The Protectors

Welcome to Our Anti-Bullying Movement


When we began The Protectors freedom-from-bullying movement about eight years ago, some thought it was a good but not necessary creation–like places that change your vehicle’s oil. Now according to a recent Harris Poll, bullying is the #1 concern among both parents and students–surpassing sex, drugs and gang activity.

Hardly a week goes by now where bullying does not make it into our nation’s media and our collective mind and worry, reminding me of that ominous phrase: You might not be interested in war, but war is definetely interested in you. More and more studies reveal that this intentional form of abuse affects most everyone the way a stone creates waves through water. It’s as if we’ve been re-introduced to an old enemy that we thought we knew but didn’t, leading to anxiety, and hardly know how to resist, leading to paralysis and even more anxiety.

But there is a way out, which is what this fresh blog is all about. This path toward freedom, justice and the defense of human dignity is forged by helping all four “characters” in the “Theater of Bullying” (Bullies, Targets, Bystanders and Authority) change their role. Because life really is a movie. And when it comes to bullying, the ultimate question is: What role will adults as well as children play?

And let me leave you with this distilling insight, which will help you understand the primary goal and orientation of this new blog: Knowledge alone will not transform this problem any more than consuming one lone vitamin leads to health. Knowledge alone does not set captives free. We have plenty of knowledge about bullying–some of which is conflicting. Our children, their parents and their teachers don’t need another Ph.D. to tell them that bullying is wrong and harmful. This is confirmed within the blacksmith of our troubled souls. What we lack and what we need as a people is the will, courage, conviction and indignation to confront it and diminish it. This will require sacrifice and for some, suffering. Some will rise to this noble, life-affirming challenge and some will not — just like the characters in our favorite movies.

So welcome. Let’s change history within history, and in the process grow courage, character and leadership for life, not just for the children in our lives, but for the adults as well.

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6 Responses to “Welcome to Our Anti-Bullying Movement”

  1. Geraldo Bresette — July 13, 2012 @ 6:12 am (#)

    I like this web blog very much so much excellent information.

    • Paul Coughlin — July 16, 2012 @ 7:29 pm (#)

      Thank you very much Geraldo. Welcome to our Team.

  2. Rebecca in SC — June 10, 2012 @ 7:06 pm (#)

    So glad to see this site. I was a target during my elementary and middle school years – even at church. Part of the problem does lie with the bully – apples don’t fall far from the tree – I think a lot of parents look the other way or excuse the behavior as “social pecking order.” Also, many families excuse verbal abuse only to see it repeated in many relationships later. I agree that the target needs training and encouragement as well. I think one of the difficulties in the Christian community is the concept of “turning the other cheek.” Your approach of teaching others to defend the target are right on – I believe this is very biblical. Thank you.

    • lan — June 20, 2012 @ 12:25 pm (#)

      Do you have advice on how to handle a 15 year girl old whom, as she passes my daughter in the hallways of school or church, says things like “oh gross” and “oh my God” and laughs as she is passing my daughter? This kid tells other girls not to talk to my daughter as well. Any suggestions??Has been an ongoing problem. Parents of kid are not helpful and just like her, of course. Lan you can email me with any suggenstions if you would.

      • Paul Coughlin — July 1, 2012 @ 3:17 pm (#)

        Ian, sorry to hear this. Our resource, Raising Bullyproof Kids will give you a game plan to help your daughter.

    • Paul Coughlin — July 1, 2012 @ 3:15 pm (#)

      Thank you Rebecca. We help all “four characters” in the Theater of Bullying, and as you say we put a special emphasis on the Bystander becoming an Alongside Stander. The real solution, of course, is parents rearing children who don’t bully, but we don’t have much control over that dynamic; we do have some control over the dynamic of youth organizations and youth culture. If I were king for a day I would require the parents of children identified as serial Bullies to attend special parenting classes. In fact I believe this is going to happen in select areas of our country. Welcome to the Protectors Team.

      Paul Coughlin

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