Bullying has become a major problem in schools across the country. Every day students fear going to school because of the actions of a bully. This has led to many students’ grades plummeting and some have even dropped out of school just to avoid having to deal with them. Sadly, even outside of school bullying is getting increasingly worse thanks to the ease of cyber bullying, which involves bullying people online and through social media sites. High school girls are often the ones most guilty of this as many of them have no qualms about posting embarrassing pictures of their classmates as well as starting rumors about them on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. How can we Stop The Bullying?
The main goal of parents, students and educators throughout the country is to do everything possible to stop the bullying. There are now countless websites and organizations that have been formed to discourage bullying and open up a dialogue about it. In addition, many books have been written on the subject of bullying and many surveys of students and educators have been conducted in order to gather information and statistics about bullying in an attempt to eliminate the problem all together.
Since many students are hesitant to admit they are being bullied or know someone who is bullying others, anonymous online surveys are conducted so that these students can inform someone of the bullying taking place in and around their school and their community. Students prefer this type of format for revealing what they know about a bully because they don’t have to worry about how their teachers or classmates will react to the fact that they are telling on a bully.
Bullying takes place within various groups and conducting online surveys is an effective way of determining which demographics bullying is most prevalant in. Information gleaned from these surveys is divided into the categories of race, gender, special education status and age. This makes it easier to pinpoint any patterns in the bullying within a particulat school or community. SInce online surveys can easily be saved and conducted at any time they provide an effective way to document the changes students who bully and students who are bullied go through over the years. This also helps track trends in bullying so that it is easier to stop the bullying.
Each bullying experience is different and online surveys allow participants the chance to explain their individual experiences. This makes students feel better because they see that others do care about their opinions when it comes to bullying. This is especially important to teenagers who often feel that no one cares about their opinion. Being able to share their opinions is also helpful for assisting educators and parents in gathering the information they need to be armed with in order to devise a plan to stop bullying. This can help parents and educators to organize interventions on those who bully others.
The Triple Treat Assemblies Tour of 2013 and 2014 is a tour of select school districts that is meant to educate students on why bullying is wrong and how it can be stopped. The tour consists of 45 minute assemblies with live musics and special guests. At each assembly the prevention of bullying is discussed as well as how to gain self control and build up self-esteem so that students no longer have a desire to bully others. This tour has an 18 year history of helping to discourage bullying at school.
Since 2005, the non-profit organization Stop The Bullying has existed and been run by Oree Williams III. He began the organization after being inspired to do so by the thesis he wrote on bullies within the school system. The services that this organization offers free of charge are strategies for anti-bullying, counseling and leadership training, self-esteem building, learning the types of cyber bullying that exist, conducting assemblies discouraging bullying, support groups and peer education, and even learning problem solving skills.
Stop Bullying Now Foundation
The Stop Bullying Now Foundation provides schools with professional counselers and speakers within various communities. It is the goal of this foundation to make people more aware of bullying and of the problems that it causes throughout many communities. The foundation raises money for many school districts throughout the United States. The money they raise is meant to help schools prevent their students from bullying. Any donations that the Stop Bullying Now Foundation receives go towards professional speakers visiting schools to speak to students on a regular basis about bulllying. In addition to speaking to students the Foundation also helps educators be aware of the signs that bullying is taking place in their school. In addition to sending speakers to school the Stop Bullying Now Foundation also sends speakers to houses of worship, such as Synagogues and Churches, to explain to them what they can do to curb bullying in their community.
Stomp Out Bullying
Stomp Out Bullying is one of the top anti-bullying and anti cyber-bullying organizations in the country. Love Our Children U.S.A. is the organization that started the Stomp Out Bullying Organization in 2005. The organization was officially created by Love Our Children U.S.A. to address the important of putting a stop to bullying both online and offline. In addition to having a goal of preventing bullying, the organization is also trying to discourage teenagers from sexting and engaging in other methods of digital abuse. Stomp Out Bullying is also working to educate people on why they should not be homophobic or racist as these things often lead to bullying. The organization provides people with solutions for responding to bullying no matter what form it takes. They also run social media campaigns and secure celebrities to deliver public service announcements discouraging bullying. Stomp Out Bullying also started the World Day Of Bullying Prevention, which is recognized one day per year.
General Colin Powell founded “America’s Promise Alliance,” which serves as a partner with Stomp Out Bullying. The media has recognized the organization as being one of the leaders in the prevention of both bullying and cyber bullying.
Stop Bullying Month
October is the official Stop Bullying Month. For 2014 National Stop Bullying Day is October 8th while National Stop Bullying Week is October 5th to October 11th. The 2014 Bullying Bystanders Unite Week is October 12th to October 18th. Several campaigns are run as part of Stop Bullying Month including Cyberbullied Unite and Project Apologize, which is a project where bullies are encouraged to write a letter stating exactly how, when, where and why they bully others and apologizing for doing so. These letters are then posted on the Stop Bullying Month website. Through this website parents can get information on a Stop Bullying Boot Camp.
This interactive program is meant to prevent bullying and is run by a trained facilitator. The program involves a session that lasts 1 1/2 hours and includes as few as 24 or as many as 50 participants. During the session all aspects of bullying are discussed and participants are to formulate a strategy to keep from bullying people in the future. They must also formulate strategies taking responsiblity for the bullying they have inflicted upon others. Participants are also taught not to judge themselves or others in a negative light. They must then take an oath that from now on they will help anyone who has been bullied. Part of the program includes peers learning from each other and giving their own interpretation of anti-bullying videos made by young people for young people.
Schools Cutting Down On Use Of The Word Bullying
A 2013 article in U.S.A Today stated that schools that are working to prevent bullying should stop using the term “bullying.” The justification behind this is that the word is being used to describe behaviors that do not constitute bullying and becasue of this, the term is getting out of control. Even on college campuses the word bully is often being used incorrectly as it is being used to describe actions that constitute criminal behavior. Some are calling for schools to refer to bullying as victimization instead.
Boys & Girls Clubs
Boys & Girls Clubs across the country have also been doing their part to stop bullying. They provide parents and students with advice on how to deal with a bullying situation, whether they are the bully or the victim of the bully. Their advice includes parents supporting their children and not telling to ignore any bully that is targeting them. They also offer strategies to parents to help their children learn how to resist bullying.
All of these groups and organizations are doing their part to stop bullying by spreading awareness of it and teaching people how to spot bullying. They are also committed to educating schools and communities on discouraging bullying and reaching out to those who have been bullies or bullied in an effort to make the world safer.