Bullying is not a trend, it is not a phase and it cannot be ignored. Year after year stories of bullying have hit the headlines and the consequences are normally tragic. Uniting  parents can help put an end to the harm bullying causes.

Defining Bullying

Bullying is defined as intentionally aggressive, verbal, social, or physical behavior aimed at a specific person or a group of people and is usually repeated. Some bullying actions are considered criminal, such as harassment or hazing, but “bullying” alone is not illegal.

Warning Signs A Child Is Being Bullied

– Injuries that are unaccounted for or the child cannot explain

– Material possessions are mysteriously lost, damaged or destroyed

– Illnesses like headaches and stomachaches increase due to anxiety or  are being faked to avoid attending school

– Binge eating or skipping meals

– Changes in sleep habits, an increase in nightmares and/or insomnia

– Academic changes, a drop in grades, a sudden lack of interest in school, changes in attendance

– Social changes, friends are different, loss of friends, avoids social settings they previously enjoyed

– Changes in self-esteem, poor self-talk, feelings of hopelessness

– Self-destructive behaviors or talks of running away, self-harm (cutting), suicidal thoughts or ideation

Please remember not all children will show signs of being bullied, do not discredit your instincts.

Signs A Child Is Bullying Others

– Fighting, physical and verbal altercations

– Increased aggression

– Behavioral problems at school, resulting in detentions and/or visits to the principal’s office

– New material possessions or monies that are unexplained

– Blaming others for their behaviors or choices, cannot accept personal responsibility

– Popularity and reputation are very important and they are very active in maintaining their status

– Friends exhibit similar behaviors or are known to be “bullies”

Why Kids Don’t Ask For Help

Being bullied can create feelings of helplessness, also the youth may try to gain control by handling the situation on their own. Children might not ask for help based on these circumstances, which can be compounded by the following factors:

– Fear of retaliation for confiding in an adult, also being labeled as a tattletale or a snitch

– Humiliation, whether what is being said is true or false, kids may not want adults to hear what is being said about them

– Fear of judgment or punishment from adults

– Bullying creates situations or feelings of social isolation that encourages the beliefs that no one cares or understands

– Friends can help protect kids from bullying so they fear losing peer support if they turn to an adult for help

How Big is the Problem

There is no denying that bullying is one of the largest problems in schools across the country, but how big of a problem is it? The 2014 statistical recap for “real life” and cyber bullying are shocking.

School Wide Mayhem:

Studies conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported the following statistics:

– 1 in 3 students in the U.S. say they have been bullied at school

– 28% of students (6th to 12th grade) reported they have been bullied or are currently being bullied and 20% of high school students reported the same

– 29.3% of the students have been bullied in the classroom

– 29% were bullied in hallways

– 23.4% were bullied in the cafeteria

– 19.5 % were bullied during gym class

– 12.2% were bullied in the bathroom

– 70.6% of teens have seen bullying occur at school

– 30% of young people admit that they have been the bully

Actions of Bullying:

– Name calling is reported as the most prevalent type of bullying

– Teasing/taunting, having rumors spread about them, physical altercations, intentional isolation, threatening, possessions being stolen and sexual harassment are also common

– Cyber bullying was reported with the lowest frequency

Overpowered by Taking Action:

– 57% of the time, bullying stops within 10 seconds of an intervention, by an adult or another classmate

– Simple messages such as, a zero tolerance for bullying, are not very effective

– Effective anti-bullying programs focus on the witnesses, who can step in and stop the behavior almost as quickly as it starts

– Preventing the situation from escalating takes away the power of bullying

In the Long Run:

– Approximately 160k teens are skipping school daily because they are being bullied and 10% of these teens will drop out from repeated bullying, that is 16,000 students every year

– 83% of girls and 79% of boys report being bullied

– 75% of school shootings have been connected to the shooter being harassed and bullied

– Approximately 40% of boys who were classified as bullies in middle and high school have been arrested three or more times by the time they turn 30

– There is a direct link between those who are labeled as bullies in their youth continue the cycle of abuse and violence into their adulthood

Falling Silent:

Only 20-30% of students who are bullied tell adults or authorities about their situations, thus it can only be assumed the reality of bullying is far worse than imagined.  With the lack of reporting it is difficult to understand the magnitude of the problem and equally difficult to change the patterns of bullying and abuse that persist in the U.S.

Please utilize Tendle.com to report any signs of bullying to parents and/or school officials.

Thank you DDHS and bullying.gov for an in-depth look at bullying and their resources. For more information: https://nobullying.com/