AP reports today that Democratic Presidential Campaign Front Runner, Hillary Clinton fielded questions about issues close to the heart of children, at a town hall meeting held at Portsmouth South Church in New Hampshire. In fact, Clinton is garnering an increasing flow of press from her fireside-style chats with children during her town hall meetings.
TIME magazine reported today that in recent months, kids called on to pose their questions to the Democratic Front Runner have been as young as six years of age. TIME claims that the “strategy” of calling on children, “ensures that she’ll get a softball question” that she can tackle easily.
The top concerns from children seem to be pay-equity – which TIME alleged sounded like “staged questions” (but then slightly recanted by stating that the “kind of parents” who would bring their children to such a function probably talk about the issues with their kids (agreed)), and bullying.
The most recent bullying question came from a 10-year old, girl, who was able to draw out the strong parent. Clinton was said to have temporarily, “switched out of candidate mode.” She then asked the girl, “Can you tell me a little bit more about why that’s on your mind?”
The girl posing the bullying question explained that she is taunted by schoolmates about her asthmatic condition. In full Clinton fashion compassion (a gesture that made President Bill Clinton beloved on the campaign trail years ago), Candidate Clinton pulled the girl in for a hug.
Responding to the query, Clinton said, “I really do think we need more love and kindness in our country… I think we are not treating each other with the respect and the care that we should show toward each other. And that’s why it’s important to stand up to bullies wherever they are, and why we shouldn’t let anybody bully his way into the presidency.”
Reuters Health reported today that a Canadian study conducted at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, of 662 youths followed for ten years beginning between the ages of 12 and 19, links bullying suffered during adolescence to potential adulthood health problems. The study found that headaches, dizziness, insomnia, abdominal pains, backaches, and poor body image were all linked to bullying as reported by participants.
According to the research, early adolescence is a “sensitive time” to begin interventions and launch prevention efforts that can change a youths trajectory on the aforementioned tracks, to work around or bypass the physical and emotional health problems.
About 29 to 52 percent of boys interviewed during the study reported having been physically bullied. The percentage for girls was 20 to 29 percent. Further, 28 to 67 percent of males and 37 to 54 percent of females reported being victims of emotional taunting. 1 to 2 percent of participants said that they were bullied “all of the time.” Females were generally more susceptible to physical symptoms and having a poor body image.
Warning signs of bullying include excessive health complaints that might keep a student home from school, irregular or problematic sleep patterns, trouble concentrating in class, and or concealing the body with baggy clothes or skipping physical activities that might require changing clothes, such as Physical Education.
Dr. Matthew Davis, a researcher at the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor said, “Avoiding bullying entirely may not be possible during adolescence, making the response critical for preventing long-term health effects… The time to respond to bullying, and to support victims of bullying, is during adolescence when it occurs… Don’t wait to see whether it gets better…”