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School systems around the world have problems with students that bully other students. Bullying is fairly common in most countries, although it is rare in India. It is estimated that 1600 children miss school each day due to their fear of being bullied. In middle school there are approximately 282,000 bullying attacks each month. Revenge is thought to be the strongest reason for school shootings as well.
Many mornings on the local news they show a short video taken by someone’s cell phone of a child being bullied, which is usually a boy. Up to 49% of children from grades 4-12 have been bullied at least once.
In a poll by Monster, Inc. that included 2081 employees 94% described bullying by their boss or manager. Bullying occurred using aggressive emails, negative gossip by coworkers and actual yelling by others. Bullying is common in college and the workplace.
How Things Have Changed
When I was in middle school, I don't remember bullying except for one occasion when I was looking out of the window between classes. I saw several boys grab a boy and take his pants off while laughing at him.
I felt so sorry for that boy. I didn't know him well, but I could see how humiliated he was. I have no idea if there were any repercussions from this event, but I never saw any other bullying. I was standing with a small group of children, and we weren't laughing at all about what we were witnessing.
Unfortunately, there is more bullying today for boys and girls. Children have committed suicide after a severe bullying. It is heartbreaking.
Cyber bullying is increasing quickly, and it includes bullying through email, instant messaging, chat room exchanges, web site postings, digital messages or images sent to a cell phone. One million children were bullied on Facebook in 2017. Rumors are started about girls and boys being threatened.
Cyber bullying may do more damage than bullying at school because you don't always know where the threat is coming from; there's no one to avoid. Children often might be reluctant to tell their parents or the school since they don't know who the cyber bully is, and they are not sure how their parents will react.
Act Now! Bullying Prevention Program
More Bullying Facts
The Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP) is designed to effectively reduce all five forms of bullying: verbal, physical, indirect/relational, sexual, and cyber/electronic bullying. They did a large scale study with 30,000 students from grades 3 to 11 over 3 years. They wrote a book called "Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do." A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself.
This definition includes three important components:
- Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions.
- Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time.
- Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.
Using the Olweus criteria students are asked if they had been bullied any of the following ways:
- Verbal bullying including derogatory comments and bad names
- Bullying in school exclusion or isolation
- Physical bullying, getting kicked, hit or spit on
- Bullying through lies and false rumors
- Having money or other things taken or damaged by students who bully
- Racial bullying
- Sexual bullying
- Cyber bullying (via cell phone or internet)
Make a Plan - Notice of Harassment
Making a plan with your child is helpful in dealing with a bully assuming your child is willing. First you want your child to be able to stand up for themself to the best of their ability, which means standing up straight literally, then saying what he or she doesn’t like, what the bully is doing, and what they want them to do differently. This gives the bully a chance to stop on his or her own. If they don’t, then you have to take things a step further.
Inform your child's teacher and principal about any incidents. Be sure to document every conversation and incident. Hand deliver and mail to the principal the Bullying Prevention Bill Of Rights For Parents and Students.
If the bullying is severe or the situation is not resolved by the school, hand deliver and mail by certified mail a Notice of Harassment form to the parents of the bully in the school and to the principal. At least this notice will let the school, the bully, and his parents be aware that this could become a legal matter, and that all incidents in the future will be documented and reported, which could deter the bully. You can also write to the school board members, as well as, the school superintendent after each incident of harassment.
Possible Signs Your Child Is Being Bullied
Problems you might notice if your child is being bullied:
- Your child has a big personality change
- Your child seems unhappy quite often, and this is a big change
- The quality of a child's schoolwork deteriorates
- Your child no longer wants to go places with his friends
- If your child has an appetite change, either eating much more or much less
- Your child complains of headaches or other ailments and doesn't want to go to school
- Your child no longer sleeps well at night
- Certainly if your child talks about life not being worth living or about suicide, this is a huge red flag for some type of emotional problem
These signs are just a few, and I'm sure there are probably many more. We know our children well, and it is important to pay attention to details in their lives. Always take the time to listen attentively, as they may want to tell you what's going on, but they are embarrassed and not sure how you will respond.
Bullying in the Workplace - Employee Rights
The effects of bullying can be very devastating to physical and mental health, including the observers. Violent crimes were more likely to occur among middle school students or older teens. Also, rates of sexual harassment and racial or ethical tensions were somewhat higher in middle school. Bullying in the workplace is a difficult situation and you may have to talk to the owner of the company or someone that is in a higher management position.
Bullying in schools is such a major problem and it certainly interferes with the quality of education. Repeat offender bullies may need to be put in a special school or classroom for difficult children, or be homeschooled by their parents. I know these children probably need therapy. A child who is going to school, behaving and wants to learn should not be subjected to torment from a bully.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Pamela Oglesby