Theology professor’s emphasis on human dignity success in life preserving anti-bullying lessons

By: Sloane M. Perron, Supervisor of Marketing and advertising Communications

Dr. Kevin Dowd is on a mission to convey awareness to the epidemic of bullying and to preserve the lives of children who truly feel like there is no way out from the repeated violence and psychological health and fitness toll that bullying brings.

Dowd initial begun teaching as an adjunct theology professor at Anna Maria College or university 9 a long time in the past, but his aim on bullying avoidance 1st began when he was a university student at Boston Faculty. Dowd’s Catholic Social Instructing professor assigned an open subject matter paper to his class and Dowd turned to latest gatherings for inspiration. At the time President Obama was addressing the bullying epidemic which led to 37 youths dying by suicide as a outcome of bullying that 12 months. It was then that Dowd began looking into the Catholic Church’s approach to dealing with the toll of bullying.

“I bear in mind President Obama talking and indicating this is not standard, bullying is not a normal part of rising up. And he was absolutely suitable, and no one must dismiss it as just a component of growing up, and the having to ‘get above it’ mindset is nonsense. So, I wanted to see if the church experienced something to say. Right here we are a church that considers itself professional-daily life, a church dedicated to social justice, and human dignity. So, I wrote my paper about this, and regrettably identified out the church did not have a good deal to say.” stated Dowd.

It was then that Dowd understood that he could fill this void and educate youths and mothers and fathers about the risks of bullying though reinforcing the relevance of human dignity by way of Scripture. “I felt like I could be the very matter that was lacking, I could at minimum be a single of the voices in the Church that was addressing this difficulty,” he said.

Dowd’s class paper about bullying, “What has Columbine to do with Jerusalem?”, was finally released into a peer-reviewed journal. Quickly just after he was invited to community speaking engagements nationwide in which he spoke about bullying prevention and introduced to youths. His ebook, Training Young ones to Respect Many others: Reflections, Pursuits & Prayers on Bullying and Prejudice which was posted in 2018 furthered aided distribute the information that bullying is not only a type of violence, but it is an act that goes from the Church’s price process.

“The principal way is via Genesis 1:27, where by in this fantastic development tale we listen to that God established human beings in God’s personal picture and likeness, male and feminine. That’s the foundation of Catholic Social Educating, this dignity that each and every person is an icon of God in a sense, and so any violence carried out to the human man or woman is intolerable,” Dowd spelled out, “We require to handle it. The point with bullying is to understand, and to assistance men and women to figure out, that we’re not just conversing about a schoolyard scuffle, it’s not just kids getting children. Bullying is a incredibly particular style of violence, and it does destruction to the human man or woman and hence, to human dignity.”

In accordance to Dowd, the analysis shows that 1 in 5 little ones report getting bullied, in the meantime out of those bullied, only 1 in 5 essentially talk up. Commonly, people who do speak out will only attempt to talk to for help once. This suggests that if a baby reaches out to a trustworthy teacher or grownup for aid, and they are not thought, then they are considerably much less possible to attain out once again, which only adds to the experience of being trapped and having no way out of the abuse.

Dowd’s anti-bullying presentations are not just exceptional in the point that they occur from a theological perspective, but he also targets several layers of persons in his information. He speaks to the victims of bullying, as perfectly as their mothers and fathers, bystanders, and even the bullies themselves.

“The amount one factor is to converse up to uncover someone they belief and speak to them to get some aid. And I usually say to pupils, if they really don’t believe you, if they never get you aid, if they never hear to you, then go to somebody else and talk up right up until somebody normally takes you very seriously. That is the range one particular piece of tips I can give,” Dowd mentioned about supplying bullied students guidance.

Via his trainings, Dowd hopes to empower the sufferer and empower bystanders to act and intervene when wanted. In the end, Dowd’s goal is to lessen the range of youths dying by suicide, by displaying them that they are not by itself, and that there are means out of their cases.

Dowd noticed the impact of his own anti-bullying work when he returned to a parish that he had spoken at a calendar year prior, “I received some comments from college students who instructed me, ‘You literally saved somebody’s life last year’. And what far more could you question for? I hope that what I’m performing is daily life affirming. Whether or not it will save lives or boosts the high quality of everyday living, I hope that it empowers people today to stand up towards injustice and violence in all varieties. But that a single occasion was the a person that caught with me the most, when they told me that I experienced actually saved somebody’s lifetime.”

Far more assets about bullying prevention can be found at: https://www.stopbullying.gov/

Dowd’s revealed will work, together with his most up-to-date reserve, Your Affirmation Bible Companion: What Scripture as God’s Adore Tune Means for You, are accessible for buy on Amazon.