Archive for the ‘Bullying’ Category

By Jim Bouchard

From TakePart.com…

“A Florida high school student made a stand against bullying and is now in the hot seat with school officials. For months, 18-year-old Stormy Rich witnessed a girl with special needs being bullied by her peers on the way to school. “They would be mean to her, tell her she couldn’t sit on certain spots on the bus…just because she doesn’t understand doesn’t mean that should be happening to her,” Rich told WOFL-TV.”

Hero, or just another round of bullying? Was she right to stand up and stop the abuse, or do you believe that two wrongs don’t make a right?

I say Stormy is a hero. She acted with moral and physical courage to stand up for that other student. Since when is telling someone who is perpetrating an act of agression to stand down considered bullying as well?

The world in this school district has definitely shifted off-access. More from the TakePart.com article:

“Rich says she reported the incidents to the bus driver and school officials. When they didn’t take action, she stepped in and confronted the bullies; but instead of being praised for her efforts, Rich ended up being labeled as a bully, and her bus-riding privileges were revoked. A spokesperson for the school district said, “Two wrongs don’t make a right” and that the girl with special needs never complained about being bullied.”

Even if Stormy was forceful and aggressive in her own right, responding to an act of violence with aggression is not an act of violence. Since bullying involves a disparity of power, there is no way that Stormy, acting alone against several other students, could be considered to be abusing a disparity of power and therefore she cannot be considered a bully.

As for the school’s assertions that the special needs child never complained about the bullying, that is simply the worst justification for their actions imaginable. Granted- it’s difficult to handle abuse when none is reported by the target. However, it is all too typical in these scenarios that the target will not report the incident or speak out against the perpetrators. The target may feel that doing so simply makes the situation worse, particularly when no action is taken against the bullies. She may also have feared retribution from her tormentors.

No matter- Stormy reported the incidents…several of them. The school chose inaction; she chose action.

It is not right to stand by and watch others abused and bullied at school, in the workplace or in the community. It’s not always appropriate to intervene physically, and it’s not generally your obligation to do so. At the very least you should report the incident. I just did a post on the THINK Like a BLACK BELT blog contrasting an act of courage in the recent Seattle coffee shop shooting with an act of brazen cowardice as a man recorded video of an assault on a Philadelphia police officer. He recorded his video on a phone he should have been using to dial 9-1-1. (Read the post “Courage vs. Cowardice” here.)

Too many people sit on the sidelines instead of confronting aggression, bullying and abuse. Too many parents train their kids not to get involved.

Stormy Rich is a hero.

Read the entire post by Jennie Inglee on TakePart.com here…

What do you think? Was Stormy a hero or did she just add to the cycle of bullying? Add your comments…

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Very interesting report on what you can do to keep your kids out of trouble on the internet…


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For years I’ve been telling my martial arts students that I only know two indisputable facts about fighting:

When two people fight…

1) Someone is going to get hurt

2) Probably both people

That’s it – everything else is up in the air.

According to FOX News: “Blunt force trauma to the head killed Joanna Ramos, who collapsed at home after a fight on Friday in Long Beach, coroner’s Lt. Fred Corral says Monday.” (Full story here)


What really killed Miss Ramos was petulant jealousy over a boy. Accomplices in her death include some young boys who held back friends of both girls who were trying to break up the fight.

Today the word “homicide” is being tossed around. Should the other young girl involved in this fight be charged with murder? Are the bystanders accomplices? How much responsibility does the school have – should they have prevented the tragedy?

READ THE REST OF THIS POST AT ThinkLikeaBlackBelt.org…

Call 721-0299 to schedule a FREE Trial Lesson TODAY!

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Are you sure?

Parental involvement is the single most important factor in the development of any child. Whether your child expresses bullying behavior or is a likely target of bullies is largely dependent on the ethics, values, behaviors, and sense of confidence you teach and model in the home.

I recently appeared on Bill Corbett’s amazing “Cooperative Kids” TV show with my dear friend and renowned parenting coach Tina Rae Kelly. Here are two segments from the program. We’ll feature a third segment on bullying in the workplace on Friday along with our monthly book review featuring Bill Corbett’s “Love, Limits, Lessons, a Parent’s Guide to Raising Cooperative Kids”

Are You Raising a Victim?

Are You Raising a Bully?

Or you can watch the entire program at CooperativeKids.com. You can share Cooperative Kids with your community! Request that your local cable access channel air Cooperative Kids; call (866) 570-6824 for details!


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WARNING- The following video is extremely disturbing. Frankly, this video should never have been shot; the person holding the camera should have dropped the damn camera and helped this girl…

What is wrong with us?

Two unarmed teenage girls terrorize a third young woman, apparently because she is trans-gendered, and beat her into a seizure while at least four or more bystanders watch it all happen. To his credit, a manger helps to some degree, but he had several other options that would have ended this situation long before the victim was critically injured.

The only real hero in this scenario is an elderly woman, obviously not an athlete, who had the courage to intervene and in no uncertain terms told the attackers to stop and get out.

Let’s focus on what should have happened…

In my humble opinion, both the attackers should have been physically removed from the restaurant. I know most companies, and I’m sure McDonald’s is no exception, have “observe and report” rules to keep employees safe. In this case, two or three employees could have easily removed the teenage girls from the scene or “gently” guided them out the door.

Likely they would have been fired for doing so- it still would have been the right thing to do.

Notice at about 59 seconds into the video that there is an open door on the left side of the frame. The manager and one employee who seems to be offering at least some assistance at that point could have guided the victim through the door and to safety in the kitchen or back office.

Although there is a break in the video timeline, at about 1:05 we see both attackers obviously leaving the restaurant. Lock the doors…problem solved. This would have prevented the worst part of the beating.

Instead, the attack continues…

At 1:25 the only hero on the scene arrives as the girls drag their victim by the hair toward the door- the same door they should have been prevented from re-entering moments before. Ironically, one of the little darlings is heard yelling “you can’t touch me” to the elderly woman who bravely puts herself between the attackers and the victim. Our hero does not look intimidated in the least- contrast her demeanor against those who were watching the entire scene play out.

The camera pans to show at least two employees, young men nearly twice the size of the attackers, who actually look as if they’re backing away from the fray. Even worse, they are heard laughing and possibly encouraging the attack as one of the perpetrators tries to pick up a chair as a weapon. The elderly woman is still putting herself in the middle of the fracas as she tries to separate the victim from the attackers. We again see the manager who now appears to be barring the attackers from dragging the victim out the door.

The older woman is struck by one of the attackers and never backs down a single step.

Now we finally hear some display of compassion from the bystanders as they witness the victim go into a seizure, apparently triggered by the repeated blows to her head. For the first time we hear one of the cowards yell, “call the police.” Fortunately, someone had already done so; no thanks to these guys.

Your brave cameraman gets his close-up as he continues to yell, “she’s having a f@#king seizure, y’all…she needs help now!” Anyone with the most rudimentary first aid training would have known to place a towel or cloth in the victim’s mouth and move objects out of her way until the seizure ran its course. I suppose it’s too much to expect that any of these employees would have been trained in basic first aid, but it’s disgusting that the one felt his primary obligation was to capture the next viral video.

Update: Interview with Chrissy Lee Polis from Baltimore Sun:

As repulsed as I am by his cowardice; I’m grateful we have the video. Too often we hear about these stories but never see them. Don’t look away; have the courage to confront this ugly scene with eyes wide open. This is an ever-increasing reality we simply cannot ignore.

Now let’s focus on what can and should happen in the future:

  • Whether from the outside or as a result of the actions of employees, violence can erupt unexpectedly. Have a clear plan of action and train employees in the proper procedures and protocols. As we’ve pointed out; there were several opportunities to end this situation long before the young woman was seriously injured.
  • Teach courage to our young people. How do two unarmed teenage girls hold at least 5 people at bay while they beat their victim into a seizure?
  • Teach tolerance- and if not tolerance at least restraint. The victim, Chrissy Lee Polis is apparently a trans-gendered person and the fight was ignited when the primary attacker, Teonna Monae Brown was offended that Polis was using the women’s room and apparently talked to her boyfriend.

Ultimately, this attack never should have happened. I’m not saying you’re not entitled to your point of view; the issue of trans-gender is at best little understood. I can understand a woman being offended or even nervous about a person she sees as a male in a women’s restroom- but the solution in this situation would have been leave the restroom, not beat the other person to a pulp.

At the same time, take care that you do not condone an attack on someone because that person is different. What of your unique characteristics would justify violence against you?

I’m all for defending yourself physically if you feel threatened or you’re under attack. Where was the threat in this instance? Teonna Brown and her teen accomplice were wrong- period.

I also teach in my self-defense classes that you have to be very cautious about when and how you get involved in a violent situation. In this case, the attackers’ only advantage was their aggressive posturing. They could have easily been controlled or, as I already pointed out, there were other options available to diffuse the attack.

The manager at least did something to try to help. The older woman that put herself at risk to protect another human being is a hero.

The bystanders who did nothing were criminal accomplices and cowards.


What can we do about the continuing escalation of bullying and violence in our communities, schools and workplaces? We’ll be talking about REAL solutions to this very real problem on May 10th in Brunswick, Maine:

Register here. Proceeds benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

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Agree or disagree?

  • Violence IS sometimes a solution.
  • Zero-Tolerance DOES NOT work.
  • YOU may be a bully- even if you don’t do anything.
  • If you’re a target, it may be YOUR fault.
It’s time to take a realistic approach to the bullying issue, and we’re all involved whether we like it or not. Bullying is expanding mostly because you don’t think about it until:

  • Your business is facing a harassment suit.
  • Your child is afraid to get on the bus.
  • Your kid is expelled from school.
  • You lose someone close to you who just couldn’t take it anymore.
Most of these situations could be prevented!

That’s what Think Like a Black Belt to Beat the Bully is all about. You’re a parent, teacher or coach; you own a business, or you’re a manager or executive…you may simply be someone who cares. This session is for you.
Take a realistic look at the bullying issue and find out what you can do to stop a bully at school, at work or online…

May 10th-6 pm
Curtis Memorial Library
Brunswick, Maine 
Proceeds benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Curtis Memorial Library

Featured Speaker…

Martial arts transformed Jim’s self-perception from former drug abuser and failure to successful entrepreneur and Black Belt. As a speaker and author of Amazon bestseller Think Like a Black Belt, Jim tours nationally presenting his philosophy of Black Belt Mindset for corporate and conference audiences. He’s a regular guest on TV and radio programs including FOX News, BBC Worldview and FOX Across America.

Jim has been helping people Beat the Bully for over twenty years working with both targets of bullies and with the bullies themselves! His “RESPECT: Live It!”workshop is available to businesses, conferences, colleges and universities to promote a respectful and productive workplace or campus.

PLUS! Special opening session:
“Are You Raising a Bully?” with Tina Rae Kelly!

Tina Rae Kelly is one of America’s most uniquely qualified coaches on parenting and family issues! As a teacher Tina has helped hundreds of children and parents to bring out the best in dance performance and life skills!

She’s done everything from dancing with Patti LaBelle, Savion Glover and Gregory Hines to choreographing the Baltimore Ravens dance squad. Through dance she teaches young people about personal excellence and reaching their highest potential as people as well as performers.

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Dateline NBC is airing a series of amazing experiments to show what happens when decent kids witness bullying. Will they stand up for the target? Will they pitch in and defend the target? Will they “mind their own business” and do nothing?

There will always be bullies. While we constantly work to change the behavior of bullies and potential targets, this series validates that one of the most powerful and effective actions we can take is to train our kids, and ourselves not to be “passive by-standers.” The passive bystander is not neutral- he or she by inaction becomes an ally of the bully.

Is it your obligation to defend someone being bullied? Only you can answer that question; but consider how it might feel if you suddenly find yourself the target and nobody acts on your behalf.

As this series clearly shows, the greatest determinant of how people will react around a bully is that of the authority figure present. It makes a difference when those in charge, whether on campus or in the workplace create an authentic culture of respect and will not tolerate incivility and bullying.

This is what we’ll address in “Think Like a Black Belt to Beat the Bully.” This is not a program to teach kids how to handle the bully; this event is specifically aimed at what we can do as parents, teachers and coaches and as managers, administrators and supervisors to:

  • Empower likely targets and make them less susceptible and vulnerable to bullying.
  • Hold bullies accountable for their actions.
  • Provide authentic support for both targets and bullies.
  • Create a culture Respect and civility on campus and in the workplace.
  • Train bystanders how be involved and how to intervene when bullying occurs.

The Black Belt Mindset Institute is bringing this very special event to Maine on May 10th at the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick. Limited seating- we strongly recommend you reserve your seat early. Proceeds benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Curtis Memorial Library.

Follow this link for details and tickets…

Featured Speakers:

Jim Bouchard– speaker, media personality and author of THINK Like a BLACK BELT. Jim has worked on the bullying issue for more than 20 years as a professional martial arts instructor. He has worked to empower likely targets, and he has worked with bullies and likely bullies to change their behaviors. He now tours America to teach respect and civility for campus and corporate audiences.

Tina Rae Kelly is one of America’s leading parenting experts. In, “Are You Raising a Bully?” Tina will challenge you to new levels of awareness and offer practical techniques to best prepare your children to avoid the bully, avoid becoming a bully and avoid becoming an accomplice.

Bullying in the workplace is costing American business as much as $300 billion a year! How much is it costing YOUR business? Jim Bouchard’s “RESPECT: Live It!” program offers practical solutions for bullying helps you cultivate a culture of respect at work and on campus!

Call 800-786-8502 or follow this link for information!

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In 26 years in the study and practice of combat arts I have learned 2, and only 2 incontrovertible facts about fighting:

  • Someone is going to get hurt.
  • Probably both people.

In San Antonio last week a community of students experienced these truths first-hand. Two students, by all accounts good kids, had a beef and decided to settle their differences before school. They arranged to fight across the street on the grounds of a local community center- in my day we used to set up fights “behind the church” to take it off school grounds.

One of the students, 16 year old Jose Guzman is now dead…

Read the rest of this article on Think Like a Black Belt: The Blog…


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The Black Belt Mindset Institute at Northern Chi Martial Arts Center is sponsoring a very special event on May 10th! Curtis Memorial Library- proceeds benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Bath-Brunswick and the Library!

This session for parents, educators and anyone who works with children teaches how to recognize and deal with real bullies in school, at work and on-line. This is not a passive “turn the other cheek” approach to bullying; it’s a realistic approach to the bullying problem that emphasizes empowerment and confidence to reduce the likelihood of becoming a target, and to increase the potential of a successful outcome once someone is a target.

Our featured speaker is Jim Bouchard, speaker, media personality and author of Amazon bestseller “Think Like a Black Belt.” Jim has been dealing with the bullying issue for over 20 years. As a professional martial arts educator he has worked with thousands of children to prevent and resolve bullying situations. His acclaimed “RESPECT: Live It!” program helps workplaces, colleges and universities and educators install and preserve an environment of respect and civility.

Jim is a featured guest expert on television and radio around the world including FOX News, FOX Across America and BBC Worldview. Learn more about Jim and Think Like a Black Belt here!

Special Bonus Presentation: “Are You Raising a Bully?” with Tina Rae Kelly!

Tina Rae Kelly is one of America’s most uniquely qualified coaches on parenting and family issues! As a teacher Tina has helped hundreds of children and parents to bring out the best in dance performance and life skills!

She’s done everything from dancing with Patti LaBelle, Savion Glover and Gregory Hines to choreographing the Baltimore Ravens dance squad. Through dance she teaches young people about personal excellence and reaching their highest potential as people as well as performers.

Learn more about Tina Rae Kelly and her programs here!

Seating is limited to 70 tickets- only $10 per person! Proceeds will benefit Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Curtis Memorial Library. Follow this link to register and for complete event details!

NOTE: This presentation is designed for parents, educators, coaches and others who work with children. Frank discussion is intended for an adult audience. Mature tweens and teens are welcome- parental discretion is most appreciated.

All attendees receive a FREE family trial program at the Black Belt Mindset Institute at Northern Chi Martial Arts Center!

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Casey Heynes is not a hero…

He doesn’t think so either. He wishes the whole thing never happened. “Asked if he was a superhero, he laughed and said: ‘No I wish I was.'” (Rosie Squires, TheTelegraph.com.au- read full article here.)

First, let’s take a breath and get some perspective on this specific incident.

This event is the latest example of the all too typical schoolyard bullying incident that involves a smaller kid, in this case Ritchard Gale, trying to impress some of his friends by picking on a bigger, more docile student- Casey Heynes. A group of Ritchard’s friends egged him on- again all too typical. These guys had been picking on Casey relentlessly for quite some time.

As the video shows, Casey had enough, power-slammed Ritchard to the ground…and walked away.

YouTube has removed the video from its platform- you can watch the video at TheTelegraph.com.au here…

Now Casey is the poster child for every kid that ever wanted to fight back against the bully, and Ritchard is a villain of epic proportions; he’s arguably becoming the object of more hatred on social network streams than actual criminals.

If we were not obsessed with viral social media this would have been a typical schoolyard fight- end of story. Instead we’ve got a global social media phenomenon that not only blows this specific incident well out of proportion, but actually threatens the safety and well-being of both boys.

Did the bully, Ritchard Gale, get what he deserved? Arguably yes- even his mother, Tina agrees. Despite erroneous postings that she was demanding that Casey apologize to her son, her perspective is that Ritchard got his just deserts and although misquoted, what Tina Gale actually said was that her son owed Casey an apology. Now that the pitchforks and torches are out, she is justifiably worried about her son’s safety.

Read the rest of this article on The 49th Parallel Forum…

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