Take a Stand Against Bullying

Take a Stand Against Bullying

Bullying is a problem that affects millions of students of all ages and abilities. One in four kids are bullied and 42 percent of kids have been bullied while online.

According to data from STOMP Out Bullying, a national anti-bullying and cyberbullying organization for kids and teens, bullies are more likely to skip school, drop out of school, smoke, drink alcohol, get into fights and be arrested at some point in their lives.

Many kids who have experienced bullying show decreases in academic achievement and school participation. Suicide or resorting to violent retaliation occur with some kids who are bullying targets or feel tormented.

October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. Encourage communication with your kids and help battle bullying. Stompoutbullying.org provides the following tips:

  • Understand bullying behaviors. There are many different types of bullying. Bullying is defined as intentional, aggressive and repeated behavior that involves an imbalance of power or strength. It can take several forms, including physical (hitting, punching, beating); verbal (teasing, name calling, threats); emotional (intimidation, social exclusion, threats); and cyberbullying (online harassment, hate messages, threats, impersonation and other digital abuse).
  • Learn to recognize signs of bullying. Students who are victims of bullying may come home with torn or missing pieces of clothing, books or other belongings. They may have unexplained cuts, bruises and scratches. Bullying victims may appear sad, moody, teary or depressed and may seem anxious and suffer from low self-esteem. Bullying can manifest physical afflictions, too, such as headaches or stomachaches, trouble sleeping or frequent bad dreams and a loss of appetite.
  • Have conversations often and approach your concerns with sensitivity. Bullying can cause shame and embarrassment. When talking with a child, don’t just ask if they are being bullied. Instead, ask questions such as: “I’ve heard a lot about bullying, is that going on at your school?” or “Do you know anyone who is being bullied?”

Know what steps to take when bullying happens. If you suspect a child is being bullied at school, it is never a good idea to approach the bully’s parents. Rather, prepare documentation of what has been occurring, with as much detail as possible. Schedule a meeting with the principal and ask — don’t demand — for their help. Document the action steps agreed upon at this meeting and follow up to ensure changes are implemented and the bullying ceases. In some cases, if laws have been broken or there have been threats against a child, it may be appropriate to also involve local law enforcement.

Article courtesy of Family Features

1 Comment

  1. I can recall various times in my life when I experienced bullying first
    hand. It never really bothered me until I began to worry about the next
    episode. It was the anxiety formed by the anticipation of it that created
    the real fear. In retrospect I think some of it was nothing more than
    someone trying to get my attention perhaps to form a friendship. But there
    were times when I remember going to school and feeling absolutely terrified
    of what was about to befall me that day. It was in the eighth grade when
    the anxiety began to consume me to the point of not being able to eat, sleep
    or enjoy everyday things. That was the year a new federal program
    initiative rolled out; it was called the “focus group”. The purpose was to
    re-enter juvenile malcontents into the general population of students.
    Needless to say they wreaked havoc on the students by bullying and starting
    fights with them. They were also instrumental in disrupting class.
    Unfortunately for me my locker was assigned next to one of them who
    resembled {in looks, words and actions} none other than Charles Manson
    himself. The dude was just plumb crazy {or at least emotionally
    disturbed}. He also sat in front of me during most classes so I spent more
    time worrying about what he was going to do to me than trying to learn the
    subject matter. We scuffled once during gym class but when the teacher
    broke us up he blamed me for the incident. There were other students as
    well who began to pick on me when they recognized my vulnerability.

    Finally, after having watched {and grown tired of} my whimpering and weeping
    my Father decided it was time to teach me how to defend myself. Every
    night after school we would go down to the basement and practice three
    boxing moves; the left jab, left hook and right cross. I was not allowed by
    my Father to use these techniques until he was convinced that once a fight
    started it would end quickly {hopefully with me as the victor}. Until then
    he trained me to develop a certain mental toughness so as to ignore those
    who were just kidding around compared to those who had malicious intent. I
    engaged in eight fights during the second semester, was suspended for three
    days and broke one knuckle. Nobody ever bullied me again. Fortunately for
    my chief antagonist he was expelled so we never did have that “super fight”.
    I would have leveled him. My troubles continued in high school though when
    the second “focus group” initiative allowed for a eighteen year old drug
    dealer to be admitted into the freshman class. He too did everything he
    could to intimidate me but this time I was ready. Unbeknownst to me my
    Father called the school principal before the start of class one day and
    told him “I have directed my son to seek out and annihilate this worthless
    slime ball before he has the chance to do the same to him.” Evidently the
    dude was causing problems in other places as well and was expelled before we
    could have fought. I would have leveled him too.

    Bullying is one of the most demeaning things one person can do to another.
    It is as though the perpetrator has so much disdain for another human being
    they just have to act out on them in one form or another. Where does this
    inner hate come from? What is accomplished by disrupting someone else’s
    life {sometimes permanently}? Perhaps one solution is the “reality show”
    called “Bully Beatdown” whereby a bully is paid $10,000 cash if they can
    defeat the victims proxy in what appears to be a ultimate fighting
    championship type venue. As expected the bully talks tough until they
    realize what they got themselves into. The proxy usually makes quick work
    of them and the money is then awarded to the victim followed by an apology
    from the bully. This would make for a great fund raiser for schools {given
    all the budget cuts} and perhaps restore order to a place that is supposed
    to be reserved for learning. Sometimes some of the greatest lessons in life
    can only be learned the hard way. To the victims out there across the
    country; I got your back. To the bullies get out of our face or someday we
    will level you too.

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