Bullying | St. Louis Public Radio


 To help kids deal with the trauma of bullying, 9-year-old Mikaylah Norfolk started We Rise Up 4 Kids with her mom, Monique Norfolk. November 2018
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the surface, Mikaylah Norfolk is like most kids her age. She likes to play with her three-story Barbie Dreamhouse, dress up her dolls, hang out with her friends and do arts and crafts.

But the 9-year-old Florissant resident is also the founder of an anti-bullying organization.

We Rise Up 4 Kids aims to help kids deal with the trauma of bullying, while also providing mental health resources.

Provided | We Rise Up 4 Kids

An organization that aims to help youth deal with the trauma of bullying will host its kickoff event on Saturday.

Mikaylah Norfolk of Florissant founded We Rise Up 4 Kids in June after experiencing intense verbal and physical bullying by a classmate at age 8. Mikaylah says she decided to turn her own trauma into a way to help other kids.

Matt Grawitch (at left), director of strategic research for SLU’s School for Professional Studies, and Dena Bubrick-Tranen, a therapist with Middle Way Counseling and Consulting, offered insights on dealing with difficult work environments.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Ever felt stuck in a problematic job situation? You’re not alone.

The #MeToo movement has led to increased awareness and empowerment around issues of sexual harassment and assault in all sorts of industries. But other forms of mistreatment can crop up in the workplace as well, and employees sometimes feel trapped in difficult environments.

“People do need their jobs, and the more toxic the environment, the harder it can be to leave,” local therapist Dena Bubrick-Tranen said on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

UMSL’s Title IX coordinator and chief equity officer, Dana Beteet Daniels (at left), and local attorney Nicole Gorovsky, an advocate for victims of sexual abuse, participated in Wednesday’s discussion.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

While the U.S. Department of Education’s Title IX statute has been around since 1972, there’s renewed societal focus on issues related to sexual assault and discrimination – and evolving guidance at the federal level when it comes to addressing them.

“Colleges are kind of on edge right now with respect to these issues,” Chronicle of Higher Education senior reporter Sarah Brown said on Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

Children who eat poor diets are more likely to be bullies at school, according to research from Saint Louis University.

The study, which used data from a World Health Organization survey of 150,000 children across 40 countries in Europe and North America, examined the relationship between diet and bullying behavior. Students who had poor diets or experienced frequent meal deprivation were more likely to bully their peers.

School Illustration
Illustration by Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

LGBTQ youth, particularly in the Midwest, suffer higher rates of bullying than their straight peers, which researchers say can have long-term negative effects on their academics.

Because bullying can lower self-esteem and discourage students from coming to school or engaging with peers, learning suffers. This is magnified for LGBTQ youth, according to Dana Peterson, a criminal justice professor at the State University of New York at Albany.

District website

A Ladue high school student who filed suit saying he was harassed by classmates who called him names like “faggot” will receive $75,000 from the district under a settlement unsealed Wednesday.

The settlement also calls on the district to conduct training in bullying and harassment and for parents of students subjected to such behavior to be notified as soon as possible.

Brian Rohlfing is co-founder of Watchdog Creative, the company behind the Stop Harassing Me Now app.
Watchdog Creative | provided

A new anti-bullying app available on Google Play is the brain child of a handful of St. Louis dads. The Stop Harassing Me Now app, which is also designed to combat domestic violence, records flagged calls and texts and stores them in a secure database in case they are needed as evidence.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: If you want to get kids’ attention when it comes to bullying -- or anything at all -- it helps to understand the lingo.

Seventeen-year-old Dasia Vence, who plays popular, mean girl Gwyneth in “Winning Juliet,” Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ upcoming educational play about cyber-bullying, has the 4-1-1 on popular terminology.

“Sneak-dissing,” Vence begins. “Like if you got a new haircut and I put on Twitter, ‘That haircut is gross,’ then you know it’s about you but I didn’t say that.

Source: Cyber Bullying Research Center, National Institute of Child Health, Autism Speaks, Gay and Lesbian Education Network

Brittany Jordan was a sophomore at Fort Zumwalt West High School when she was blindsided by bullies.

Browsing online, Jordan stumbled upon a MySpace page dedicated to her humiliation. The posts called her “fat,” “slut” and “skank.” “The world would be better off without you,” another read. She was horrified to see her face pasted above naked bodies. Then she saw something that hurt even more.

“Some of my friends were ‘friends’ with that page and they were ‘liking’ the pictures,” Jordan says.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: You might not think someone the size of “The Blind Side” character Michael Oher would have a problem with bullying. But Quinton Aaron, who played Michael to Sandra Bullock’s Leigh Anne Tuohy in the 2009 Academy Award-winning film based on a true story, was once afraid to walk home from school.

Now 28, Aaron is telling his story with the launch of the Quinton Aaron Foundation’s 31-city Anti-Bullying Tour. On Sunday, April 7, the tour stops in St. Louis for a bowling event at AMF Dick Weber Lanes in Florissant.

Morning headlines - Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May 30, 2012
(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Nixon to sign funding stream for Mo. veterans homes

Gov. Jay Nixon is set to sign legislation that provides a dedicated funding source for the state’s veterans homes.

The measure redirects casino fees that now benefit early childhood programs into a trust fund for the Missouri Veterans Commission. Those early childhood funds will be replaced with money from the state’s tobacco settlement.

Ill. Senate rejects anti-bullying legislation by one vote

May 22, 2012
(via Flickr/jglazer75)

A push to make Illinois schools adopt more thorough policies to prevent bullying fell short in the state Senate.

The legislation would have required schools to spell out how they would investigate allegations and what would happen to students caught bullying others.

It got 29 votes Tuesday but needed 30 for approval. Twelve senators voted "no" and 12 voted "present."

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 16, 2011 - U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay says there is a role for Congress and the federal government in the national effort to combat the bullying of children in school, in public and online.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 9, 2011 - Throughout April, students across the St. Louis region met an anxiety-ridden, strapped for cash version of William Shakespeare, wearing yet another costume: conflict mediator.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 5, 2011 - "In the beginning, most of it was on the internet. On Facebook, Youtube, AIM," 14-year-old Sidney Wilhelm said, sitting with her parents at the Webster Groves St. Louis Bread Company on a recent Saturday morning.

"You got texts," her mother added. "Calls in the middle of the night."

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Two bills making their way through the Missouri House would target bullying in public schools across the state.

State Representative Sue Allen (R, Town and Country) is sponsoring one of them.  It would require all K-12 schools to issue a statement prohibiting bullying and to install procedures for reporting and investigating incidents of bullying.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 16, 2010 - A  study suggests that first lady Michelle Obama might want to add another item to her list of problems affecting children who are obese -- bullying. Overweight youngsters are more likely to be bullied than other children, according to a study to be published in the Jun issue of Pediatrics journal.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 17, 2009 - When police released a video of what they said was a racially motivated attack aboard a Belleville school bus on Monday, the incident became a national news item and the subject of internet bloggers. Never mind that what viewers thought they were seeing on the video wasn't entirely accurate.