March 5 at 7pm Curtis Middle School Auditorium - ‘Best Friends, Worst Enemies: Community, Friendship, Social Power and Bullying in Childhood” Talk by Michael G. Thompson, PhD
Media attention on bullying in schools has many parents seeing childhood social relationships only through the lens of bullying. However, most school communities are places of tolerance and inclusion, as well as occasional bullying. For children, the relationship with friends is one of the most important things in their lives, a source of learning and growth. Yet children also discover social power and experiment with teasing and exclusion. Classes are stratified into very popular, accepted, ambiguous, neglected, controversial and rejected children. In this talk, Dr. Thompson will distinguish between the normal social pain of childhood, from which all children learn, and actual bullying, which is traumatizing. He will discuss ways in which communities can make children safer.