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Assets in Action: Be aware of bullying during elections

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

This week, we still take a look at bullying prevention month, with the onslaught ahead. Isn’t it ironic that bullying prevention month is just prior to the elections?

This is really the most dreadful three or four weeks of the year, as it relates to everything we see, hear and read throughout the day. Take this opportunity to turn the TV off during the commercial break or switch channels. My sister in-law used to mute the TV during all commercials.

I think we need to take the opportunity to discuss misinformation with anyone under the age of 18 that happens to be in the room at the time. If you see something you know is unfair or wrong say something to young men and women. It may even be something you see on the news.

Sure, I know a lot of young kids aren’t watching the news, but many are in the room. After the two or three prior weeks of non-stop coverage, footage and rhetoric, the market and our brains are saturated to say the least.

This moment can be media literacy education, at the height of insanity. Point out at the end of an advertisement when you hear an alphabet soup of letters followed by the words (dot) org, which may seem to make it sound like a harmless non-profit.

If you see hateful things on Facebook, point it out to young people. It might just help them learn that even adults need to look through the lens with a keen eye. Then may see a new reality to realize that all ages can be speaking untruths, that appear to the untrained eye to be true.

I always like to remind people that they can’t be bullied into voting, because the best part is that we get to do it confidentially. So, when you come out of the booth, say whatever you need to or think you need to say. No one knows what you do behind that voting booth cubicle.

Our youngest son gets to vote in his first election, we went on Monday for him to register. He made the choice about how to identify party affiliation and no one ever needs to know but him. There was even a box to mark that says not to share the information. How grand!

Oh, and when the phone rings with a survey on the other end, just say no thank you and hang up without answering a single question. Perhaps that will make the phone stop ringing one of these days and hopefully in our life time.