Bullying- An International Issue - The Mobility Resource

Bullying remains an international issue, a fact made evident by a recent conversation The Mobility Resource enjoyed with anti-bullying speaker Tony Bartoli. Beyond speaking in over half the states across the United States, Bartoli’s resume includes gigs in Canada, Mexico City, and the United Kingdom. His experiences internationally stood the focus to our latest conversation.

Bartoli’s Story

Longtime The Mobility Resource readers will find Tony Bartoli’s name familiar. We originally spotlighted him a few years ago for the piece “Addressing Bullying in the Disability Community.” 

Tony Bartoli telling a story about being bullied while playing Little League.

When in school (late 1970s and early 1980s) Bartoli became a favorite target for his school’s bullies. Cerebral palsy, a neurological disability, left Bartoli easy prey.

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In 2004 after working a nine-to-five job awhile Bartoli began to pursue a career as an anti-bullying speaker. His personal experiences acts as the core to his presentations, something which helps him stick out and connect with kids. “Bullying is a worldwide phenomenon. Students are interested in different approaches and different speakers. I think what one of mine (approaches) moves many of the students so much is that I do have cerebral palsy.”

For instance, Bartoli’s cerebral palsy attracted Canadian anti-bullying advocate Scott Graham to bring Bartoli to Canada. Recalled Bartoli “When he (Graham) read my story that was a key focal point for him that okay ‘Now I’ve got a couple of kids with challenges here at the camp that Tony might be really (able to) make an impact on.’”

Observations from International Gigs

While talking about his international gigs Bartoli noted some small nuances. He cited examples between the U.S. and Canada. “One of the differences is what we call elementary schools they call primary schools. What we call middle schools they call junior schools and then what we call high schools they just call secondary schools.”

Although small differences exist with language Bartoli observed many bullying issues prove universal, cyberbullying amongst them. “That’s a cultural commonality is the ability of social media. If students want to map something out, plan a bullying occurrence out, they can get ready with their cellphones… and put it online.”

Such a situation leads to similar results, no matter the country. “They are five minutes away from school grounds and here comes the text message. And what if it happens the next day and then the next day? The person that is getting bullied is really having a hard time dealing with it to where they go home and they feel all they can do is bang their head against the wall.”

Dealing with Bullying

Some might want to dismiss bullying as horseplay. Bullying however contains two distinctions indicated by Bartoli. “Those two key factors in there. Bullying is repetitive and meant to harm somebody because they have some slight about them.”

Whether you need someone to confide in or you wish to bring Tony Bartoli to your school or organization, you can contact Bartoli at tonyb4hope@yahoo.com. For more information about Bartoli visit tonyb4hope.com.

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