Theology professor’s concentrate on human dignity final results in life preserving anti-bullying lessons

By: Sloane M. Perron, Supervisor of Marketing Communications

Dr. Kevin Dowd is on a mission to bring awareness to the epidemic of bullying and to save the lives of youngsters who experience like there is no way out from the recurring violence and psychological wellbeing toll that bullying provides.

Dowd initially started off instructing as an adjunct theology professor at Anna Maria College nine a long time ago, but his concentrate on bullying prevention very first commenced when he was a student at Boston College or university. Dowd’s Catholic Social Training professor assigned an open subject paper to his course and Dowd turned in the direction of recent occasions for inspiration. At the time President Obama was addressing the bullying epidemic which led to 37 youths dying by suicide as a end result of bullying that yr. It was then that Dowd began hunting into the Catholic Church’s tactic to working with the toll of bullying.

“I don’t forget President Obama talking and expressing this is not ordinary, bullying is not a ordinary section of increasing up. And he was totally appropriate, and no one should dismiss it as just a aspect of escalating up, and the owning to ‘get about it’ attitude is nonsense. So, I desired to see if the church experienced something to say. Here we are a church that considers itself pro-existence, a church committed to social justice, and human dignity. So, I wrote my paper about this, and regrettably uncovered out the church didn’t have a great deal to say.” stated Dowd.

It was then that Dowd understood that he could fill this void and instruct youths and mothers and fathers about the dangers of bullying whilst reinforcing the worth of human dignity as a result of Scripture. “I felt like I could be the really factor that was missing, I could at minimum be 1 of the voices in the Church that was addressing this concern,” he stated.

Dowd’s class paper about bullying, “What has Columbine to do with Jerusalem?”, was inevitably posted into a peer-reviewed journal. Shortly after he was invited to general public talking engagements nationwide in which he spoke about bullying prevention and introduced to youths. His book, Educating Little ones to Respect Other individuals: Reflections, Things to do & Prayers on Bullying and Prejudice which was printed in 2018 furthered assisted distribute the information that bullying is not only a sort of violence, but it is an act that goes in opposition to the Church’s benefit program.

“The most important way is by means of Genesis 1:27, exactly where in this amazing creation story we listen to that God established human beings in God’s personal graphic and likeness, male and female. That is the basis of Catholic Social Training, this dignity that each individual person is an icon of God in a feeling, and so any violence finished to the human individual is intolerable,” Dowd discussed, “We require to tackle it. The thing with bullying is to identify, and to help men and women to identify, that we’re not just talking about a schoolyard scuffle, it is not just young children getting young children. Bullying is a quite particular variety of violence, and it does injury to the human particular person and therefore, to human dignity.”

In accordance to Dowd, the investigate shows that 1 in 5 young children report currently being bullied, meanwhile out of all those bullied, only 1 in 5 truly discuss up. Typically, those who do communicate out will only attempt to check with for help the moment. This means that if a youngster reaches out to a trusted trainer or adult for help, and they are not considered, then they are far considerably less probably to attain out once again, which only provides to the experience of being trapped and getting no way out of the abuse.

Dowd’s anti-bullying presentations are not just exclusive in the truth that they occur from a theological point of view, but he also targets multiple layers of people in his concept. He speaks to the victims of bullying, as effectively as their dad and mom, bystanders, and even the bullies on their own.

“The quantity a single detail is to converse up to come across somebody they believe in and discuss to them to get some assist. And I often say to college students, if they never think you, if they really do not get you aid, if they don’t listen to you, then go to any individual else and converse up until eventually somebody takes you significantly. That is the range one piece of tips I can give,” Dowd stated about providing bullied college students advice.

Via his trainings, Dowd hopes to empower the target and empower bystanders to act and intervene when needed. Finally, Dowd’s intention is to minimize the quantity of youths dying by suicide, by showing them that they are not on your own, and that there are approaches out of their predicaments.

Dowd noticed the affect of his possess anti-bullying function when he returned to a parish that he experienced spoken at a 12 months prior, “I acquired some responses from students who informed me, ‘You basically saved somebody’s life very last year’. And what additional could you ask for? I hope that what I’m carrying out is everyday living affirming. No matter if it saves lives or increases the quality of daily life, I hope that it empowers individuals to stand up in opposition to injustice and violence in all kinds. But that one particular instance was the just one that stuck with me the most, when they told me that I experienced pretty much saved somebody’s everyday living.”

Much more assets about bullying avoidance can be located at: https://www.stopbullying.gov/

Dowd’s printed performs, which includes his latest book, Your Confirmation Bible Companion: What Scripture as God’s Appreciate Tune Signifies for You, are obtainable for buy on Amazon.

Sherri Crump

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