Bullying: A Worldwide Dilemma
It is happening everywhere, in every school, in every playground, in every city, in every state and in every country. We know about it, we are angry about it and we are hurt by it. Yet, we are doing little or nothing about it on a massive scale and that has to stop. We are losing our children by the thousands all over the entire world. Eliminating this problem is a major task and it has to be done regardless. We at Lali Productions are sick of it and we are not going to accept it any longer. To first understand the actual practice of bullying, we have to understand the definition of it.
Bullying: Constant criticism; nit-picking; without empathy.
Characteristics: Control freak, constant denial, appears charming, glib, a compulsive liar, devious, manipulative. He or she is a person who makes himself or herself a terror to the weak and defenseless.
Bullies can take the fun out of school--where bullying happens most. Yet, now we have the Internet and they are on line driving our youth to the edge of darkness, despair and now death. We, at Lali Productions know that we have to tackle this issue one area at a time. We are going to begin our study by targeting bullying in the public school system. So, we are now putting aside many of our goals to create a documentary film exposing this mire of madness for what it really is. We are seeking to interview not only the bullied but also the bully. We want to speak with all youth, of every gender identity, crossing all racial and cultural backgrounds. Young folks have enough to go through just having to get through the normal (if you can call it that) school day. Bullying is now turning something simple like a ride on the bus, a stop at a locker, or a walk to the bathroom a scary event that is anticipated with worry all day long. How wide spread is this dilemma? According to a recent study done by Lynne Destifano of Talk of the Town.com in September of this very year, we are facing a giant who had been asleep but has roared itself awake.
Here are statistics about bullying in schools:
One out of four kids
is bullied, according to the U.S. Justice Department.
# In a recent study,
77 percent of students
said they had been bullied at some point, and
of those who were bullied said they experienced severe negative reactions to the abuse.
One out of five
admits to being a bully or doing some "bullying."
miss at least one day of class per month for fear of bullies.
# A survey showed
43 percent of students
fear harassment in the bathroom at school.
A poll of teens ages 12-17
showed the majority think violence has increased at their schools.
are physically attacked in secondary schools each month.
# More youth violence occurs on school grounds than on the way to school. On the playground, during bullying incidents, there is
adult intervention 4 percent
of the time,
peer intervention 11 percent
of the time and
no intervention 85 percent of the time
Source: Pascack Valley Regional High School District Board of Education
In order to begin to address the issue of bullying we have to determine why it happens. What are the major causes? Who are these youth who bully?
There are many reasons why kids may become bullies. They frequently target people who a different. Then, they seek to exploit those differences. They choose victims who they think are unlikely to retaliate. That means children who are overweight, wear glasses, or may even have obvious physical differences like large ears or severe acne. But, most of all, youth are struggling with all types of sexual issues. Some are even struggling with sexual identity. It doesn't matter whether or not we have issues as adults regarding homosexuality. What is pertinent is that we have children who may be experiencing their own issues. Most of all, we have children who are not gay; but are being targeted and bullied because of another child's perception.
This type of brutality causes a young person to become anxious and insecure and can make him or her an ideal target for bullying.
How can parents or a parent determine if a child is being bullied? What are the tell tale signs?
1. Loss of Interest in School
A sharp decline in grades coupled with a sudden disinterest in school can be a tell-tale sign of your child suffering at the hands of a bully. Similarly, if your kid seems distracted and eager to change the subject when you bring up his or her school day, it could be an indication of something more serious.
2. Inconsistent Eating and Sleeping Patterns
Many victims of bullying exhibit loss of appetite or engage in binge eating to cope with the harassment. Anxiety over the torment can cause nightmares or insomnia. Excessive sleeping can also be a clue to underlying problems.
3. Fear or Anxiety of Going to School
If your child avoids riding the bus, is scared of walking to and from school, or takes a long, out-of-the-way route to class, find out what or who is behind it by talking to school officials, cross-walk guards, or the bus driver.
4. Unexplained Cuts and Bruises
Kids are notorious for getting into all sorts of mishaps. But when bruises or cuts are unaccounted for or are routinely brushed off as “accidents,” you should investigate the causes without hesitation.
5. Damaged or Missing Belongings
Again, children are prone to accidents. But if you notice a pattern of torn, damaged, or missing pieces of clothing, books, or other belongings, you should definitely look into the reason why. Also, if your child is constantly losing his or her lunch (or lunch money), there may be more to it than absent-mindedness.
6. Frequent Health Complaints and Requests to Stay Home
If your child frequently complains about headaches and stomachaches and asks to stay home, you should look into whether they’re phantom claims or legitimate illnesses. It’s not uncommon for anxiety and psychological anguish over the harassment and intimidation to lead to very real physical ailments.
This issue has a special place in my heart. In the 1950's, after spending time in the foster care system, my brother and I were reunited with our mother. We moved to a 15 story concrete jungle in Paterson, NJ. Howard and I were raised by a single parent. In those days, nearly every child had two parents so the cards were stacked against us from the beginning. PS #4 became the bane of my actual existence. When I wasn't fighting tooth an nail, I endured all kinds of names targeting my light complexion, sandy hair and over developed body. Of course, wearing glasses didn't help matters at all. Growing up that way made me the type of parent who refused to allow anyone of any age to bully my children. I was sitting in the principal's office any time one of my children told me of any occasion of such behavior. I was a force to be reckoned with and didn't care if a parent wanted to exchange blows because of that. It didn't matter to me, just live my kids alone was all I asked and demanded. I was also a single parent, working two jobs and if I had to take a day off from work, a bully was sure sorry he or she bothered my child.
Lali Productions will begin filming "Bullying: A Shameful Dilemma" the first weekend in November. We will conduct 15 minute interviews from all youth in the Georgia area. We would like to be able to showcase this film throughout Georgia ending with a forum discussion. We are seeking to hear from the bullied and the bullys. We will also strive to conduct public forums where youth can come together to discuss this urgent issue. Please contact us on this website or call us at 404-771-8534 to set up your interview. All youth under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian--no exceptions. We are eager to hear from you. All interviewed will be handled gently and with complete care regardless of whether you are bullied or the bully. We are just seeking a resolve.
Nadirah Shakoor, Assistant Musical Director and Production Assistant of Bullying: A Shameful Dilemma, What do Al Jarreau, Madonna, Arrested Development, Janet Jackson & Jimmy Buffett have in common? The soulful vocal styling of Nadirah Shakoor! At the tender age of five Nadirah told her parents she wanted to” be a singer like Diana Ross”. Her family migrated from Texas to California where she studied commercial voice and went on to become one of the premiere session singers in Los Angeles and a much sought after back up singer for major tours. In 1992 she joined the Grammy Award winning Hip Hop group Arrested Development as the featured female vocalist. The group changed the face and sound of Hip Hop and received numerous awards including a Grammy, A Soul Train Award and an MTV Video award and was nominated for another Grammy with the success of their 2 album “Zingalamaduni”. When Arrested Development disbanded Nadirah continued to tour with the groups leader, Speech, in support of his solo career. Speech then produced her solo CD “Soul Power” EMI, Japan. Nadirah met her long time friend, world renowned DJ/producer, Osunlade along the way and they collaborated on a collection of R&B songs for a CD called “NadirahSongs” which she released independently. Osunlade is the founder and president of Yoruba Records a highly acclaimed label that is responsible for a new genre of “House Music” known as “Ancestral House” known for it’s African, Latin and Spiritual influences. As a team Nadirah and Osunlade have taken the world of “House Music” by storm with their ever-popular club hits “Tree of Life”, “Love Song”, “Just a Breath Away”, “Pride” and others.
In 1995 Nadirah joined Jimmy Buffett’s Coral Reefer Band as a back up singer in. Her latest musical offering, “Nod to the Storyteller” is a tribute to Mr. Buffett who for the last 13 years has featured her as a part of his sold out mega concerts. Buffett fans (affectionately known as Parrotheads) have come to know and love Nadirah and claim her as their own. “Nod to the Storyteller includes Nadirah’s interpretations of popular Buffett songs like “Margaritaville”, and “Volcano”. Also notable are two duets she sings with him including “Son of a Son of a Sailor” and Eric Clapton’s “When the War is Over." Nod to the Storyteller was recorded using three different bands one of which is lead by acclaimed slide guitarist Sonny Landreth. The producer, Mac McAnally a recent inductee into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the 2008 CMA Musician of the year, contributed two songs to the project and Grammy Award winning songwriter/percussionist Ralph MacDonald contributed “Creola”, a collaboration with Buffett about family life on the Louisiana Bayou.
Nadirah Shakoor has been a star behind the stars for many years. “Nod to the Storyteller” is an eclectic musical journey, with its release Nadirah’s own star shines brightly for the world to see! We are blessed to now have her in our family!
Finally, we are a new company. We are seeking sponsors. There is no donation too small. This is also the spot to sponsor students for any screenings of the movie. The next screening is the movie's premier scheduled for November 15, 2014. Please consider us!
Thank you so much!