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Bullying: What needs to be done
Facts about bullying
According to the website [link]www.getsmarter.com:[/link]
Estimates suggest that over 3.2 million children are bullied very year, with 30 percent of boys and 40 percent of girls mentioning it to a peer by age 14. Kids who are bullied commonly feel powerless, isolated and different, emotions that frequently make school and everyday life situations extremely difficult.
Physical bullying is more common at elementary school levels, generally lessening as students progress toward high school. Verbal bullying, unfortunately, sees no such drop off. I myself have heard of adults participating in the verbal bullying of co workers, even though I've been fortunate to not have had it happen to me.
Some surveys indicate that at least 67 percent of students believe their school deals inadequately with bullying. Furthermore, one in four teachers find nothing wrong with bullying. I find this very sad, as teachers sometimes spend more time per day with the students than their own parents because of the need to make a living.
Girls are more likely to be bullied indirectly through the peer group--starting mean stories or coming up with mean names and other ways to let the target know she is rejected by the peer group. It can even occcur on social networking sites (MySpace, Facebook, Twitter). It can go so far as to send harassing messages to everyone on her email list. even texting her a death threat. These behaviors are called “relational” bullying because they attack relationships and friendships. This can cause some to feel they are all alone.
Boys tend to be more physicaliy agressive in their bullying. This physical abuse tends to continue, even into college,
One thing that I've noticed that's changed when it comes to bullying is the fact that if someone stands up to the bully, it seems the victum gets harsher punishment than the bully. When I was in school in the 1970's, we settled things between ourselves and it was over and done with for the most part. We didn't have shootings at school like has happened so many times in the last few decades. But then again, the only way the bullying could continue away from school then was by telephone.
Any type of harassment or bullying can have a huge impact on its victims. Depression, anxiety, problems sleeping or eating, even suicide. The most important thing parents can do is to talk to their children and let them know that any negative emotions they may have are normal and to discuss practical strategies to address the issue.
I saw a commercial not long ago that brought up a great way to counter bullying...for others to step in to help the target of the bullying. I think this needs to be implemented in all schools.