Friday, October 5, 2012

Jennifer Livingston was NOT Bullied!

Jennifer Livingston, the on-air television news anchor [WKBT Wisconsin], who  claimed she was bullied by a "viewer", because of her weight, took to the airwaves to rebut the emailer. Attorney Kenneth Krause sent an email to Livingston criticizing her weight and stating she was not a good role model for girls and young women because of her size.  Ms. Livingston stated the following to her viewers: “But to the person who wrote me that letter, do you think I don’t know that? That your cruel words are pointing out something that I don’t see? You don’t know me. You are not a friend of mine. You are not a part of my family, and you have admitted that you don’t watch the show so you know nothing about me but what you see on the outside; and, I am much more than a number on a scale.”

One email is not bullying or cyberbullying. Bullying is repeated and continuous behavior that causes in its victim either physical hurt, emotional hurt or psychological distress  While Ms. Livingston was emotionally hurt by the email she was not bullied. One email is not bullying. 

There is a huge problem when the media defines bullying incorrectly.  The reason is, people become misinformed, especially kids and parents.  If a child comes home and tells his  parents that a classmate called him a bad name, parents may assume he was bullied thus possibly causing unnecessary anger and uproar at school. The misinformation also takes away from children who are truly bullied. Children who are repeatedly teased, taunted, hit, isolated, mobbed and the list goes on.  I have no problem with Livingston addressing the email. However, I am betting that celebrities or people in public positions receive negative feedback from the general public all the time.  What about all those tabloids.

If we start to address every one time hit, one time bad word or words as bullying the outcome will be devastating because then those in positions who need to take bullying seriously, will not!

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