Bullying

Bullying

by the Rev. Dave Ferrell, Deacon at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Nevada City

Last spring, I learned about an anti-bullying program from the Project Director, Peter Yarrow. Yes, he is the Peter of Peter, Paul & Mary fame. He is also the author of, “Puff the Magic Dragon.”

The program is part of Operation Respect and is entitled, “Don’t laugh at me.” It is a program being used by schools and camps around the country as well as the world. As one example, it is being used with Israeli and Palestinian children very successfully. The program provides guide books and CDs for Camps and Teacher Guides for grades 2-5 and 6-8.

Last June, during the week I worked at Camp Noel Porter, I used a portion of the Teacher’s Guide. In addition to the curriculum, each day includes listening to the song, “Don’t Laugh at Me.” Then discussing its connection with the day's program. The use of this song and others was helpful in providing a more open dialog within the group. I was somewhat surprised at the level of involvement of the young people. They all got involved on one level or another.

I used the guide for grades 6-8. It is easy to use and very relevant. Over the years, I have worked with bullying problems fairly extensively. I am a retired probation officer and I have a master’s degree in counseling. Both of these factors have led to my involvement with both those who have been bullied and those who bully. I would recommend this program to everyone.

You can go to www.operationrespect.org to obtain more information on the program.

If you have questions, please contact me.

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