Monday, October 29, 2012

Why Do We Forget to Talk About Real Solutions When Talking About The Bullying Epidemic?

Several years ago, my family was impacted by bullying. Because we were able to find resources and solutions, we were able to move beyond the issue and thrive. After that, I realized that not everyone knows where to find solutions. October is National Bullying Prevention month and a time of year that we see instances of bullying spike in classrooms and communities. Nearly one in four children has been the victim of bullying[1] and 85 percent of the time no one intervenes to help[2].
Bullying is not a normal part of childhood and can no longer be tolerated in any form or excused as harmless teasing. As parents and educators, we are the agents of change to bullying behavior and the advocates for safer classrooms and communities for our children. We need to talk about the problem before it gets out of hand, before we see another tormented child on the evening news and before it’s too late for the victim. We need to understand the problem permeates every community and affects every family.
Most importantly, we need to talk more about real solutions.
A recent Harris Interactive survey of parents commissioned by Sears reveals that 73 percent believe parents are responsible for the prevention of bullying, 65 percent believe that teachers and schools are responsible and nearly 40 percent look to law enforcement for bully prevention[3].
Prevention doesn’t lie with one group, but rather society as a whole. Parents of the 13 million children who suffer from an acute bullying problem need a combination of stronger awareness programs, prevention through solutions that can be implemented at the home and school level and effective rehabilitation for bullies to reform their behavior. Further, we (parents and educators) need to start addressing acute bullying situations with effective solutions in the moment.
Prevention starts at home and continues at school. Parents should practice role playing exercises with their child so they know how to safely respond to a bully. The bullied child should be equipped with responses and actions to remove him or herself from the situation while still signaling that the bully’s actions will not be tolerated. Equally important, bystanders should be trained to safely intervene and adults who work with children should be required to receive training on bullying intervention.
If you suspect your child is being bullied, the first thing you should do is to make sure your child is safe, that he or she feels protected and that you are listening. Ignoring bullying does not work. Second, get the facts and document the incident. If there is even one episode where your child has been affected, parents should have a conversation with the principal, staff or teacher who was in charge when your child was bullied. From there, develop a plan to quickly solve the problem with your school.
Studies show that schools with anti-bullying programs that include solutions like those found via can experience up to a 50 percent decrease in bullying. A well-orchestrated school system includes prevention, reporting, victim support, consequence protocols, policies and reform/rehabilitation. Maintaining these systems is key to creating bully-free cultures in our schools.
In the simplest terms, whenever one child has demonstrated that the behavior from another child is making them uncomfortable or has asked that child to stop the behavior for the same reason and the child does not, on the second occasion it is bullying. Period.

Bullying is not a rite of passage, as many of us grew up to believe. But changing a culture and belief system can be hard. There must be an attitudinal shift to recognize that bullying can be solved. Solving the problem starts with access to information and empowerment to address the issue head on.
Earlier this year, Sears launched Team Up to Stop Bullying as the first bullying solutions and services coalition from a major retailer to provide immediate solutions that parents and schools can implement today. The program offers expertise from more than 70 leading bullying solutions organizations to help children who have been bullied find answers, give parents effective ways to prevent and resolve bullying and guide educators on how to establish bully reform programs at their school.
Team Up to Stop Bullying is providing access and empowerment and delivering real solutions to communities around the nation. As a nation, we have successfully changed widely held attitudes in the past and built a stronger and better place for our children. I believe we can do it again. Please do your part today.

Marie Newman
Bullying Solutions Family Advocate, Author, Mother and Business Owner, Director of Team Up to Stop Bullying.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sears Supports National Bullying Prevention Month in October with Savings Offer to Benefit Anti-bullying Charities
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., (Oct. 5, 2012) – A new survey from Sears shows that 93 percent of parents will tell their child not to ignore a bully and 60 percent advise them to tell a teacher about a bullying incident. These findings may indicate that anti-bullying awareness campaigns are having an impact, according to leading anti-bullying expert, Marie Newman, who partnered with Sears as managing director of Team Up to Stop Bullying.

Sears, through its Team Up to Stop Bullying initiative, announced the findings at the start of October, National Bullying Prevention month, to cast light on the pervasive issue, share solutions with parents, educators, children and communities and help put an end to bullying.

"The survey shows greater accountability when it comes to bullying, as well as its prevention. Of the parents surveyed, 73% believe that parents are responsible for the prevention of bullying, 65% believe that teachers and schools are responsible, while others believe that law enforcement and the greater community should be responsible for preventing bullying," said Newman. “Prevention doesn’t lie with one group, but rather with society as a whole. We’re encouraged by these results because they show progress toward finding the right solutions. That’s where Team Up to Stop Bullying comes in.”

During the month of October, Sears customers can shop to stop bullying by downloading a savings pass online at for 15 percent off on purchases of apparel, footwear and fine jewelry. When customers use the savings pass, Sears will donate five percent of their purchase (up to $50,000 total) to the Boys & Girls Clubs of America who will distribute part of the funds to charitable organizations affiliated with Team Up to Stop Bullying.

“Sears has always been focused on the American family and there is nothing more important to our employees and customers than the safety of our children,” said Lana Krauter, senior vice president and president of Sears Apparel. “This new data sheds more light on the need to help connect real solutions to the people who need them now.”

Sears launched Team Up to Stop Bullying in August as the first solutions-and service-based anti-bullying coalition, launched by a major retailer, to provide immediate solutions that parents and schools can implement today. The program offers expertise from more than 70 coalition members to help children who have been bullied find answers, give parents effective ways to prevent and resolve bullying and guide educators on how to establish bully reform programs at their school.
Additional findings from the Harris Interactive survey include:
·       Nearly two in five (39 percent) of parents whose child has been bullied says that local law enforcement is responsible for the prevention of bullying
·       Sixty-nine percent of parents believe that counseling a bully to understand the negative impact on his or her own life is most effective in reforming bullying behavior; 58 percent believe that counseling a bully to understand the negative effects on the bullied child’s life is most effective
·       Seventy percent of parents believe that developing a plan with their child’s school is the best way to stop a child from being bullied

Visit for more information and to find solutions that work for every family.
Survey Methodology
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of Zeno Group from September 26th – 28th, 2012 among 2,523 adults ages 18 and older, among which 736 are parents of children age 17 and younger. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Danny Cohn, Zeno Group.

About Sears, Roebuck and Co.
Sears, Roebuck and Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD), is a leading broadline retailer providing merchandise and related services and is part of SHOP YOUR WAY, a social shopping experience where members have the ability to earn points and receive benefits across a wide variety of physical and digital formats through  Sears, Roebuck offers its wide range of home merchandise, apparel and automotive products and services through more than 2,000 Sears-branded and affiliated stores in the United States and Canada, which includes over 810 Full-line and more than 1,270 specialty stores in the U.S.   Sears, Roebuck also offers a variety of merchandise and services through,, and specialty catalogs. Sears, Roebuck offers consumers leading proprietary brands including Kenmore, Craftsman, DieHard and Lands' End -- among the most trusted and preferred brands in the U.S.  The company is the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 11 million service calls made annually. For more information, visit the Sears, Roebuck website at or the Sears Holdings Corporation website at