Chesapeake actor aims to stop bullying

No one would think of bullying the Blue Power Ranger. Would they?

Don’t be so sure.

Michael Copon, Chesapeake-born Filipino actor and producer, starred as the superhero in the “Power Rangers: Time Force” television series. He has made a career fighting the bad guys. Now he has a new mission: stopping bullying.

“I was bullied when I was young,” Copon said. “I was bullied for looking chubby and bigger than anyone else.”

Copon’s story matches the latest statistics. The National Education Association and the National School Safety Center report that each day, 160,000 students miss school for fear of bullying. One of seven grade-school students is either a bully or victim of bullies. About 2.7 million students are bullied each year.

In this age of gun violence at school, strong connections between bullying crimes and school-age homicides and suicides are becoming more evident.

Copon was 12 when his stepfather committed suicide. “I was a victim of bullying and of the suicide of my stepdad. I know what it feels like to be alone and to be scared.”

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When A Public School Becomes the Bully

Happy Mother’s Day 2013

Help Yourself with our Helping Hand!

We expect our schools to keep our children safe from bullies. But what should parents do when their assigned government school becomes the bully?

That’s what happened to the parents of Eileen Parkman, a Hawaiian second-grader who courageously stood up to several fifth-grade boys who were kicking and stomping a defenseless autistic child as he was curled up in the fetal position. The bullies then set their sights on Eileen, whom they threw to the ground and stepped on. The Maui Autism Center gave her an award for her bravery, but the boys continued to hit and kick her and throw balls at her face on several subsequent occasions. School officials at Kamali’i Elementary in Maui were apparently unable to stop the bullying, so Eileen’s parents decided to pull her out of the dangerous environment.

That’s when the school officials became bullies themselves:

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