Why there is an increase in bullying today

Watch Video: Why there is an increase in bullying today by Reveta Bowers, ...
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Why there is an increase in bullying today

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When I think about the topics that are on the minds of schools today, bullying is right at the top of the list. It's a societal concern, and it's certainly a concern for parents, teachers, and schools. But I don't think there's any more bullying now than there was 41 years ago when I started at the Center for Early Education. I think there's misinterpretation about what happens with kids socially. Of course there are situations where kids are bullied. Every school deals with a situation occasionally when there is sustained and relentless aggression directed at another child that is unkind and thoughtless. And we have to step in in those moments when there's real bullying and we have to put an end to it and not let any children become a victim. But I think an unkind word said at the lunch table or the lack of an invitation to a birthday party for a child is not an act of bullying. And I think we need to be more discriminatory about something that's just unkind in a single or a slightly repeated act and what is sustained and often pervasive cruelty among children. As schools have become more diverse, there is the opportunity to notice differences. And kids are always the first people to know differences and similarities. They begin to understand that as 2 year olds. But I think in schools often, the unkind remark that a child makes is not bullying; it's thoughtlessness. I think we also need to do some education about what bullying really is, because victims of bullying are victims of the worst kind of cruelty in society. And we often pick on those children who feel different already, when in fact we should be going out of our way to make them feel like viable, vital, welcome members of our schools and of society. So parent education is important. Professional development for teachers is important. And I think as a society, whether we're in schools or businesses, we need to be more watchful.

Watch Video: Why there is an increase in bullying today by Reveta Bowers, ...

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Reveta Bowers

Head of School

Now starting her forty-second year, Reveta Bowers is the Head of School at The Center for Early Education, an urban pre-school through 6th grade Los Angeles independent school with 538 students. Devoted to children and education, Ms. Bowers served and has served on a number of boards. She is currently on Board of Overseers of the UCLA Healthcare System, on the founding board of the African American Board Leadership Institute and the board of the FEDCO Charitable Foundation. She just completed serving as Chair Emeritus of the Board of Directors of the California Community Foundation. A past president and former secretary of The Educational Records Bureau Board, Reveta Bowers was also a member of the Advisory Board to the Klingenstein Center at Teacher’s College for ten years. She served as an outside director on the Board of Directors of the Walt Disney Company for ten years and is a former member of the Harvard-Westlake, Brentwood and Windward School boards. Reveta was on the Council for Spiritual and Ethical Education board, and the boards of the National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls and the Country Day Headmaster’s Association. She served as a trustee and treasurer of the NAIS Board, and as past president of the California Association of Independent Schools. For the past thirteen years she has also been on the faculty of the NAIS Institute for New Heads where she serves as the Lead Faculty member. One of her proudest career moments was receiving the NAIS Diversity Leadership Award in 2009. She has had a long and rewarding career in independent schools and finds her work with organizations supporting education, students, parents, community and Board work to be continually inspiring.

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