Last night I enjoyed the play WICKED in Tampa. I read the book, and wasn't a big fan of it, but I really wanted a give the play a fair shake. Since the book was written first, I found the play to thankfully be more lighthearted and very loosely based.
Anyway, I don't want to ruin the whole play/book for you but I do want to point out that the play really touches on popularity and bullies. Thankfully Elphaba defies Gravity and really has the potential to make a difference in the politically changing Oz. (Want to read more on the political connections of Oz?)
In today's society, bullies are becoming even harder to reach. Kids are getting teased at school in person and online, whether through online social communities, blogs or instant messaging. I firmly believe that before a new technology is introduced to the students, you should teach them social responsibilities. I feel the same way about teaching our Bill of Rights. Freedom of speech does not give you the right to yell fire in the middle of a crowded movie theater. By doing so you are going to cause panic and people will get hurt. When we teach our students to blog, we need to teach them how to be socially responsible for what they are writing and responding to, and show them how bullying can effect a person.
There's an interesting article on eBullies in the eSchool News. I'm glad to see states are doing their part to help curb this issue. While not all the bullying ends up in suicide or gun issues at school, they do cut deep and do make a learning environment. What are you doing in your school to help stop the ebullies?
Tell all children who are being bullied to keep positive thoughts, say their prayers, and to defy gravity! With the right mentor in life, they are the ones who will learn to persevere and make it in this world. The bullies will become, well sucked in by gravity and never learn how to spread their wings and fly.