by Marlene Seltzer, M.D., medical director of Beaumont Children’s Hospital’s No Bullying, Live Empowered (NoBLE) program
If bullying were a virus… it would be a national health crisis.
It would be a virus that could infect anyone… but had a special fondness for children.
It could often elude detection and mutate into different forms. It would be a master of disguise and lurk in the nooks and crannies and bathrooms and stairwells of our schools
This “bullying virus” would negatively impacted physical health, mental health and academic achievement. It would cause both immediate and long-term harm. Imagine a virus so powerful that, just like secondhand smoke, even those merely in its presence could be harmed. A virus like that would not be tolerated. This nation would not let our youth go down without a fight.
Experts would be called in and task forces assembled, but that would not be enough. The public would demand action: nation-wide awareness campaigns, the shuttering of schools to halt transmission, the development and implementation of screening tests on a mass scale. A race to effective treatments would be on with fast tracking so infected youth could be healed immediately.
And there would be prevention efforts and talk of eradication. Money would be found and spent because the health of our nation would be at stake. If bullying was a virus, it would bring out the best our nation had to offer, people working together, relentlessly, to save our youth.
SO… WHAT IF BULLYING WAS A VIRUS?
Share your feelings on social media using #bullyingvirus.