While many children look forward to going back to school this week, a significant number of kids dread what is to them, an ordeal. They are the ones who fear being bullied. According to stopbullying.gov :
What is Bullying?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Where and When Bullying Happens
Bullying can occur during or after school hours. While most reported bullying happens in the school building, a significant percentage also happens in places like on the playground or the bus. It can also happen travelling to or from school, in the youth’s neighborhood, or, more frequently now, on the Internet.
Frequency of Bullying (There are two sources of federally collected data on youth bullying:)
- The 2012–2013 School Crime Supplement(National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics) indicates that, nationwide, about 22% of students ages 12-18 experienced bullying.
- The 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) indicates that, nationwide, 20% of students in grades 9–12 experienced bullying.
What Can Be Done About Bullying?
While there are no federal laws pertaining to bullying, state and local lawmakers have taken action to prevent bullying and protect children. Each state has laws on the books about bullying: Look here for your state’s regulations: http://www.stopbullying.gov/laws/
If you notice changes in your child’s behavior, and can eliminate drugs and or alcohol as the cause, look into whether they are being bullied. Many children who are bullied are ashamed and feel insecure. As a parent or guardian, you have the ability to help change this daily hell for these kids who are singled out for this type aggressive behavior. No child should ever have to fear going to school or anywhere else for that matter.
BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.
As always, stay safe.