More will be revealed in a few weeks, but the recent scenes of ONE LIFE TO LIVE’s Shane being bullied on his computer are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the beginning of the groundbreaking story.OLTL has worked closely with Ross Ellis, founder and chief executive officer of Love Our Children USA and STOMP Out Bullying. Ellis recently spoke with Soap Opera Weekly about the tragic national trend.
Ellis explains that bullying behavior is often learned at home. Children watch how their parents interact with other people. Rage at the delivery man is noted; so is slamming the phone on the cable company. “It’s usually learned behavior, although not all the time,” adds Ellis, “because sometimes, kids just need to feel empowered, or they’re being picked on, or they see other kids are doing it, or they want to be liked — or whatever, but most of the time, it comes from home.”
The statistics are shocking. One that was particularly eye-opening: One out of four teens are bullied. Let’s repeat that: one out of four! Some teens are both bully and bullied. It’s a vicious cycle of mean.
“Kids will pretty much bully for any reason,” adds Ellis. “They need to understand how it is so painful to someone, and what it does. That doesn’t mean they’re going to stop, because it takes a whole lot of work. If you ask a kid, ‘Why do you bully?’ they may say, ‘Well, it makes me feel stronger, smarter and better than the person I’m bullying,’ or, ‘I’m bullied at home,’ or, ‘I want to hang out with the right crowd. I see other guys doing it.'”
For more on this story, pick up the March 1 issue of Weekly.