OU alum returns, offering course to teach effects of online bullying

OU alumnus Cory Frederick instructs the new online class “The Sticks and Stones of Bullying.” The course runs from Oct. 1 to Nov. 2 and focuses on teaching students and educators the effects of bullying. (Jason Chow | Staff Photographer)

An Ohio University alumnus is taking the Internet-driven bullying dilemma back online for the second time this semester.

Cory Frederick, who graduated with a master’s degree in education in cultural studies, is offering an online course titled “The Sticks and Stones of Bullying: What Every Educator Should Know” to OU students from Oct. 1 through Nov. 2. The course will teach students and educators how to explore the effects of bullying.

“I am a black, queer, transgender man and as a child, I was bullied often in school,” said Frederick, who will be teaching the course. “I know first-hand how bullying affects the individual and as an adult, I see how it affects society.”

The course, which was offered for the first time earlier this semester, delves into the effects of bullying and will help students explore myths and facts about bullying as well help them to gain a better understanding of what victims of bullying face.

“I think that many animals are biologically disposed to creating social hierarchies and the human animal is no exception; call it survival of the fittest,” Frederick said. “In our modern times though, the Internet has become yet another tool for bullies to launch their attack, making a private situation very public.”

Frederick added that the Internet can also be utilized as a tool to promote public discourse about the effects of bullying and to report situations of bullying rather than to allow them to remain closeted.

The course will fall under The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education and Human Services Conceptual Core, under the Cultural Studies of Education, Frederick said.

“No matter what, we must stand up for ourselves and we must stand up for those who cannot stand on their own,” Frederick said. “Standing up may look different depending upon the context and the individuals involved, yet whatever the circumstance, outreach from peers, parents and trusted adults can provide the support needed to combat the bullying.”

Frederick said the purpose of the course is to reach out to students and educators and teach them about the dangers and effects of bullying. If anyone knows of anyone bullying other students, Frederick said he wishes that they seek help in any way they can.

“It is just as much the responsibility of those who are witnessing bullying to have the courage to step up and also say something,” said Jaylynne Hutchinson, associate professor in the Department of Educational Studies and program coordinator for cultural studies. “Most of us aren’t bullies — but most of us are bystanders. It is up to us to step up to the plate.”

“The opportunity for a broad range of students to participate in the workshops offered by Cory Frederick reflect a positive outcome of Internet access, and hopefully greater understanding with solution-generating strategies to enhance well-being of people,” said Ann Paulins, associate dean for academic engagement and outreach in The Gladys W. and David H. Patton College of Education.

Because he finds bullying awareness training so important for educators, students and parents, Frederick said he is thankful that the university is willing to support a course like his for “current and future leaders.”

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