Combing back through all my unread emails from Thanksgiving weekend, I noticed an alert for an excellent article by Izzy Kalman about the powerful bullying prevention message in the classic movie “The Wizard of Oz.”
If you’ve been digging around BullyingPreventionNow.com at all you will know that Izzy Kalman is one of the people I admire and draw inspiration from. His message has been simply a common sense one. Click here to view an extensive interview I did with him recently
Anti bullying legislation has done little (if anything) to stop bullying. Ultimately we need to teach our children how to respond appropriately to mean people. Many of the techniques Izzy teaches enable the “target” or “victim” of “bullying” to take charge of the interaction in a peaceful yet empowered way to deflect and defuse the teasing, name calling and verbal harassment.
In his article on the Psychology Today blog Izzy points out that the entire movie, “The Wizard of Oz” is really about bullying.
Dorothy’s mean neighbor Mrs. Gulch wants Toto destroyed and Dorothy is trying to run away. Eventually she ends up in Oz and is hoping the mighty Wizard of Oz will help her to get back home. Dorothy ends up having to face her bully in the form of the Wicked Witch (who by the way perceives of Dorothy as the bully because Dorothy’s house landed on her sister…).
This is important: The “bully” always thinks of him or herself as a “victim.” Without excusing or condoning their behavior it is important to understand that children in school who are acting out in aggressive and negative ways are almost always in some kind of psychological pain and are often on the receiving end of some form of aggressive or negative behavior themselves somewhere else in their lives.
Legislating a solution from on high, like expecting President Obama to “Do something about bullying in our schools” is like expecting the Wizard of Oz to make everything better. The lesson learned by Dorothy and her friends is that they all possessed the qualities of courage, intelligence and heart before their adventure. But they had to find it in themselves.
Thank you once again Izzy for making a difference and being willing to stand up and speak clearly about these issues.