Anti-bullying author in Charlotte: 'It begins with adults'

Barbara Coloroso

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by ANN SHERIDAN / NBC CHARLOTTE

Bio | Email | Follow: @SheridanWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 8:00 AM

Updated Sunday, Oct 27 at 9:59 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- How do we stand up to bullying?  We talk about.  Teach our kids about it.  But are we doing all we can?

Parents and educators looking for more answers on how to stop what they fear is becoming the norm spent the day at Shalom Park in south Charlotte on Wednesday, listening to nationally-recognized expert and author Barbara Coloroso.

"Nothing, nothing, nothing, ever justifies mean and cruel behavior.  It  has to be stopped with all of us.  But it begins with adults,” said Coloroso. 

The author is stressing the importance of raising kids who will “witness, resist and defend.”

We need “that witness, resister and defender, the young person who is willing to sit next to the new girl, even after the high status social bully says 'Don't eat with her,'” she said.

Her message is clear: Parents play a role.  But how do you raise kids who are able to witness, resist and defend?

“First you walk the walk, talk the talk.  How do you treat your hired help?  How do you treat someone moving through the grocery store slower than you'd like them to?  How do you treat your new neighbor who looks different?”  she asked.

Coloroso’s book, “The Bully, the Bullied, and the Bystander,” is an international bestseller.  In it, Coloroso offers more than 100 ways parents can protect their children from cyber bullying. 

One tip: Know how to decode the code.  Be aware of who your kids are talking to, what they’re saying and what they’re planning.  For example, what  does LMIRL mean?  “Let’s meet in real life.”

Coloroso’s breakout seminars were part of a bullying symposium presented by The Leon Levine Foundation.

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