Q-C groups work to help stop bullying

Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2013, 9:44 pm
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By Anthony Watt, awatt@qconline.com
A group of Quad-Cities organizations is seeking to focus on bullying and help people cope with it.

A series of events, television programming and online resources have been put together by CARE QC -- Connecting Anti-Bullying Resources and Education -- which includes WQPT-Quad Cities PBS and a number of not-for-profits.

Through Friday, the series includes several informational sessions and even a ballet. Related programming on WQPT aired over the weekend and on Monday.

"That is the whole idea; it is to be a community-wide conversation," Lora Adams, WQPT's director of marketing and local content, said Monday night at an event to educate parents and children about bullying in real life and online.

CARE and its programming got its beginning when WQPT was working with Achieve Quad Cities on a mentoring program, Ms. Adams said. The goal was to keep reduce the drop-out rate, andorganizers learned from students that bullying was among the top reasons for dropping out, she said.

People at Monday's event could talk with experts about bullying and take a bullying survey developed by Western Illinois University. They learned about anti-bullying laws in Illinois andslang terms such as "flaming' and "sexting."

Michelle Chavez, 35, Moline, came with her 12-year-old daughter, Maya, and others. She said she was happy the series was being offered and wanted to learning more about how to cope with bullying.

She said she learned a lot about the problems a young person can run into online and definitions of unfamiliar terms.

"Now I know," she said.

Maya said she knows students who have been bullied or who have bullied others. She said she was bullied in the sixth grade for how she looked and dressed.

"I was new," Maya said, adding shecoped by developing friendships."They stuck up for me."

Angie Kendall, Child Abuse Council community education program manager, said bullying often has its root in difference; someone is singled out because they are not like others for some reason. There also likely will be a desire to feel superior to someone else.

Bullying affects both the victim and the aggressor, she said. Negative effects include depression, reduced academic performance and social isolation.

Few children tell anyone they are being bullied, Ms. Kendall said, and they should seek help. She added adults need to listen to children when come forward. Adults should avoid belittling an experience, she said, keeping in mind that what might seem trivial to an adult may be very important to the child being bullied.

The treatment for bullies includes finding the root of their behavior and providing healthy outlets, she said.

She also said adults should also keep their own behavior and the behavior of other adults in mind. Bullies exist in many age groups, and children get their cues from adults.

Mike Mickle, head of QC Family Focus, said histhree children -- one each in elementary, middle and high school -- find security in a network of close friends. So far, he said, they have not been subject to bullying.

"But I'm not foolish enough to believe it couldn't happen," Mr. Mickle said.

For More Information

These are the upcoming events in CARE's series:

--A community discussion from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday at the Moline Public Library, 3210 41st St., Moline.

-- A performance of the "Ugly Duckling" by Ballet Quad Cities from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday, at Davenport North High School, 626 W. 53rd St., Davenport. Admission is free to the public.

WQPT also has more information available at wqpt.org/stopbullying/ . Western Illinois University's bullying survey is also available there.


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