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Let’s Take The Focus Off The Word Bully



I have been asked to be interviewed by a Christian Broadcast program.  I plan to share the information I share with parents and students in my anti-aggression, bully prevention programs at schools and for school districts and conference events.

The discussion on the program will be bullying in the schools. I have asked my mentor and good friend Nancy Buyle from the MISD to offer up some things I should share on the program, and she wrote me this quick paragraph I would like to share with you.


I would love to impart if is appropriate the fact that 60% of our students/youth do not let us know that they are being mistreated—schools don’t know what they are not informed of. There is way too much focus on “bullying” these days—Bullying is a very specific dynamic—and you know it well…power imbalance, intent and repeated! Children do not yet have the brain capacity to most effectively deal with inappropriate behavior and the brain in youth read emotions very different than adults…and bullying is a very judgmental term and it may be mistreatment but not bullying. We need to teach school staff and students how to develop the skills necessary to negotiate this mistreatment.  We are built to connect and have relationship. “Hurt people, hurt people”.

 Nancy Buyle

I agree with Nancy we need to stop focusing on the word bully and or whether or not some one is bullying and instead get to the root of what is causing the behavior and work to change it.

Nancy and I present programs together on how to work toward changing behavior.

Most schools and parents want a quick fix but that isn’t going to happen because it takes time to learn the behavior and time to unlearn it too.


No Room For Hate


“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” Nelson Mandela

I am on my way to a school in Pennsylvania and they are kicking off their “No Place for Hate” program at their school.

Since 2001 many schools have implemented this policy in their school.  It is a daily message that every student needs to understand.

The more we hate the more we hurt feelings and could be bullying others.

The more we hate the less likely we will make new friends.

“True confidence leaves no room for jealousy. When you know you are great, you have no need to hate.”

Nicki Minaj

Most of our disrespectful or hateful thoughts and words towards others come from our lack and understanding or confidence in ourselves and our abilities.

We can’t be someone else but we can be ourselves.  The more we work to better ourselves, love ourselves and recognize our greatness, the better our life will be.


Nelson mandela

Be so busy loving your life, loving your family, loving your friends, loving your neighbors, loving your dogs, loving your teachers, loving your world that you have no time to Hate.

Copyright Richard Paul 2015


Students Do Not Report Bullying




Students are not reporting bullying in the school because they believe the school will not doing anything about it or even worse they will end up being the target of bullying.

At your school you have to constantly reinforce why it is important to report bullying behavior.

Every week you must remind them that the only way the school will be bully free is if they get involved.

You need to also remind them the school policy and what will happen to the students the choose to have aggressive behavior toward other students.

At one school district they have this clear policy in place:

The identity of a student who reports bullying, hazing or aggressive behavior, as well as those students who provide information during an investigation will remain confidential to the extent possible and to the extent allowable by law.

Only school personnel directly involved in the investigation of the complaint or responsible for remedying any violation will be provided access to the identity of the complaining student(s) and student witnesses, and then only to the extent necessary to effectively deal with the situation.

Hopefully this school district will remind these student many times why it is important to speak up against bullying.

Richard Paul

Assumptions About Bullying



As a bully prevention speaker for schools, teacher-in-service and parent night programs I have heard it all. Not only is there a confusion between bullying and conflict there are also many assumptions about bullying.

Some still think:

It is part of growing up

Makes weak kids stronger Only boys are bullies

Girls are too cute and dainty to be bullies

Only bad kids are bullies


When I share these as a bully prevention speaker for conferences or teacher-in-service or parent night programs the audience members either shake their heads or laugh. At many of the schools I have spoken to for their school assemblies principals have actually shared some of these assumptions with me. It is hard to believe in 2015 some still think it will make weak kids stronger or it’s part of growing up. What do you think?