It is totally amazing to me that we are starting a new year. I can remember when the year 2000 was a distant joke…something out of a science fiction novel. And now here we are at 2018. And we are still faced with a climate of bullying, in an environment of social and cultural issues.
The prevalence of cyber attacks is absurd. And bullying has grown in magnitude with the relative anonymity of the Internet. Not only a problem with youth, it is a growing concern at all ages, in all walks of life. But if we can reach our young people and give them the skills they need to grow and develop and make good decisions along the way, maybe we can help combat this problem in society.
Springing from a movement titled “I Am a Witness,” is a new emoji which is installed on the updated iPhones. It is an eye in a speech bubble, the first ever emoji designed for a social cause. Look for it in the symbols area of your emoji list. It doesn’t look powerful, but it is becoming so in our cyber-driven world.
The CEO of Ad Council , Lisa Sherman, told an interviewer for the Huffington Post “this emoji felt like it could give teens something to say when they didn’t know what to say.” Use of it is a way to call out bullying in text messages or online communities.
So, in our schools and in our homes, we can help young people find a way to recognize and support those kids who are struggling, or who are being singled out in some way. We can help them find that superpower within to feel good about themselves, and know they can be a part of positive change in the world.
Look for the “eye” emoji on your phone, and download the images from the Internet. Go to http://www.iwitnessbullying.org for more information. And teach children to say: “I see that and it’s not okay.”
What a great resolution to start the New Year! Let us know what you are doing to teach character education to your children and students, and let us know student response. We would love to hear from you.