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Facts of Bullying in School
Facts of Bullying in School
Bullying is a major problem that is growing rapidly in our school system. Many mornings on the local news they show a short video taken by someone’s cell phone of a child being bullied, usually a boy. I saw one last week where a small boy was bouncing around like a boxer and slapping this big boy repeatedly in the face. After several slaps the big boy just picked the small boy up and slam dunked him, which only gave the small boy a scratched knee. The school suspended both boys four days. I felt this was unfair for the big boy as how many times does he have to turn the other cheek? I understand the no violence rules, but there should be some different standard when they have proof as to what occurred
It is estimated that 1600 children miss school each day due to their fear of being bullied. In middle school there are approximate 282,000 bullying attacks each month. Revenge is thought to be the strongest reason for school shootings as well.
Bully Panel Discussion
When I was in middle school, I don't remember much bullying except for one occasion where I was looking out 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.
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.
I believe cyber bullying can often do more damage than bullying at school because you don't always know where the threat is coming from; there's no person to avoid; and I think children 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 parent will react. As a parent, I would probably be inclined to take the cell phone away or at least change the phone number, and I might also not allow my child to be on the computer, which would be upsetting to them. I think this is very difficult problem.
There is a Bullying Prevention Program called Olweus which has written 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 had 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, kicking, shopping and spitting.
- Bullying through lies and false rumor's.
- Having money or other things taken or damaged by students who bully.
- Racial bullying.
- Sexual bullying.
- Cyber bullying (via cell phone or Internet).*
A Conversation with Dr. Dan Olweus About the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program
Make a Plan- Notice of Harassment
Make a plan with your child is to how to deal with a bully if your child is willing. First you want your child to be able to stand up for themselves to the best of their ability, which means standing up straight literally, then saying what he or she doesn’t like about 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 the incidences. 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 incidences 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, school superintendent after each incident of harassment.
Possible Signs of a Child 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.
- 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 of the top of my head and I'm sure there are 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 maybe they are embarrassed, and not sure how you will respond.
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Sign for School
The effects of bullying can be very devastating to physical and mental health, including the observers. In 2009, study one third of teens reported being bullied while at school. In this particular study, females and white students reported the most incidents of being victims. 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.
The 2009 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey found about one in five teens had been bullied at school in the last yar. Between 15 and 25% of students overall are frequent victimse of bullying, and 15 to 20% of students bully others.
Bullying in schools is such a major problem and it certainly interferes with the quality of education to say the least. I think children who are repeat offender bullies need to be put in a special school or classroom for difficult children, or be home schooled by their parents. I know these children probably need therapy, and I sure don’t have many answers to this growing problem. However, a child who is going to school, behaving and wants to learn should not be subjected to torment from a bully.
© 2011 Pamela Oglesby