Re-examining rites of passage…

There are parts of an American childhood that are so iconic we consider them rites of passage.

My youngest daughter’s early experience with milk and cookies in a Houston hotel had her convinced (for 2 years!) that Houston was the best city on the planet and that it was her personal destiny to own a hotel.

Rites of passage are powerful experiences and the Media Awareness Project is getting ready to explore (on camera!) another, less pleasant rite of passage: Bullying.

“In 2012, more than 13 million children will be teased, taunted and physically assaulted by their peers, making bullying the most common form of violence our nation’s youth experience this year.”¹

Rep. Mike Honda (U.S. Representative for California’s 15th dist.)

That’s a big number, and the disturbing fact is that schools, parents and children are under-prepared to cope with its ramifications.

There are so many misconceptions about bullying: Boys will boys. That’s just how girls are.  Bullies are misunderstood children who don’t feel good about themselves.

Bullying in fact is about the balance of power.

We’re still telling kids: Avoid the bully.  Try to distract the bully with a joke. Don’t let him see you sweat. Words can’t hurt you.

And we’re watching the numbers climb.

  • 282,000 students are physically attacked in secondary school each month.²
  • 100,000 students carry a gun to school.²
  • 87% of kids say school shootings are motivated by a desire to ‘get back’ at those who have hurt them.²

But there are more enlightened ways to cope with bullying and make the playground, the school bus, the bathroom safe for every child.

  • Bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time when a PEER intervenes.

That’s a powerful number. It means that as is the case in many situations, kids have the power to reach kids far more quickly than adults sometimes do.
Eliminate the Hate will shoot Saturday June 2 in the Lake Travis area. If you would like to be a part of this production shoot us an email:

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