BLACKSBURG, Va.—Schools and parents across the country are finding new ways to address the troubling topic of bullying, and one Virginia Tech professor is taking the message to a new audience.
Anthony Perguero's research and lectures are seen and heard by hundreds of students every year at Tech, but his knowledge could also be reaching your child. If you watch the Cartoon Network with your children, you probably have seen some of his work.
Not only are your children enjoying their favorite afternoon show, but they're also be getting schooled by a college professor on bullying.
"People are starting to recognize that bullying isn't something that should be swept under the rug and taken and looked over that this is something has long last effects," said Perguero.
Perguero, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology, said when it comes to teaching lessons on anti-bullying, the earlier you start, the better. Perguero was recruited by the Cartoon Network and its anti-bullying campaign to help keep the shows entertaining but also educational.
"A lot of us what we look at is the scientific evidence and making the consumable for not only the child, but the parents as well," said Perguero.
Perguero plays a key role in the editing and producing side of some of the Cartoon Network shows. He spends much of his time playing with scripts, ads, shows and episodes and dropping anti-bullying messages into the final product.
Perguero said it is very challenging at times to keep viewers engaged and the script inside the story plot. While the big anti-bullying messages may be seen for only a short time, they can have long last affects on the viewers.
"So when we think of it within schools how is that other kids are witnessing bullying occurring and how is that we can get other kids to intervene by telling a parent, telling a school administrator and getting them engaged and changing the culture within that school of not accepting bullying behavior,"he said.
Peguero focuses much of his research on tying the gaps between different groups of people.
Peguero recently received a grant from the National Institute of Justice W.E.B. DuBois Fellowship. It was awarded to him by Virginia Sen. Mark Warner because of his efforts to bring people and communities together.
Peguero said the grant will allow him to examine social bonds across generations of immigrant families.