Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Bullying

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | May 7, 2014 3:44 PM


What to look for on Smart Talk Thursday, May 8, 2014:

Bullying used to be thought of as a rite-of-passage. Let’s face it – all of us have been the target of a bully, bullied other people, or witnessed someone else being bullied.

Today, the “rite-of-passage” or “kids will be kids” explanations are not accepted.

That’s because we are much more aware of the long lasting or permanent physical, mental, or emotional harm that bullying can do.

However, while awareness has grown, bullying still happens in every school yard. With technology there are even more ways for bullies to inflict pain.

Thursday’s Smart Talk will focus on bullying.

Our guests are Stacie Molnar-Main and Michelle Nutter of Center for Safe Schools.

In addition, there will be a free screening of the documentary film BULLY at WITF’s Public Media Center Thursday, May 15 at 6 p.m. After the film, there will be a facilitated discussion with trained bully prevention experts.


Michelle Nutter & Stacie Molnar-Main from Center for Safe Schools

Published in Smart Talk

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-05-08 08:18

    Can you comment on bullying in preschool? Does it occur, if so with what prevalence, how can you tell vs a 4/5 year old learning appropriate actions, and are the steps to respond similar to grade school?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-05-08 08:22

    Joanne emails:

    My daughters are African American. They finally told me that there is a boy on their bus who everyday all school year ranted that Hitler had it right, all Jews and Blacks should be gassed and that slavery should be reestablished. The bus driver never reported this. When my daughters told me and I called the school, the boy was suspended for three days. I believe the schools response to the boy and the bus driver should have been much harsher. What do you think?

  • Lisa img 2014-05-08 08:27

    When I was in elementary school and repeatedly bullied by another child at the bus stop, my parents continually preached "turning the other cheek" and that ignoring the bully would eventually make him stop. I finally could not continue like that and ended up getting in a fight with this older and larger bully. When I turned around and punched this kid, amazingly another kid who had also been bullied jumped in to help (probably preventing me from getting beat up). We all ended up in the principal's office and I was grounded for a month by my parents, but it was entirely worth it as the bullying stopped for the most part.

    When my own child was bullied in first grade by another child in the classroom, I was repeatedly frustrated by the anti-bullying program in place at our school. More emphasis was placed on how "troubled" the bully was and how we needed to tolerate the bully's behavior because of that child's circumstances. There was little consideration of my child's feelings. Despite talking to the teacher and various administrators, there was no change in this other child's behavior to my child. My first grader was getting off the bus every day, crying and telling me how awful school was. So, I used my own experience and explained to my child to take ownership and responsibility to stand up to the bully as the adults in charge were not successfully intervening. I explained that I preferred talking to the child first and asking him to stop and if that did not work, I would support any further action taken. My child ended up kicking the other child after being shoved and knocked over for the 4th time before lunch. A note was sent home by the principal and my child lost recess privilege. But, the teacher finally addressed the issue and separated the bully from my child and we had a peaceful second half of the year.

    I truly feel that current anti-bullying programs as a whole put far too much emphasis on ignoring the bullying and passive ways of avoidance of bullying. I cannot help but wonder if all the suppression of the natural response of the bullied child to strike back is unhealthy in the long run and leads to the more escalated and explosively dangerous responses that make the headlines. I also wonder if younger bullies truly understand that they are hurting the children they are bullying and maybe it takes a like response to get through to them.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-05-08 08:35

    Ben emails:

    Has there ever been a study analyzing the early development of congressional leaders, CEOs, business executives connecting the aggressive behavior of bullies and the aggressive behavior of people in those categories?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-05-08 08:39

    A listener emails:

    Points about bullying, that I haven’t heard addressed:

    Anyone who listens to Rush Limbaugh, FOX News and their ilk, should not be surprised if their children are lying to advance their own agenda or abusing other children. They’re learning it at home.

    In the last twenty years, there has been an increase in “Reality” shows, that feature adults and young adults, all of whom HAVE to have their own way in every situation, are constantly yelling and are generally bullying each other in front of millions of people. The best part? They are paid for it.

    The media and popular culture reward bad behavior, and acting out is the thing to do, regardless of the consequences.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-05-08 08:44

    Luke emails:

    I taught high school for 25 years. The last principal I dealt with had a sign on her office door which said, "I'm not a bully. You're just a sissy." Please comment. Thank you.

  • Scott LaMar img 2014-05-08 10:41

    Laura adds...
    There will be an antibullying event by Stand for the Silent in Campbelltown, Pa on June 7, 2014 from 12 to 8. Activities for kids, awareness activities and the band, Smoking Guns.