Sunday cartoon: Be a buddy, not a bully

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BURRILLVILLE – October is Bullying Prevention Month across the U.S. Recent television news stories are informing parents that bullying in grade schools and middle schools is on the rise nationwide. Teachers are telling reporters that face-to-face bullying in schools has increased by 20 percent since 2021.

Bullying happens too often in schools. Cyber bullying and cell phone bullying still happens, but not as much as face-to-face bullying interactions. Teachers strongly recommend talking with your children about bullying because most bullying is never reported by children. The majority of the bullying is witnessed by other students or school faculty members as well as nearby adults.

The Itty Bitty Super Dupers cartoon characters have been very popular with teachers, librarians and other adults who hope to reach out to kids and try to promote anti-bullying. Kids absolutely love these pint-sized super heroes coloring cartoons and comics. The villains facing off with the Itty Bitty Super Dupers are called the Rumble Bumbles, Attack Force 5, Alieonions, Scary Monsters and BullyBots.

“Be A Buddy, Not A Bully,” coloring placemats, coloring posters and four-page Coloromic Books have been available at participating Denny’s Restaurants and pizza parlors over the past couple of years across the state and region in an effort to try and curb bullying. The humorous interactions between the Itty Bitty Super Dupers and the Villains have become very popular, with not only grade school-aged kids, but also with teenagers and even young adults. Increased distribution of these IBSD anti-bullying coloring cartoons and comics is an ongoing community effort to help raise awareness about the growing bullying epidemic across the USA, while reducing the fears that come from the bullying children and teenagers face every day. Bullying is a serious matter impacting the youth of America that can result in mental, physical and health issues that can continue into adulthood.

Talk with your children and teenagers, and let them know that it’s okay to come forward if they are being bullied. The Itty Bitty Super Dupers also show that bullies are mostly cowards and have their own issues that need to be addressed. It’s always better to be kind, considerate and caring to others around us every day. Communication is key to preventing bullying on both sides, and heightened awareness and education can only help reduce this problem here in Rhode Island, New England and nationwide. Kids and teenagers should feel safe and be happy at their schools.

Jim Weicherding is a Burrillville resident, and the founder and creator of an award-winning traffic safety effort Seasons of Safety. Weicherding contributes kids’ coloring cartoons, which can be printed and used to help parents discuss safety issues with their children. He has a long list of police officers and firefighters in his family and has worked with law enforcement and firefighters in a creative public safety capacity for more than two decades.

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