March 22, 2023


Creating Possibilities

Theology professor’s emphasis on human dignity benefits in everyday living saving anti-bullying lessons

By: Sloane M. Perron, Supervisor of Advertising Communications

Dr. Kevin Dowd is on a mission to carry consciousness to the epidemic of bullying and to conserve the lives of kids who feel like there is no way out from the repeated violence and mental well being toll that bullying brings.

Dowd very first started educating as an adjunct theology professor at Anna Maria Faculty nine several years back, but his target on bullying avoidance initially began when he was a college student at Boston University. Dowd’s Catholic Social Teaching professor assigned an open up matter paper to his course and Dowd turned in direction of existing functions for inspiration. At the time President Obama was addressing the bullying epidemic which led to 37 youths dying by suicide as a final result of bullying that year. It was then that Dowd began looking into the Catholic Church’s approach to dealing with the toll of bullying.

“I bear in mind President Obama talking and indicating this is not ordinary, bullying is not a normal component of growing up. And he was completely suitable, and no person must dismiss it as just a aspect of developing up, and the acquiring to ‘get more than it’ mindset is nonsense. So, I required to see if the church had everything to say. Below we are a church that considers itself pro-daily life, a church fully commited to social justice, and human dignity. So, I wrote my paper about this, and unfortunately located out the church did not have a great deal to say.” claimed Dowd.

It was then that Dowd recognized that he could fill this void and instruct youths and dad and mom about the potential risks of bullying even though reinforcing the relevance of human dignity by way of Scripture. “I felt like I could be the very detail that was missing, I could at minimum be a single of the voices in the Church that was addressing this issue,” he claimed.

Dowd’s class paper about bullying, “What has Columbine to do with Jerusalem?”, was eventually posted into a peer-reviewed journal. Before long following he was invited to public talking engagements nationwide exactly where he spoke about bullying avoidance and presented to youths. His ebook, Educating Kids to Respect Some others: Reflections, Activities & Prayers on Bullying and Prejudice which was posted in 2018 furthered assisted unfold the information that bullying is not only a sort of violence, but it is an act that goes from the Church’s benefit system.

“The main way is by Genesis 1:27, where by in this superb development story we hear that God created human beings in God’s personal graphic and likeness, male and female. That is the basis of Catholic Social Teaching, this dignity that each and every particular person is an icon of God in a sense, and so any violence carried out to the human human being is intolerable,” Dowd explained, “We have to have to tackle it. The matter with bullying is to identify, and to enable men and women to realize, that we’re not just chatting about a schoolyard scuffle, it’s not just kids getting children. Bullying is a quite certain kind of violence, and it does problems to the human individual and thus, to human dignity.”

According to Dowd, the investigate demonstrates that 1 in 5 children report remaining bullied, in the meantime out of all those bullied, only 1 in 5 really talk up. Usually, those who do speak out will only endeavor to talk to for help after. This usually means that if a kid reaches out to a reliable teacher or adult for support, and they are not thought, then they are considerably a lot less possible to achieve out once more, which only provides to the sensation of staying trapped and acquiring no way out of the abuse.

Dowd’s anti-bullying presentations are not just special in the reality that they appear from a theological point of view, but he also targets multiple levels of folks in his information. He speaks to the victims of bullying, as well as their mom and dad, bystanders, and even the bullies them selves.

“The number one issue is to talk up to come across someone they believe in and discuss to them to get some support. And I constantly say to students, if they never feel you, if they do not get you enable, if they don’t listen to you, then go to any individual else and talk up right until somebody can take you significantly. That’s the amount a person piece of tips I can give,” Dowd explained about providing bullied learners advice.

Through his trainings, Dowd hopes to empower the sufferer and empower bystanders to act and intervene when wanted. Ultimately, Dowd’s aim is to cut down the range of youths dying by suicide, by showing them that they are not by itself, and that there are methods out of their predicaments.

Dowd observed the affect of his own anti-bullying operate when he returned to a parish that he experienced spoken at a yr prior, “I been given some responses from students who instructed me, ‘You pretty much saved somebody’s existence very last year’. And what far more could you talk to for? I hope that what I’m carrying out is life affirming. Irrespective of whether it saves life or boosts the excellent of lifestyle, I hope that it empowers people to stand up towards injustice and violence in all sorts. But that a person instance was the 1 that trapped with me the most, when they advised me that I experienced pretty much saved somebody’s lifetime.”

Extra sources about bullying avoidance can be located at:

Dowd’s printed will work, such as his newest ebook, Your Affirmation Bible Companion: What Scripture as God’s Really like Tune Signifies for You, are available for order on Amazon.