An integral part of our child safety program deals with bullying. This is interactive discussion between children, teachers and A Child Is Missing trainers. Within the class are bullies, victims and children who witnessed incidents. With no preset script, the course engages the class to open lines of communication, discussing choices and consequences. Some of the key points are: you are not alone, ignore it, and be a friend to someone who is being bullied.
What do we know about bullying?
- There is a connection between being bullied, bullying, and suicide in Children.
Kids who are bullied lack confidence, feel bad about themselves, have fewer friends and spend playtime alone.
These problems can carry on long after the bullying has stopped.
- They may find it hard to face going to school and difficult to concentrate on their work.
- They may complain of various physical symptoms as a result of their upset.
- They may worry and try to avoid going to school.
- Others become very anxious, find it hard to sleep and may feel depressed, or even suicidal.
- Studies have shown that boys identified as bullies in middle school were four times as likely as their peers to have more than one criminal conviction by age twenty-four.
- Bullying just isn’t what it used to be. Kids aren’t necessarily crueler, but instead have a greater accessibility to methods of reaching their peers after the school bell rings.
- Social networking tools like Facebook and MySpace have created an avenue for bullies to publish hateful stories, circulate false rumors to the masses at a rapid rate and destroy any refuge from the taunting and tormenting — even when the victim comes home.
The U.S. Department of Justice Reports:
- Nearly 1 in 3 students is involved in bullying.
- Nearly 5.7 million Children are involved in bullying as victims, perpetrators, or both.
- 5% to 25% of students in the U.S. are bullied, and 15% to 20% bully others.
- While school violence as a whole is declining, bullying behaviors have increased by 5%. 86% of public schools reported one or more incidents of violence or theft due to intimidation.
- Studies have shown that obese children are 63% more likely to be targets of bullying.
- Gay youth are also significantly more likely to be bullied, with lesbians experiencing bullying at 3 times the rate of other youth.
- Boys are more likely than girls to bully others and report that they bully others.
- Boys are usually only bullied by other boys, while girls are bullied by both boys and girls.
- The most frequent type of bullying experienced by both boys and girls is verbal bullying. But, that is where the similarities end.
- Boys are far more likely to be hit, slapped, pushed, or be exposed to other types of physical bullying.
- Girls are at higher risk for being socially excluded, having rumors spread about them, or being targeted with sexual comments.
- Youth are more likely to skip school, both if they are bullied and if they bully others. On any given day, up to 160,000 students stay home from school because they fear being bullied. Students who bully others are also much more likely to skip school and eventually drop out of school entirely.
- Bullied youth are more likely to become ill, due to stress.
- Bullied teens are more likely to drink and become aggressive.
- People who were bullied as children are more likely to have psychological problems as adults. Numerous studies have shown that people who were bullied as children had higher rates of depression, social anxiety, pathological perfectionism and greater levels of low self-esteem.
- People who were bullied as kids are more likely to be bullied in the workplace as an adult. One study on bullying in the workplace found that 57% of people who were being bullied at work had also been bullied as children in school.
- According to I-Safe, an organization dedicated to Internet safety education, 42 percent of children have been subjected to online bullying.