There are about 2.7 million students being bullied each year and about 2.1 million students taking on the roll of the bully. It is reported that 160,000 children miss school every day out of fear of being bullied. 71% of students report incidents of bullying as a problem in their school and about one of every 10 students drops out or changes schools because of bullying related problems
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Some bullies attack their targets physically, which can mean anything from shoving or tripping to punching or hitting, or even sexual assault. Others use psychological control or verbal insults to put themselves in charge. For example, people in popular groups or cliques often bully people they categorize as different by excluding them or gossiping about them (psychological bullying). They may also taunt or tease their targets (verbal bullying).Verbal bullying can also involve sending cruel instant or email messages or even posting insults about a person on a website — practices that are known as cyber-bullying.
Studies show that people who are abused by their peers are at risk for mental health problems, such as low self-esteem, stress, depression, or anxiety. They may also think about suicide more. Bullies are at risk for problems, too. Bullying is violence, and it often leads to more violent behavior as the bully grows up. It’s estimated that 1 out of 4 elementary-school bullies will have a criminal record by the time they are 30. Some teen bullies end up being rejected by their peers and lose friendships as they grow older. Bullies may also fail in school and not have the career or relationship success that other people enjoy.
Parents, school staff, and other caring adults have a role to play in preventing bullying. They can:
-Help kids understand bullying. Talk about what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely. Tell kids bullying is unacceptable. Make sure kids know how to get help.
-Keep the lines of communication open. Check in with kids often. Listen to them. Know their friends, ask about school, and understand their concerns.
-Encourage kids to do what they love. Special activities, interests, and hobbies can boost confidence, help kids make friends, and protect them from bullying behavior.
-Model how to treat others with kindness and respect.
** Bully is a documentary about students and their families that have faced bullying in some capacity. It follows 5 students through the 2009-2010 school year and shows not only the relentless cruelty these kids are exposed to, but also the responses from their families, school staff, and administrators. Bully gives a real insight into a real problem our society is facing. It is currently playing in select theaters and absolutely worth seeing. For more information on Bully, please visit http://thebullyproject.com.
Watch the trailer: http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/weinstein/bully/
Sources for this post came from: