Laurie A. Gray, Attorney, Author and Founder of Socratic Parenting shares her experience of working with children in many settings, including law cases.
As per Laurie's own introduction:
My name is Lauire Gray. I'm an attorney in the State of Indiana in the United States and my experience started with being a school teacher. I taught high school Spanish and went to Law School and worked in the private practice of law, did a little bit of school law, both sides and moved into criminal justice and I'm currently working as an Adjunct Professor Of Criminal Justice at Indiana Institute of Technology or (Indiana Tech) I'm a child forensic interviewer so I talk to children about things that happened to them that may have legal consequences and I'm also an author and consultant. I have begun writing young adult fiction and some of that ends up dealing with issues very similar to bullying.
The interview begins with these questions:
Laurie Gray: My name is Lauire Gray. I’m an attorney in the State of Indiana in the United States and my experience started with being a school teacher. I taught high school Spanish and went to Law School and worked in the private practice of law, did a little bit of school law, both sides and moved into criminal justice and I’m currently working as an Adjunct Professor Of Criminal Justice at Indiana Institute of Technology or (Indiana Tech) I’m a child forensic interviewer so I talk to children about things that happened to them that may have legal consequences and I’m also an author and consultant. I have begun writing young adult fiction and some of that ends up dealing with issues very similar to bullying.
Ciaran Connolly: Excellent. It is great to be able to talk to you and thank you again for your time. I think it’s important that we define bullying so what would be your view of as a definition of bullying?
LG: One of the places that I looked for a definition of bullying that we have been using in the United States is stopbullying.gov/ which is our government’s website that is set up to help start to raise awareness and deal with these issues and stopbullying.gov/ defines bullying as: unwanted aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or a perceived power imbalance, an imbalance of power. The behavior is repeated or has the potential to be repeated over time and one of the important things about our definition is that it’s really confined to school aged children, to say that you know adults don’t bully, groups don’t bully, people and authority don’t bully. It’s children who bully children. That’s a very limited definition of bullying. I looked at nobullying.com which I believe is your website and you define bullying more broadly. You say, by definition, bullying iscontinued aggressive behavior by one or more individuals that makes another individual or individuals feel uncomfortable or threatened. I really like that definition because it reaches out and looks at bullying throughout society as opposed to saying you know “Bullying is a problem for kids. It starts with kids. We should deal with it with kids and we are going to resolve it through the behavior of children” and it’s just not the case. I think that whether it’s verbal or social or physical bullying, it’s a learned behavior and children learn it from adults and as long as we as adults see bullying as an appropriate management style in our businesses, parenting style in dealing with our children, political style in dealing with our political opponents or between nations, then I think that bullying is going to be a problem for kids and since it doesn’t start with kids, I don’t think that the laws designed to resolve it through kids are going to be particularly effective.
CC: I think you have hit a very topical point because we actually started our journey just as stopbullying.gov/ have their definition and we were looking just at children but it was very quickly that we realized that actually children are only part of the problem just as you were saying that when we looked at society; it was very clear to people are talking to us about bullying at work and when we looked at sports and I guess the celebs that we watch and follow, it was very clear that even our media maybe bullies them and harms them and harasses them. On the sports field we see players bullying referees and vice versa trying to win a game and I guess from our view that society has a massive role to play in educating everybody because even when I look at my Facebook page I see adults, my friends, maybe posting things that actually in reality is possibly bullying and I’m sure we will talk about that and the bystanders as well.
Read more of this interview here: nobullying.com/laurie-a-gray-on-bullying-and-raising-stronger-children/
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