This week is Bully Awareness Week and (hopefully) lessons will be taught and awareness will be raised in an effort to keep children safe. Hopefully, adults will learn what behaviors they should be looking for and students will learn the importance of acceptance and empathy.
One word that is often used in connection with bullying is the word tolerance. Tolerance can be defined as a fair, objective or permissive attitude to people whose opinions, race, practices, religion etc. differ from one’s own or tolerance can be defined as the act or capacity of enduring.
However, it is very important that the proper definition of tolerance be used or children may be told to “put up with” or “just deal with it” even if the “thing” that they are supposed to cope with is demeaning and horrible. No one should instruct a child that they have to endure teasing and abuse. In fact, no one should have to endure comments and behaviors of others that are rude and painful.
Bullying, repeated acts of harassment, should not be tolerated in our schools, our locker rooms or online. Measures need to be taken to properly police these venues. Perhaps what we need to teach is that intolerance is unacceptable.