Legendary comedian/activist Bill Cosby is in the news again, lending his voice to a cause brought about by a recent tragedy. Following the suicide of young Phoebe Prince, who was found hanged at her home in Massachusetts, Cosby has decided to back an anti-bullying drive.
In addition to using his high profile to further the cause, Cosby has authorized anti-bullying advocate Dr. Marilyn Irving the use of select Fat Albert and he Cosby Kids clips that address the issue of bullying.
While on the Larry King Show, Cosby expressed, “[Teachers] should be able to recognize it when they see it, as they’re walking around the hallways, as the kids are sitting in the classrooms. I’m really asking all of them to wake up, because for a child to hang him or herself, to me, that’s a very, very violent act – a way of taking yourself out because some people are practicing hatred toward you, whether they know what they’re doing or not.
“These adults have to get in now. If you look at some schools, there’s one counselor for 420 kids. And unless that child really steps out and comes to that counselor, how would one know?”
Albeit, school authorities should be the first line of defense in the war on class room tormenting, parents play the most integral role in providing a foundation of strength and support to not only help youth cope with aggression, but prevent them from being the aggressors.
Bill Cosby also includes his own personal experiencing in dealing with schoolyard bullying as his eldest daughter Erika was harassed as a child.
“I don’t believe that you can take a job as a teacher, as a superintendent, as a principal and not recognize, when you’re being told by parents. You see, for instance, when our daughter Erika had a problem, she reported it to us. Mrs. Cosby then went to the school. The school immediately – and Erika is maybe seven, eight years old – immediately brought the parents in of the child who was doing the bullying. And it worked.”