When it comes to addressing bullying, Daniel J. Flannery, Ph.D., can sum up pediatricians’
role in two words: “You matter.”
“They see lots of kids every day,” he said. “They’re a gateway (with) the potential
to address this issue before it becomes more serious for a young person.”
Dr. Flannery was a member of a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
panel that drafted the 2016 report Preventing Bullying Through Science, Policy, and Practice.
He will review the report, focusing on recommendations specific to health care professionals,
during a seminar titled “Stop the Bullying: Evidence-Based Strategies (S1095)” from
2-3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 3 in room W315 of the convention center. He will be joined
by Seth J. Scholer, M.D., M.P.H., FAAP, a member of the AAP Council on Injury, Violence
and Poison Prevention and professor of pediatrics at Vanderbilt University Medical
For more than 20 years, Dr. Flannery has been researching youth violence prevention,
including bullying. He now serves as director of the Begun Center for Violence Prevention
Research and Education, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve
He brought that experience to the National Academies panel, which was charged with
examining risk factors for bullying, consequences and how to prevent it among youths
in kindergarten through 12th grade.
“It’s chock full of stuff,” Dr. Flannery said of the resulting report. “Peeling back
all the different things that we address is helpful to anybody interested in this
While bullying has been considered a rite of passage, research shows it can affect
physical and mental health.
“The evidence suggests ignoring this and treating it as a normal, expectable thing
that kids have to deal with is not the way to go,” Dr. Flannery said. “But it doesn’t
mean that every kid who is being bullied or involved in bullying is going to be messed
up for the rest of their lives, either.”
Pediatricians have an opportunity to identify patients who are being bullied, he said.
“See something, say something,” Dr. Flannery said. “If you think there is something
going on and you ask, then you have an opportunity to intervene at an important point
Dr. Flannery also will discuss taking a public health approach to bullying and cyberbullying
as well as resources for pediatricians.
“No pediatrician should be held with the sole responsibility of addressing what could
be a complicated issue,” Dr. Flannery said.