt you.
• You don't have the right to hurt anyone else unless they are hurting you.
• You have every right to defend yourself; if someone hurts you, it's not your fault, and it's OK to tell someone.
Witt said that good-natured teasing turns into bullying when the person on the receiving end no longer is having fun.
Krofcheck said there is no fail-safe way to address the bullying issue. He said education is the key.
“What it comes down to is education and awareness as parents and as a community. It's our personal responsibility to teach our children that there are consequences to our actions,” he said.
A few parents and guardians present on Tuesday night wanted to let the others know that bullying does happen and that sometimes it's hard to get a response from school officials when parents' concerns are expressed.
Shirley Rosenberger, a clerk with Carnegie Free Library, said sometimes parents wonder what else they possibly could do because nothing ever seems to punish bullies.
“These days children are spoiled, and they bully their parents into getting what they want — and that just carries over to their peers,” she said. “In our society today, reality shows are everywhere, and there's always friction or someone arguing on those shows. Our children are learning about bullying on television.”
Gregory Martray, a guidance counselor at Connellsville Area High School, sent Zylka some responses to his questions through email. Martray was unable to attend.
Zylka said Martray listed several actions that a parent can take if they believe their child is a bullying victim.
Persistence is the key. Parents should intervene immediately, separate the kids involved, stay calm, model respectful behavior when they intervene, don't ignore the problem and don't force other children to say publicly what they saw.
The next neighborhood-watch meeting will be held 7 p.m. May 28 in Pennsville Baptist Church Education Center.
Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fire damages state Rep. Ryan Warner’s office in North Union
- Connellsville-region grads to converge for Golden Reunion
- Henry: Job and education fair slated for Wednesday in Connellsville
- National veterans charity to receive funds raised in Connellsville pageant
- Connellsville gets spring scouring
- Fire at North Union industrial building ruled accidental
- FRIENDS of Carnegie Free Library of Connellsville seeks members
- Lynn: Crazy Cowboy Band to perform at Dawson Brownfield center
- Couple hope Connellsville shop will attract trail users
- Champion Christian School students to present biblical-based musical
- Fayette judge: Man not competent to stand trial for fatal stabbing