Should Bullying Panel Have Included Men?

Host Michel Martin and editor Ammad Omar open up the Tell Me More inbox. One listener expresses his disappointment that a discussion with a panel of moms about bullying didn't include any male voices. Also, an update on the story of James Craig Anderson, a black man from Mississippi who died after being beaten and run over by a truck last year.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

And now it's time for BackTalk. That's where we lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere. Editor Ammad Omar is here once again. Ammad, what do you have for us today?

AMMAD OMAR, BYLINE: Wouldn't it be sweet to hear your tweet on the street or folding a sheet? All right. Sorry. A poor attempt at a twaiku there, Michel.

MARTIN: OK. And what is that?

OMAR: A twaiku is a Twitter haiku. I broke it out because we're bringing back our Muses and Metaphors series.

MARTIN: Well, that kind of explains why you're more of a March Madness guy, but just to explain, April is National Poetry Month and in honor of that we are asking our listeners to tweet us their original poetry using 140 characters or less - and they're usually a little better than yours, Ammad. I have to tell you. No offense.

OMAR: All right, Michel. We'll let Holly Bass be the judge of that. She's a D.C.-based poet and she's our curator. Let's hear her running down some of her criteria from last year's series.

HOLLY BASS: I look for words that aren't everyday words and then I also look for something that seems evocative, that paints a picture of something, and then I'm very concerned with sound, melody and music. And so I look for those three qualities the most.

MARTIN: OK. So you heard the judge, so get those tweets in. Hash tag #TMMPoetry.

Ammad, what else do you have for us?

OMAR: Well, we've covered the James Craig Anderson case on the show. He was a black man who died in Mississippi after being beaten and then run over by a truck in June. A security camera captured video of his death. Authorities say the killing was racially motivated and we have a news update.

The driver of that truck was 19-year-old Darryl Deadman. He was sentenced to two life sentences after pleading guilty to murder charges earlier this week, and then yesterday Deadman and two other defendants pled guilty to federal hate crime charges. They were the first to enter a plea for a bias-related killing under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act passed in 2009. Those charges could bring life sentences for all three.

MARTIN: Anything else?

OMAR: Well, we spoke with our moms panel on Wednesday about bullying in school. We got a lot of advice about how to recognize bullying and stop it, calling teachers or other parents, for example. But David Olman(ph) from South Carolina wasn't satisfied.

DAVID OLMAN: I was disappointed as I listened to this piece as no men were represented on the panel. As a man who was bullied as a child, it would have been helpful to hear from other men on how they handle the issue of bullying with their children. Nothing the women said on the panel was bad, but by nature of an all woman panel, it only offered one perspective.

OMAR: Well, Michel, a few men did write in with some advice and I want to say that we do not endorse any of this. Pedro Troshay(ph) from Danbury, Connecticut writes: The worst piece of advice is, don't fight back. Bullies will continue bullying your child until he or she fights back, and for what it's worth, my dad would tell me to ignore bullies. My brother told me to insult them back. So a little male perspective for you, Dave.

MARTIN: Well, thanks for that, Ammad. I do want to mention that this is not the first time we've talked about bullying on the program. We've had previous all male panels to talk about this issue and I'm sure we will, unfortunately, have to talk about it again, and we will.

So, thank you, Ammad.

OMAR: Thank you.

MARTIN: And, remember, with TELL ME MORE, the conversation never ends. To tell us more, you can call our comment line at 202-842-3522 or visit us online at NPR.org/TellMeMore. Please remember to leave us your name. You can also find us on Twitter. Just look for TELL ME MORE NPR.

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