When composing any article on school bullying there is a certain amount of research that is necessary. One has to know numbers and facts above all. Statements like “school bullying should not exist and is a terrible occurrence” just don’t cut it anymore. That’s like saying “Pearl Harbor should never have happened and it’s a tragedy”.
However, it does happen. It did happen. It’s a problem. We know all of this already.
What we need to know is facts and school bullying statistics. The time for fluffy rhetoric is over. We need to know:
- How do we combat it?
- How do we protect our children?
- How do we educate our children and educators to spot it and stop it?
- Where school bullying goes from here?
How Do We Combat School Bullying?
There are some that may think the word “combat”, in regards to bullying at schools, is too confrontational and too aggressive.
Here are some facts that may make you change your mind:
- Teachers will only intervene only 4% of the time when it comes to bullying and only 1 in 4 see anything wrong with bullying.
- 90% of kids in 4th through 8th grade report being victims of being bullied in school.
Now put those two statistics together. 90% of kids in those grades are bullied and only 25% of the time did a teacher intervene and only if that teacher found the bullying to be “wrong”.
Sounds like “combat” may be the right word, after all.
How Do We Protect Our Children?
There is a silent side to the effects that school bullying has on kids that goes beyond protecting kids physically from being bullied. Of course we want to ensure that our children aren’t hurt physically but here are some more school bullying statistics that go beyond just physical damage:
- Out every 10 students it is estimated that 1 will drop out of school due to being bullied.
- If your child has ten friends, or is on a sports team or part of a club or organization then look around and try to pick which ones will drop out of school because of bullying. Who will it be? Will it be your child? Which one is the school bully?
- Physical abuse and bullying goes through a cycle: It starts in elementary school, climbs to a peak in middle school and then starts to decline in high school. Verbal bullying or “teasing” is constant in regards to bullying.
So, how do we protect our children? According to Stopbullying.gov, a large part of the responsibility is on the parents. Think about it: Only 1 in 4 of the teachers that you meet on parent/teacher night or PTA meetings think that bullying is an issue. They see zero issue with the existence of a school bully.
To prevent your kid from being the school bully start talking how wrong bullying is at the earliest of ages: Like as you soon as you see the first sign of aggression by any child in a group setting. To ensure that your child is not being bullied then open lines of communication early. As soon as your child feels there is something wrong with telling you something is when they stop telling you they’re being bullied.
Educating Teachers and Students to Spot Bullying
The first thing we need to fix is to ensure that our teachers who are hired have a real, fundamental and moral issue with bullying. That’s a job for school officials that are elected or hired by elected officials. Make sure that you’re voting for the right guy or girl.
- 71% of students say that bullying is a problem at their school.
Create a Code of Conduct and Policies in our schools that precisely describe what an “instance of bullying” is. Then, brief teachers, students and parents on what those policies are and encourage them to stop or report it immediately. Make reporting a policy!
What is the Future for School Bullying?
Unfortunately, unless you’re a constant protester of school bullying or you are the victim (or parent of a victim), then it may not be in the forefront of your daily thoughts. As a nation, we only rail against bullying when we see the latest news report of a suicide or tragedy as a result.
The future: Bullying will always occur. Teasing, no matter how little or playful, is bullying. It the responsibility of adults to stamp out bullying.
Someone always knows.
Someone can always do something.
Are you that someone? What will you do?