Going Gluten-FreeApril 24, 2013

The Ultimate Bully

Comments (2)

Posted by Alicia Woodward

 The tragic events in Boston last week prompt me to think that terrorism is bullying on super-steroids. Simply put, a terrorist is the ultimate bully. It was extremely gratifying to see the various branches of law enforcement join together with the people of Boston to deal with the threat. The community was of one mind. Working together, the Boston Marathon bombing suspect was apprehended and any similar threat from these bullies was thwarted. A strong, unified, universal reaction = zero tolerance.

That’s the way it is. That’s the way it should be.

Late last year, a study from Jaffe Food Allergy Institute in New York confirmed that food-allergic children are often subjected to bullying. In this study, 32 percent of children and 25 percent of parents reported bullying specifically due to food allergy. These often involved contact threats with the actual allergen, like throwing food at the child.

Bullied children report more anxiety and a lower quality of life than non-bullied children, regardless of the severity of their allergy or sensitivity. When parents are aware of the bullying (about 50 percent of the time), children report less anxiety and better social and emotional functioning.

Parents and the overall community can work together to identify a bully, to report the behavior and stop it. This reduces the harmful impact on our food-allergic, food-sensitive kids and sets the stage for tolerance and respect for differences.

Let’s keep the kindness flowing and continue to build a strong sense of community. Let’s watch out for each other.

Comments (2)

I would only add that it is always important, if you are, in fact, someone who identifies as someone who is tolerant, to remember that BULLIES ARE/WERE NEARLY ALWAYS BULLIED!! Look at things from this perspective and it sheds a different light on how to change this phenomena in our country. Being kind and tolerant TO EVERYONE is really the answer, as trite as it may sound! Teaching your kids that they must be tolerant is the most important thing they will learn. If we aren't getting that message across as parents, we have failed...and, unfortunately, will continue on the terrifying path we are on at this time.

Posted by: Keleen K | April 25, 2013 9:06 PM    Report this comment

It's sad to learn that children have been threatened with foods that could do them harm. Zero tolerance of bullying in all forms should be the norm. But don't be so naive as to label terrorists as bullies.

Yes, parents and community members can work together to identify children who bully others, and put a stop to the behavior. However, we have very little power to thwart a surprise attack from a terrorist who slips through our intelligence and security agencies intent on killing and maiming multiple numbers of children and adults. Terrorists are pure evil, not the ultimate bullies.

Posted by: Diana W | April 25, 2013 1:36 PM    Report this comment

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