Bullying is a problem that affects millions of students. It’s a problem that has many people concerned besides the kids on its receiving end. However, because parents, teachers and other adults don’t often see it occurring, many do not understand just how extreme bullying can get.
Two of the main reasons people are bullied are because of the way they look or their place in the social structure of their environment. Children who are seen as “not fitting in” because of how they look, who their friends are, or how they act are often the targets of bullying.
Bullying can be anything from physical assaults to verbal abuse such as threats or insults. Taunting and teasing are often the most common forms of bullying, with physical contact being more serious but occurring with less frequency.
One of the biggest concerns today is that bullying can be relentless for the victim. In the past, the student might endure bullying at school, but were able to escape from it when they went home. Today, however, with the advent of social media such as Facebook, bullying can continue on even after the student has left the school environment.
Kids that are bullied are often in a state of fear. This can affect their schoolwork and even their overall health. Studies have shown that people who are abused by their peers are at an increased risk of mental health issues including low self-esteem, stress and depression. Thoughts of suicide can also be result of bullying.
When bullying involves younger children, the best way to handle bullying is if they tell an adult – a teacher, parent, or anyone the child trusts. The adult can then work to help them remedy the situation.
Resolving bullying issues for teenagers can be more difficult. Fears of the bully finding out can often make the teen hesitant to report the problem. So what can they do?
If a teen is in a bullying situation, they should try to avoid being alone when the potential to encounter the bully exists. Stay close to friends and spend as much time together as possible. They should try to remain part of a group if at all possible and avoid being alone where they can be isolated and victimized by the bully. While this can eliminate some of the potential bullying, if the teen feels the need to resort to this step, an adult should be advised of the situation. Teens can contact school officials or advise their parents of the situation. Contacting law enforcement is also an option if they feel that they need help at this level or if they feel they have been a victim of a crime. Law enforcement will be more than happy to try and help remedy the situation.
Dealing with the bully
Cyber bullying is becoming more and more common today. Cyber bullying can include e-mails, instant messages, chat rooms, web-pages or messages sent to cell phones. While in-person bullying is frequently done by males, cyber bullying is more often committed by females. Parents should talk with kids about what is appropriate messaging and what is not. Encourage children to not forward messages that may hurt another person. The easiest way to stop cyber bullying is to not pass it on and simply delete it. If the message is serious, the child should report the message to an adult. Print it off and turn it in or show the message to and adult if it cannot be printed.
More information on bullying is available at the following sites:
*** The Martin County West After School Program also provided another excellent resource to the department regarding on-line safety and Cyber-Bullying Prevention! Thank you for this information group! I am sure it will prove useful to others who view this site. You can visit this site at:
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact the police department. You can find information on our Contact Page.