In addition to everything a parent and educator needs to worry about, everyone needs to focus on the importance of preventing bullies from causing harm to their victims. Bullying can cause long-term consequences for the bully, the target and in some situations, innocent bystanders. At the time the bully taunts his or her target, they are not far of what these actions could lead to. Learn how we all must stop bullying now!
Most of the time the victim will walk away from the bully and eventually the teasing and harassment will cease. However, in more extreme circumstances, the victim fights back through acts of violence. Because more is at risk than just being suspended from school for bullying, it is important everyone join together and stop bullying now.
For generations, students have fallen victim to a bully at one time while attention school. However, nowadays, the consequences are more severe when it comes to bullying. That is why we all need to pull together and stop bullying now.
Below is a lists of statistics from Make Beats Not Beat Downs that show the importance of stopping bullies from causing harm to others, this is how you get motivated to stop bullying now:
- Every day there is an estimated 160,000 children miss school because they are afraid of an attack or intimidation
- 15 percent of absent students claim fear of being bullied as a reason to miss class
- One out of 20 students have seen another student with a gun at school
- American schools account for approximately 2.1 million bullies and 2.7 million victims
- Between kindergarten and the twelfth grade one in seven students will be either the bully or the target
- 56 percent of students claim to have been an eyewitness to some sort of bullying while at school
- More than 280,000 students are physically attacked each month in secondary schools
- 90 percent of students between the fourth and eighth grade have reported being a victim of a bully
- Students who have been bullied are more than twice likely to commit violent acts, including homicide
- Revenge has been reported as the strongest motivation for shootings at school
- 75 percent of school shootings have been linked directly to harassment and bullying
- 61 percent of those students who have shot others claim it is because they were victim so of abuse at home
- One out of every 10 drop outs claim it is because of bullying
Stop Bullying Now: Types of bullying
In order to stop bullying now, we must be able to know and recognize the different types of bully-related incidents and behaviors. Physical and verbal bullying are the two most common methods a bully will use to taunt his or her victim. Physical bullying includes the act of causing physical harm against the target, including scratching, spitting on, hitting, kicking, punching, pinching and any other form of physical attacks. Verbal bullying includes name calling and making offensive remarks about race, sex, physical characteristics and beliefs.
Other forms of bullying include indirect and cyber bullying. Indirect actions, such as spreading rumors and excluding the target from activities, can be just as harmful as physical attacks.
Cyber bullying is when the bully uses various forms of electronic media to taunt the target. Here are some different ways cyber bullying can be used:
- By sending text messages harassing or threatening the target
- Recording or taking photos that are not flattering and sharing with everyone
- Sending unwanted sexual and violent photos to the target
- Repeatedly calling and harassing the target via mobile phones
- Sending threatening and downgrading e-mail messages
- Posting rude comments or secrets about the target in chat rooms
- Sending nasty messages through instant messaging services
- Posting untrue or damaging materials on social media networks for the entire school to see
- Setting up a website designated to cause harm against the intended target
How to identify bullying and stop bullying now!
As with any form of abuse, there are many signs that will reveal a child may be the victim of a bully. Being bullied could hinder a child’s education and social growth. In order to help a child break free of his or her bully, it is important to be able to recognize the situation.
Here are some tips from the Character Education Partnership to help identify a child is being bullied:
- Always sick or playing sick to skip school
- Skips school without parental knowledge
- Missing classes shared with the bully
- Showing a lower self-esteem
- Becomes more withdrawn and anti-social
- Shows various levels of emotional distress
- Become extremely depressed
- Suffering from drastic mood swings
- Is often very anxious
- Does not want to be alone
- Does not want to visit with an old friend
- Avoids attending school activities
- No longer wants to hang out with a group of other kids
- New, unexplained physical marks start appearing
- Starts wearing long-sleeved shirts in warm weather to try and cover up bruises
- Unable to explain where personal belongings have disappeared to
- Does not want to ride the school bus or be alone at the bus stop
- Frequently visit’s the nurse’s office
- Has trouble sleeping at night
- Drastic changes in eating habits, including weight gain or loss
- Starts bullying siblings and younger kids in the family
- Does not go to the bathroom while at school and waits until he or she gets home
- Eats non-stop after school, probably because lunch was taken away
- Drop in grade point average and lack of interest in studies
- Self-blame for not being good enough
- Regularly runs away
- Makes mention of suicide
- Makes mention of revenge
- Starts playing more violent video games
- Starts searching for defense strategies, bomb making and gun buying online
The above signs alone do not prove that a child is being bullied. There is a fine line between bullying and what some believe to be innocent teasing. These actions must be repeated over time by the same person against the same target. In most cases, the bully strategically selects his or her target and focuses all efforts on causing that one person physical and emotional distress.
Once these signs are identified, it is important to find out what is causing the child to act differently. There may be a good reason that is not directly linked to bullying, including stress of getting into college or a recent breakup. To determine if the change in behavior is linked to bullying it is important to sit down with the child and discuss what is going on. Ask open ended questions in an attempt to get the child to open up and discuss the situation.
Stop Bullying Now: How to stop a bully
Most of the time, a bully situation is not identified before it begins. In some situations, a child will not tell an adult they are being bullied. This is mostly because the bully threatens to cause more harm should the target tell anyone. Because of this, it is up to the parent and/or educator to handle the situation once they have determined a child is being bullied.
However, there are ways to help stop bullying and prevent it from ever becoming an issue. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests the following actions be taken to help stop bullying:
- Ask targeted questions to determine if it is really an act of bullying
- Talk to the child’s teacher or principal to discuss the situation
- Talk to other kids, they may be more open about what they see than the victim will be
- Build a safe and supportive environment so everyone can work together creating a bully-free school
- Reward students when they express thoughtful behavior and show respect
- Have all areas of the school monitored throughout the day
- Use positive terms instead of always being negative
- Lead by example
- Set ground rules in the classroom and reinforce those rules
- Never publicly reprimand a student and always talk to students privately about concerns and situations
- Plan classroom meetings where students can interact and express their concerns about school-related issues
- Make it known that violence and bullying will not be tolerated
- Have the class write the classroom’s code of conduct list together
Many reports show that bullying starts out small. Over time the actions gradually increase by occurring more often and becoming more harmful physically and mentally damaging toward the target. Because the consequences are long-term and could be more devastating than the bully’s initial actions, it is imperative everyone bands together to fight bullying. By doing so there will be a decrease in at school violence and others falling victim to the bully and target’s retaliation.