Hello, it’s good to meet you. I’m Jodee Blanco. Some of you may already be familiar with my work. For those of you who aren’t, I’m a former victim of school bullying turned activist and the New York Times best-selling author of Please Stop Laughing At Me…, my memoir of how I was shunned and tormented by my peers from fifth grade through high school for the same reason so many other young people are today, simply for being different.
For the past decade, I’ve been traveling the nation’s schools, working with students, teachers, and parents in an effort to motivate change. My whole life is about saving kids, inspiring in them a courage and compassion they may not have known was there, and helping the adults in their lives to better understand their reality and how to reach them.
Chances are if you’re reading this, your child is spending more and more time on social networking sites like Facebook or Myspace, and I suspect it’s starting to make you feel a little uneasy, especially with all the horror stories in the news about cyber bullying, sexual predators, and other perils of the Internet.
I bet there are moments when you find yourself thinking, whatever happened to good old fashioned telephone calls and notes scribbled on paper? Between texting, instant messaging, wall postings, email blasts, and the incomprehensible abbreviated language most kids seem to be fluent in today, it’s as if your son or daughter is running loose in a vast new wilderness where they’re communicating in a foreign tongue, and you’re watching from a distance wondering how on earth can I keep this child safe?
When the folks at Social Shield invited me to join their advisory board, I was not only honored, but relieved to have met a company I hoped could help me with one of the biggest challenges I’ve come across in my role as an anti-bullying activist.
Every day, I receive emails from moms and dads around the globe, not to mention all the parents who approach me after I’ve given a talk or presentation at a school, wanting my suggestions for monitoring their teenagers’ usage of facebook or myspace. It’s become an epidemic concern. Though I could offer a few insights, there really wasn’t any specific service I felt comfortable recommending, one that I was confident would know how to work in partnership with parents, be a support and resource that offered legitimate peace of mind.
When Social Shield contacted me, I flew out to their offices near San Francisco and spoke at length with the founders, executives and staff, learning everything I could about this enterprising new company and its mission to save lives. By the time I was on my flight back home, I knew I finally had an answer to the one question from parents to which I’d never felt I was giving an adequate response.
As an expert on school bullying, and someone who was a hostage of its hold for years, I know first-hand the damage peer abuse can cause. Whether your child is the victim, the bully, or a bystander, the affects can be long-term.
You’ll see me regularly here on the Social Shield website, sharing insights and observations from the road touring America’s schools. I’ll update you on new cyber-bullying trends, along with my thoughts on how to deal with these and other peer abuse related issues. You should also feel free to visit my website www.jodeeblanco.com for dates and times of when I may be speaking in your area in addition to tons of helpful information about bullying. You can email me here at firstname.lastname@example.org anytime. I read and respond to all my emails.
Let’s keep communicating…and above all, let’s keep our kids safe!