Bullying is a problem that begins in the home and extends into the school environment. In one of his latest books, Stopping School Violence, Derek Randel shares his ideas and solutions to help the situation. Most of his thoughts are geared toward parents, though there is advice for teachers as well. It is an eye-opening book that anyone involved with children should read.
Derek Randel was kind enough to send me a review copy of the book to read prior to my email interview.
Why did you write this book?
I had a family member severely bullied and the school did nothing. Then, as a teacher I noticed where I taught we covered up the bullying.
Why is it so important today?
Bullying leads to lifelong problems including depression and anxiety. Bullying also leads into dating violence, domestic violence, child abuse and workplace bullying.
What makes your book stand out from others?
My book is all about solutions.
What is your background?
I taught math for twelve years and I’m a parent.
Why did you choose to be so honest, instead of politically correct, in this day of being so P.C.?
P.C. is ruining our education system. We need to be more direct about the problems and solutions.
What is an example of misunderstood facts about bullying?
It is just boys being boys, wrong.
What is most important for parents to know about school violence?
I think they need to be aware that it is in their school. Denial does not make the problem go away.
What is most important for teachers to know about school violence?
What you permit, you promote.
Why is there such a rise in school violence?
Many reasons including lack of parenting skills and the media glorifying violence.
What can scared students do instead of bringing weapons for defense?
Tell an adult, silence only benefits the bully. Also, look into self-defense training.
How early can bullying start?
It starts in preschool.
Should parents take a look at their own behavior?
Absolutely. Most bullies are also victims.
Can a bully be rehabilitated?
Yes. Learning about empathy would be a good starting point.
How can intimidated children build self-esteem? How can parents and educators best assist the process?
Self-esteem is an inside job. It will come through struggles and problem solving. Parents and teachers need to allow the students to struggle and not bail them out.
Why are teachers prone to ignoring bullying behaviors?
Some don’t care. Some have done what was expected and were not supported by the administration. We can never put all teachers in just one category.
How and why are girls worse bullies than boys?
It has to do with attacking their relationships and girls never forget.
What is bullycide?
Unfortunately it is when a student commits suicide due to being bullied. It is happening way too often.
Is media attention to bullying and school violence, such as school shootings, contributing to the problem?
The media frequently comments that it is, yet they can’t stop.
Glorifying the shooters does not help. Everyone wants their fifteen minutes of fame and when a shooter gets his picture on the cover of Time or Newsweek then it can contribute to the problem.
How has technology worsened the bullying problem?
Cyberbullying has taken bullying to a new level.
Why does cyberbullying seem to be so much nastier than face-to-face bullying?
Anyone can become a bully and all you need is a keyboard. You’re anonymous, no more face to face bullying.
Please define sexting.
Taking nude or partially nude picture of yourself and sending them to someone.
What do cities need to do to curb gang problems?
Jail is looked as a training ground and a recruiting center. We want gangbangers to walk out of jail saying “I do not want to come back here.” No more visiting with my comrades.
Can city curfews help the situation?
It couldn’t hurt.
Why are educators now at more of a risk of being bullied?
Because of the lack of parenting skills, lack of respect for teachers, lack of teacher training, lack of holding students accountable for their actions.
Why are parents worse with educators now?
Many feel it come from protesting the Vietnam war. Now these individuals feel entitled.
Please tell us more about Parent Smart From the Heart.
This is our parent program on how to remove the yelling from your home. My wife and I had to learn a new way of parenting since what we were doing was not working. We (my wife and I) now coach other parents in issues they are facing.
What are your other publications?
The Parent Manual, Bittersweet Moments, Stopping School Violence, Attacking our Educators, Parent Smart From The Heart, and The Stopping School Violence Manual.
Do you have any future plans for upcoming projects?
Yes, workplace bullying.
Can children benefit from reading this book?
Yes. This will give them an idea of what different types of solutions are available.
Thank you so much for your time!