Feb 23, 2023

Schools across the nation, even locally in Central Maryland, have a prevalence of bullying in schools and online. Bullying affects all youth, including those who are bullied, those who are witnessing the bullying and those who bully others. With the rise of social media and online activities, bullying can have a digital platform that humiliates or isolates children.

Think about it: What is posted on Facebook can be seen by all eyes. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

According to federal statistics about bullying in the Unites States from 2019 (National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice) and 2017 (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention),  Around 20%  of Students between the ages of 12-18 experienced bullying nationwide in the form of:

·         Being the subject of rumors or lies

·         Being made fun of

·         Being pushed or shoved on

·         Being left out/ excluded from

·         Threatened or harmed

·         Others tried to make them do things they were uncomfortable with

·         Property was purposefully destroyed

·         Digital humiliation on social media platforms

For many children, bullying is a daily issue, with no clear-cut solution. Not all families are at home to  teach conflict-resolution skills to children who need them. Many families are working 2-3 jobs to pay bills, put food on the table, and to survive. Not all children can pick up communication skills at struggling households.

Our Boys and Girls Club in Franklin Square understands the dynamic and struggles of many households locally in Baltimore. Our Temple Corps leaders, Lt. Schelika Chisolm and Captain Michael Chisolm, has guided conversation with children about what they are learning at school and what’s going on in their daily lives. Based on conversations, The Boys and Girls club of Franklin Square introduced monthly Peace and Conflict Resolution classes for children.

Each class is taught by Kelly, from Little Friends for Peace, a non-profit located in Washington D.C whose mission is to educate people on tools for peace and to teach how to work with conflict and avoid violence. Kelly uses each class to teach kids the importance of peace, how to communicate respectfully, peaceful meditation techniques, and yoga as a de-stressor when situations get too uncomfortable.

The Boys and Girls club members thoroughly enjoyed dialogue on Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, and may other pivotal historical figures that embraced peace as a tool for resolution.

Thanks to programs like the Boys and Girls club of Franklin Square, more children are armed with powerful soft skills they can take into adulthood.

Interested in learning more about The Boys and Girls club? Want to watch a video on the class in the near future? Visit The Boys and Girls club’s website here. Subscribe to The Red Shield of Central Maryland’s YouTube Channel here.  

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