CHITCHAT COLUMN | Linda Ballard

Bullying at school or work

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WHETHER at school or the workplace, bullying takes place. We have a tendency to focus on school age children, especially with the start of a new school year upon us, but in a phone call received this week, we were asked to shine light on other areas where bullying is predominant.

Bullying is a distinctive pattern of harming and humiliating others, specifically those who are in some way smaller, weaker, younger, or in any way more vulnerable than the bully. It is deliberate and repeated in an attempt to cause harm to others of lesser power.

Seventy-five per cent of workers are affected by bullying and it becomes health threatening due to stress-related illnesses. It becomes abusive when one or more persons are targeted and the bully’s conduct is so threatening, intimidating or humiliating that it prevents work from being completed. Uncompleted work makes the “target” look like a bad employee. Even laughter, ridicule and blame can be considered bullying when repeatedly applied. When it reaches home life it takes on a different term called gas lighting taken from a movie by the same name and shows the problems what real “brow beating” can cause.

People become targets because something about them is threatening to the bully. Problem solving structures to create clear and fair performance markers work to reduce bullying. Rewards for innovative ideas bring out the “smart” in people.Working as teams instead of individually also helps to create a better environment.

Once bullied, it is never forgotten. “I was harassed over my name big time while in school and throughout my life,” said Kilgoreite Kitty Attison. Now, in her 70s, tears welled up in her eyes at some of the remembrances.

“I had a teacher slap me in front of whole room of kids when I was in the 10th grade,” said Yvonne Christian. “I will never forget her name or how I felt. The teacher thought I was laughing out loud about something while she was in another room. Another girl raised her hand and admitted being the one laughing after she saw I got slapped for her misbehavior. But, I was the one that got slapped.

The Kilgore Public Library has a wonderful DVD called Stop Bullying Now - Take a Stand, Lend a Hand. It can be found in the juvenile section but has 12 animated episodes of characters experiencing bullying and what they do to help resolve the situation. It can easily be adapted to adult situations.

IT’S A SMALL WORLD - “Val Winkleman with the Shakespeare Festival is celebrating her thirtieth year with the festival this season in Kilgore,” said Andy Elliott. “She is a sweetheart and a dear friend to our family.”

“Val was a youth choir member at the First Baptist Church in Nederland. I was Music Minister there from 1973 - 1986,” continued Andy. “Her dad was a golf enthusiast and you could find him at the golf course at 7:30 practically every evening. Now, her daughter and her husband, Mike, are part of the Shakespeare Festival with her husband playing the part of Dr. Lloyd. Val’s mother comes to Kilgore every season.”

CALEB and LINDA PIRTLE will be autographing their latest releases right alongside John T. Wayne, grandson of John Wayne at The Bookstore in Kilgore and The Coffee Cherry this Saturday from noon until 4 p.m. That in itself will make stopping in well worth the while just to hear the “tales” spinning from all of them. It promises to be a fun afternoon. The bookstore is located at 1012 Houston Street.

“YOU KNOW we are quite blessed,” said Ms. Ellen Watson in reference to her residency at Arabella Assisted Living. “Once a month a whole bucket of loose flowers are delivered by Main Street Flowers for us to make our own arrangements to place in our rooms. And every Saturday, A.P. Merritt comes to visit. He brings donuts and apple fritters for everyone. But, that’s not all, he takes the time to really visit and pray with us if needed. We are so appreciative.”

SPECIAL people get special attention on their birthdays. Gale Myer turned 80 years old on Thursday and for her birthday she requested a chicken fried steak lunch from the Circle Café. Lanea Cope made sure the request was granted as she was seen picking it up for delivery. You can tell a southern-raised gal when chicken fried steak is still top of the list.

A BACK-TO-SCHOOL bash will be held on Sunday at First Baptist Church in Kilgore offering the adults an ice cream social and their kids an end-of-summer effort to have fun and play games with jump houses, dunkin’ booths, fun and games before school starts.

“We always have such a good time when we do that,” said Kathy Waldrup, church secretary.

ST. LUKE’S UNITED METHODIST CHURCH will also hold a Back to School Block party starting at l1:30 a.m. They are hoping it will not rain so they can have water slides, jump houses and other outside games. If God brings the rain they will simply move it inside the fellowship hall and have

just as good a time. If traveling down that block and you see a lot of activity going on, be sure to join them as you are most certainly welcome.

August 19 has been designated as their Bless-the-Back-Pack and educator day.

BETTY BAKER is looking for a copy of a menu from the old Streamliner Restaurant, Kilgore Community Inn and Haley’s BBQ and other eating places in Kilgore through the 1950s. If you can help her out give her a call at 903-452-9372.

“IN HONOR of the football season, my doggie niece, Bonnie, is getting ready to watch the Cowboys,” said LeAnn Bazar. “Bonnie just loves her cowboys.” A photo was sent to show her seriousness of the pup standing on an ottoman with his paws on the big screen television and sure enough watching the Cowboys!

“I wish I had been on a road trip,” continued LeAnn. “But, my hubby is improving from a bad back so we are getting ready to plan one. I’ll keep you in the loop when that happens! Boy, I live a boring life….”

MAY HIS LOVE AND LAUGHTER fill your hearts and your homes throughout the week. In the meantime, we may be reached at chitchatlinda@aol.com or 903-984-2593.

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