Schools Grapple with Bullying

ANGELA PASCOPELLA's picture
Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The bullying epidemic continues, even as a multi-pronged crackdown by states and educators gathers steam. For nine months, I dealt first-hand with the bullying issue almost every school day. The problem most assuredly is out there, and across the nation steps are being taken to focus on it.

I virtually “lived” the bullying issue — and its tragic impact — from September 2011 through June 1 when I did a special national tour of schools of all levels in my non-writing incarnation as a comic ventriloquist, something I’ve done for 22 years. From Sept. 12 to June 1, I did programs at 260 schools, driving more than 45,000 miles. Schools could choose their theme — and 95 percent of the school requested my no-teasing/no bullying show.

As I criss-crossed the country in my 2004 Chevrolet Venture van, doing shows at schools with as many as 1,500 students to as few as 20 — schools nestled high in the mountains, in crowded inner cities, schools framed by snowstorms or air-conditioned due to blistering desert heat — I talked to hundreds of students and educators.

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