We all know that bullying is a big problem in our schools, and that it starts young. I have a fourth-grader who tells me stories of stuff he's seen in the hallways over the years that makes my heart sink. There are a lot of adults out there carrying the torch of putting an end to bullying - and that's great, because we need as big a chorus as we can get.
But let's face it: kids aren't necessarily going to listen to some grown-up they may or may not know. They're much more likely to pay attention to a teenager they see around town, who by virtue of their age and status in a small community with only one high school is the coolest thing since the latest Harlem Shake video (presumably a lot cooler).
That's why I was elated when I saw that a handful of students from our local high school had put together a short YouTube video to be shared with the students at my son's elementary school. Pastor pride also beamed forth, since nearly half of these kids are church members of mine (Emily, remind me never to get a drink from the water fountain when you're in the room ;-). So much about this video is awesome, including the production quality (done by the same church youth who created our church's capital campaign video earlier this year). More importantly is the way it highlights different kinds of bullying beyond the physical - verbal, cyber, etc. And the critical message at the end: that whether you're the bullier, the bullied or a bystander, it's up to you to bring it to a stop.
A word of explanation about the video's name - the mascot of our local high school is the Bears. The cool thing is that all four of our city schools have a variation of the same mascot. So it really is all Bears at all schools "bulldozing bullies."
I can't wait for my son and all his elementary school friends to see this video and know it was made by some high school buddies they'll likely bump into in the grocery store or at church on Sunday morning. I hope they'll tell them "thanks." I know I'll be.
(Click HERE if you can't see the video above)