Bullying and Abuse in Youth and Teens

Steve Adubato goes on-location to sit down with Marcy Felsenfeld, Senior Program Officer at The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey, to discuss the issue of bullying and abuse in youth and teens for our series Breaking the Cycle: Youth and Teen Bullying and Abuse.

6/22/19 #2222






"Steve Adubato here, coming to you from the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey. We just finished a very comprehensive, honest dialogue called Breaking the Cycle, Breaking the Cycle of Teen Abuse and Bullying. We are joined now, after this conversation, by Marcy Felsenfeld, who is Senior Program Officer, Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey. Marcy, thank you for joining us. I said... by the way, let's put some context into this. We're not going to be broadcasting the conversation we had with nine, really, top professionals, folks who deal with bullying, teen bullying and abuse. What was your biggest takeaway from it? No one entity can address these issues. It has to be a multidisciplinary approach. It has to be schools, and parents, and psychologists, and social workers, and community centers, and houses of worship. We need... Let's do this. Let's go back though. Defining... if someone says, "Well, bullying and abuse everybody knows what that is." What does it look like? Teen bullying and abuse? Teen bullying and abuse, in short, is one team trying to exert power over another. It can happen where? It can happen online. It can happen in person. It can happen anywhere. But it typically does not happen one-on-one. It typically happens with an audience, whether that's an online audience, or an in-person audience. It takes place with people watching. Because that's what gives the bully the power that, you know, he or she is seeking. One of the things that happened in the forum that we had as well, there were so many different points of view on this, because people come at it from different perspectives. One of the things that we talked about is, "Hey, you know we need to identify solutions." More recommendations for what works. And you said there is no one-size-fits-all, and some things work for some people, don't work for others. Should we be debating what works? Or just...? I think that the best solution is to bring representatives, people who work with teens in different settings, who work with families, who work with students, together to address the issue. Because a school, in and of itself, cannot address all of the social and emotional learning that a child must have in order to become a kind, caring, and thoughtful adult. Sure. And there was a big discussion about that. "Hey, you know, many of the children that..." And by the way, it could be children in an urban, suburban area? It doesn't matter. Socioeconomic status. Et cetera. But there was a discussion like, "Hey, the school should be doing this." And then we got into an honest conversation, a..."