Quite frankly and statistics will bare out, if you are a man, woman, or child at some point in your life you have either experienced being bullied, known someone who has been bullied, or actually bullied someone yourself. In other words regardless of who you are, it’s likely that you’ve been exposed to bullying, in some form or fashion. In other words no one in society can be guaranteed immunity from this social phenomenon.
Bullying has become a major issue in our schools and our communities for a variety of reasons ranging from domestic abuse to negative imagery inherent in some hip-hop music to cyber-bullying inherent with the advent and proliferation of social media. The question then becomes not if but when bullying will have an impact on you or someone you know.
Recently two individuals representing the faith based community and hip-hop music began dialogue which led to a unique meeting of the minds resulting in what some might say is an unusual collaboration leading to bringing the issue of bullying front and center in this local community.
PMD Ministries has partnered with Hip Hop artist Ramon “Absoloot” Robinson’s Anti Bullying Campaign by holding its first community forum scheduled Saturday, Jan. 8, 2017 at the New Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“Our ultimate goal is to have the Dream Anti Bullying book into the Broward County School curriculum, as well as do a tour within the schools so that Ramon, aka Absoloot (a clean Hip Hop artist) can perform for the students at the schools,” said an event organizer.
Organizers also said that they hoped to have an open and honest discussion about bullying, with local leaders, pa-rents, educators, and school aged kids and teens. Broward Superintendent of Schools Robert Runcie is expected to be among the panelists to attend.
Clean Hip-Hop artist Absoloot has been hard at work using his music to promote positive imagery to help counteract what he considers a plethora of negative music which he said is heavily promoted by major record companies, much to the detriment to young children and teens across the country.
He encouraged young people to use poetry and music as a way of expressing themselves in a more positive vain than displayed in the popular hip-hop genre.
“We’ve got to make sure we promote the positive as much as they promote the negative. I wanted to do something which would allow kids to begin to create and get involved and take it to the next level,” said Absoloot.
Rev. Dr. Marcus Davidson, of PMD Ministries, Inc. said that the church must provide the lead in issues which impact the community. He also shared a personal moment on how his family had been impacted by bullying.
“The church has to be more than just a Sunday morning meeting place. But the church ultimately has to be the change agent.
Throughout history the church has been the driving force to affect change in our society.”
“From a personal perspective, I have a 10-year-old daughter that’s been affected by bullying. So that’s even more of a reason for me to use the platform that I have to engage the wider audience,” Dr. Davidson added.
Here are some sobering as well as alarming statistics regarding bullying including the number of suicides attributed to bullying, as reported by the National Voices For Equality Education, and Enlightenment (NVEEE)
- Every seven minutesa child is bullied. Adult intervention – 4%. Peer intervention – 11%. No intervention – 85%.
- Biracial and multiracial youth are more likely to be victimized than youth who identify with a single race.
- Bullied students tend to
grow up more socially anxious, with less self-esteem and require more mental health services throughout life.
- Only 7% of U.S. parents are worried about cyberbullying; yet 33% of teenagers have been victims of cyberbullying
- Kids who are obese, gay, or have disabilities are up to 63% more likely to be bullied than other children.
- One million children were harassed, threatened or subjected to other forms of cyber-bullying on FACEBOOK during the past year.
- Eighty-six percent of students said, “Other kids picking on them, making fun of them or bullying them” causes teenagers to turn to lethal violence in schools.
- It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. Source: National Education Association.
- American schools harbor approximately 2.1 million bullies and 2.7 million of their victims. Dan Olweus, National School Safety Center.
- Suicide remains among the leading causes of death of children under 14. In most cases, the young people die from hanging.
- Suicide rates among 10 to 14-year-olds have grown more than 50 percent over the last three decades. (The American Association of Suicidology, AAS)