Bullies can make your child feel intimidated, threatened, sad and lonely. Whether kids are toddlers or teens, bulling can happen anywhere to anyone. Visit StopBullying.gov to find ways to teach your child not to bully or be bullied.
Like many family practices across the nation, Dr. Dan Dugi, a physician, and his wife Bli Dugi, a physician assistant, have seen a rise in the number of bullying-related injuries. Their answer: treat anti-bullying like preventative medicine and make discussions on it part of routine children's medical exams.
The issue of bullying weighs heavily on the minds of the Dugis. While building their young daughter’s home-based library, they saw a need for books that expressed values in a vibrant way. The Dugis created "The Principle Gang" series, a collection of six books that brings to life the timeless messages parents have been conveying to their children for centuries, messages about family, friendship, community and fairness.
Children are invited to become a member of “The Principle Gang” by taking an oath to promise respect and encouragement, while learning important principles to make a difference. Children can relate to the different strengths and weaknesses of the characters in the series.
The first two books in the six book series will hit stories in August and October 2014. The first book, "Don't Judge a Lizard by His Scales" releases in August.
The second book in the series, "Wizard Lizard Rides the Subway" will be released in October, just in time for National Bullying Prevention Month.
The Dugis also launched a “No Bullies Allowed” campaign for elementary schools. Every school that signs up will receive a PG No Bullies Allowed starter pack, which includes an introductory letter, full-color poster for the school library, coloring sheet, and a powerpoint presentation for classroom instruction.
“The topic of bullying is not just a school problem, it’s a community-wide problem,” say Dr. Dan and Bli Dugi. “As health practitioners, we feel it is our duty to address bullying as another key factor in preventive medicine. Education and prevention are critical for the well-being of our youth.”
The National Education Association reports that 160,000 students stay home from school everyday due to bullying. While anti-bullying laws are growing at state and local levels, making schools take action for adverse events occurring on campus, parents and clinicians are often better able to recognize the signs of a child being bullied and can help put a stop to it.
The average child has watched 8,000 televised murders and 100,000 acts of violence before finishing elementary school. Nearly two-thirds of students who are bullied become bullies. Twenty percent of all children report they have been bullied. In schools where there are bullying programs, bullying is reduced by 50 percent.
Dr. Dan and Bli Dugi have a combined 50 years experience as a physician and physician assistant team. With The Principle Gang series, they have created a way to connect with young children outside of the exam room. They live in Cuero, Texas, with their daughter, Emmy.
Reading books together can help parents and children talk about difficult subjects. Whether or not your child has experienced being bullied, raise the subject so your child will have a plan in place before bullying happens.