Tag Archives: bullying

Bullying Doesn’t Stop When Our Children Come Home

An Opinion Piece from Assemblywoman Melissa Miller


“The rate at which young adults and children are being bullied in today’s world is unfortunately at an all-time high. The reason? Unlike years ago, the bullying doesn’t stop when our children come home from school. The bullies can now follow them home, harassing through texting or the many social media websites and apps that so many of our children are intertwined with. Taking away our children’s phones and making them deactivate their accounts isn’t going to help. That is punishing them for someone else’s wrongs and can worsen the situation by making them feel like outsiders, giving the bullies something else to pick on. The youth of today can also be ruthless, picking on anyone who is even the slightest bit different from them. This makes things extremely difficult for individuals with disabilities.


“So how do we fix the bullying problem? It starts with the older generation, whether you are a parent, guardian or just a significant adult in a child’s life, you can help. By being reliable and responding to situations of bullying swiftly every time, you can help teach the younger generation that this isn’t acceptable behavior, and research has shown this approach to be effective over time. Kids also rarely ask for help because they want to be independent and think asking an adult for help could make things worse. This is not a kids-will-be-kids situation; we need to teach them they can’t treat their peers like this.


“We shouldn’t be shushing our children when they ask about an individual with a disability, rather, we should explain to them that some people are different, which is okay. By teaching our youth about the different types of disabilities that are out there, we are helping our communities become more understanding, accepting and inclusive.


“There are warning signs that your child is being bullied that you can look out for. If your child or a child you know has a change in eating habits, problems sleeping, slipping grades, injuries they refuse to explain how they got, is constantly losing personal property or having it be destroyed without explanation, avoiding social situations or taking part in self-destructive behaviors, they could be a victim of bullying.


“But these aren’t the only signs we should be looking out for. There are children out there doing the bullying, so while it might be difficult to admit, your child or a child you know may be bullying others. Signs that your child might be a bully include increasing aggressiveness, getting into verbal or physical fights frequently, blaming others for their own problems, sudden acquisition of money or new possessions, constant trips to the principal’s office or refusing to accept accountability for their actions. If you think your kid might be a bully, don’t be ashamed. Take action and try to help your child learn why bullying others is wrong. There are so many resources available to help; it’s time for us to start using them to help our children lead better lives.


“Our children look up to us and it is our duty to teach them the difference between right and wrong. As much as we want to be friends with our kids, we are first and foremost their parents and must behave as such. They look to us as role models and for guidance, so to ensure they have the best life possible, we must teach them to treat others with respect and kindness. Choose kind!”


Visit Assemblywoman Miller’s webpage




Assemblywoman Miller Introduces Teen Founder of Anti-Bullying Nonprofit

Sydney BrettAssemblywoman Melissa Miller (R,C,Ref-Atlantic Beach) was pleased to welcome and introduce Sydney Brett, a Long Beach High School junior, and her family to members of the Assembly on Monday, April 23. Last year Sydney, who has been physically and verbally bullied, launched a nonprofit called Sydney’s Smiles, which aims to help children, young adults, parents and teachers put an end to bullying with the proper education, resources and tools. Having dyslexia, Sydney also hopes the organization will help eliminate the negative stereotypes associated with having a disability that isn’t outwardly obvious to others. Sydney also holds the USA National Miss title of New York Junior Teen among girls between the ages of 13 and 15.


“Bullying is becoming an increasing problem in today’s world, with technology giving bullies access to their victims around the clock,” said Miller. “It is wonderful to see someone like Sydney, who has been bullied herself, stand up against bullies and help others learn how to do so too. The fact that she is not only advocating to put an end to bullying, but also teaching others how they can help by fostering an environment that promotes acceptance and inclusion, is fantastic. Not all disabilities can be seen on the surface, and eliminating the stereotypes that come with them will help young adults feel more comfortable in their own skin. Sydney has taken something negative in her life and has overcome it to turn it into something positive by helping others. She is a winner and I am so proud to know such a strong and caring young woman as Sydney.”


Visit Assemblywoman Miller’s webpage

McDonough Takes Action To Help Prevent Bullying

Introduces legislation following California city’s passage of anti-bullying ordinance


Assemblyman Dave McDonough (R,C,I-Merrick) recently introduced new legislation aimed at stemming the rapidly growing issue of bullying, especially cyber-bullying, that has been plaguing the nation. Following numerous incidents where cyber-bullying led to young people inflicting violence against themselves and others, as well as reports about a proposal by the city of Carson, California, McDonough felt compelled to introduce the legislation.


“Today’s world is very different than the world many of us grew up in. Young people today spend more time online than previous generations and this has allowed bullies to expand their platform,” said McDonough. “However, there is one thing that hasn’t changed and that is the negative consequences of bullying. My goal with this proposal is to find another way to deter bullying and the long-lasting effects it can have on kids.”


Assembly Bill 9850, which McDonough introduced, would define the crime of cyber-bullying and bullying. Anyone 18 or older who violated the new section would be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine based upon offense and number of previous violations.


Visit Assemblyman McDonough’s webpage