Gum in my hair
Writers: Marty Reimer, Tim Shields
Director: Marty Reimer
Producer: Amy Schneider
Bullying is an all too common part of growing up. Some of us were hassled daily; others watched their friends get picked on, afraid to intervene. And perhaps most disturbing are those of us who joined forces with bullies, buoyed by group mentality and relieved to be anywhere but on the receiving end.
Sadly, our children are no more immune to bullying than were we. A new national survey found that 80 percent of U.S. children report being bullied at school. The effects can be devastating, impairing concentration and self-esteem, and even deadly, as seen in the Columbine shootings.
This is exactly what Marty Reimer, founder of video-production company Twisted Scholar, is hoping to prevent with "Gum in My Hair: How to Cope with a Bully." A 20-minute video aimed at 8- to 14-year-olds, it is designed to teach kids how to both recognize bullies and evade their grasp.
The one major downside to this video is that it's hosted by adults. And as most parents know, kids in this age group are fond of shouting, "You don't know what it's like!" to any adult within earshot. Luckily, real testimonials from bullied kids make it easier for young viewers to relate. The video also offers five tangible techniques for avoiding the enemy, such as developing confident-and therefore deterring-body language. Co-host David Scratchley, Ph.D., a psychologist and well-known children's safety advocate, lends added credibility to the lessons.