Bullied 5th grader writes to President Obama — and gets a response!

When West Philadelphia 5th grader Ziainey Stokes wrote to President Obama about her years of being bullied at school, she wasn’t expecting a response.  But she would receive a letter from the President, expressing his sympathy for her plight.  As reported by Anne Grant for NBC Philadelphia:

In the letter, Mr. Obama thanked Ziainey for bringing attention to the issue of bullying.

“Your letter demonstrates a desire to change the culture of your classroom as well as your community,” he wrote.

The letter also ended with a promise: “You deserve a safe, engaging, and enjoyable classroom, and together we will strive to make this a reality.”

Why not the workplace?

I’m delighted that a child’s experience of school bullying prompted such a great response from the President.  We must also strive to make our elected officials feel the same way about workplace bullying.  To paraphrase President Obama, don’t we all deserve a safe, engaging, and enjoyable place to work?

2 responses

  1. I just read another piece on school bullying and basically it just said that bullied kids need support and bullies need to be handled appropriately. OK, I get the first one, but what’s “handled appropriately” in this context? Does anyone know what really works – in schools or the workplace?

    • Nancy, it would take a tome to answer your question, but with kids I think there’s growing agreement that genuine bullying is handled as a form of aggression or abuse, not a playground dustup. For the bullies, that can include forms of discipline & required counseling — and in worst cases like some of these bully-fueled teen suicides, criminal prosecution if the facts warrant it.

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