OCTOBER 31, 2017
NEW YORK—Parents in the United States rank bullying as the number one health concern for their children, according to a 2017 C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health, conducted at the University of Michigan.
The website stopbullying.gov, managed by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, reveals a possible basis for parents’ concerns: Conclusive research has shown that some 30% of U.S. students say they have been bullied at school.
David A. Semonian, a spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses at their world headquarters in New York, states: “We recognize that bullying poses a major threat to children. As part of our Bible education work, we make resources available that address bullying and other challenges families face. For nearly five years now, millions of families around the world have found our whiteboard animated short Beat a Bully Without Using Your Fists very helpful.”
This video, just under four minutes in length, is available on the Witnesses’ official website, jw.org, in over 280 languages, including more than 30 sign languages.
“I really liked the concept of Beat a Bully Without Using Your Fists,” states Natalia Cárdenas Zuluaga, coordinator of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health graduate program at CES University in Colombia, “because, for example, in my country, sometimes violence is the way that parents teach their kids to solve conflicts. I think the video gives good strategies for kids who are being bullied. Also, the video conveys an important reality about bullying: That anyone can be bullied just for being different. Understanding this fact can give children an inner calm and also a confidence in their own characteristics and personality.”
Dr. Jun Sung Hong, adjunct assistant professor at Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea, states: “Given the illustrative cartoon format, the video could be helpful as well as appealing, especially to younger kids who are bullied. I also believe the viewer is more likely to remember the contents because of the cartoon images provided.”
Additionally, Dr. Shelley Hymel, co-founder of the international Bullying Research Network, observes: “I think it is quite a good message for kids and is consistent with the research that I know. It would be a good discussion starter for parents or teachers or adults who work with children and youth.”
Mr. Semonian concludes: “We are concerned for children who are bullied and certainly hope they will find the tips in our video helpful. As our video recommends, young people should confide in someone they trust, especially their parents or a teacher, who can offer the guidance and support needed. No one should try to cope with bullying alone.”
David A. Semonian, Office of Public Information, +1-845-524-3000