Dr. Mildred Peyton is a bullying survivor, expert, and a children’s author of two books, A Bully on the School Bus and Sophia Writes To Her Bully. Despite having a Ph.D. in Human and Social Services (with a concentration in Social Policy Analysis & Planning), a Bachelor's degree in Social Work and Sociology and a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology, she still experienced bullying firsthand both on the job and in her role as a mother trying to protect her children.

As an expert on bullying, she speaks from her heart and real-world experience. She knows the denial, pain, frustration, embarrassment, guilt, and sometimes even downright rage that consumes you when you or someone you love is being taken advantage of. Dr. Peyton guides her clients as a consultant and trainer through the process of joining her on the other side of establishing and maintaining a safe and healthy workplace and school environment to ensure greater success for all. Also included in her work, she provides one-on-one guidance to parents, students, and employees who are experiencing bullying and harassment.

Lastly, Dr. Peyton's doctoral research study entitled, Exploring the Meaning of School Bullying Among Parents of Victimized Children, along with hands-on educational training in facilitating focus groups and mentoring programs for students experiencing bullying and harassment are among some of her work which has demonstrated her commitment to cultivating safer schools and helping students. As for workplaces, Dr. Peyton's personal experience working in a toxic work environment inspired her to support and work with employers in creating and maintaining healthy workplace atmospheres where all employees will feel valued and respected.

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Key Points from Dr. Peyton:

  • I am most grateful for my family’s health and well-being. I think it’s really important to be healthy, because without your health intact I think everything else just kind of goes in shambles.
  • I always stood up for myself when I was bullied.  It wasn’t easy.  Sometimes I felt alone, especially if I tried to let a teacher know or a counsellor or an adult I thought I could trust.
  • Sometimes it just felt like it wasn’t getting any better, even with me reaching out to those adults. So, it’s almost as if I had to take matters into my own hands, and that allowed me to speak up and stand firm and say, “No.  You’re not going to speak to me that way or treat me any kind of way you please.”
  • My drive and passion in the work against bullying comes from just pure personal experience, my research, and being a parent, trying to protect my children.
  • It was frustrating and devastating to see your child go through something that could have been avoided, especially when you bring it to the school administrator’s attention.
  • A lot of bullying issues go unaddressed or are overlooked because most schools are not looking at bullying for what it is.
  • Schools tend to want to look at bullying as regular behaviour that’s going on among the students.
  • Today it might not be seen as bullying but it could easily grow and progress into bullying.  So, it’s best for us to do our due diligence, and pay close attention to what students or children are telling us, and not just assume it’s just regular child’s play or mutual peer conflict or mutual discourse that’s going on.
  • It was easy for me to focus on school bullying in my practice, because that way I wouldn’t have to face what I went through.  But something in the back of my mind kept saying that you’re not going to be really satisfied until you bring attention and shed light on this other aspect of bullying — which is workplace bullying.
  • Once I added workplace bullying into the services that I provide I felt at peace because I felt that my work was aligned now.
  • We can’t talk about school bullying and then dismiss workplace bullying.  They go hand in hand.
  • There is no official bill or law in place for workplace bullying like there is for harassment, but it’s unwanted or unwelcome behavior that someone may feel threatened about from another individual or group.
  • Workplace bullying is abusive misconduct that is intended to really harm, degrade or dominate someone else.
  • Workplace bullying and harassment are characterized by the same type of behavior — a group or individual trying to overpower another person emotionally, physically or mentally.
  • In the workplace, we have to remind leaders to be empathetic.  Sometimes when people get into high positions they tend to forget how to treat people; they tend to misuse or abuse their power.
  • It’s important to remind our leaders that everyone deserves respect.  Everyone deserves to be treated fairly.
  • My services include recognizing the signs of bullying, knowing how to address it, and knowing that there are resources available.
  • Cyberbullying is prevalent because of the misuse of the internet.
  • If your child is experiencing bullying at school, bring it to the school’s attention, no matter how many times you have to follow-up. Continue to reach out, be persistent and document what’s going on — date it; time it; and get as much information as you can from your child.  Follow the chain of command and bring it to someone’s attention until the issue is resolved.
  • Be persistent.  Don’t give up the advocacy for your child.
  • If you feel that you are experiencing bullying in the workplace, refer to your employee handbook and report it to Human Resources or the right person who addresses these type of issues in the workplace.
  • If you’re experiencing bullying at work, talk about it with someone — a friend, family member or anyone you trust.  You might also want to speak with a professor, a counsellor or therapist.
  • You don’t want to stay quiet.  Stay connected with people and things that interest you.  Look for resources and focus on the things you like.
  • I want to continue to use my experience to encourage and empower others to know that this type of behavior is not acceptable and you don’t have to accept it.

One Action To Blaze Your Trail:

Don’t procrastinate.  If you have a task planned out, do it.  Get it done!

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