What can we do about the serious bullying problem in the U.S.?
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October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Recognizing that bullying is the leading source of violence in U.S. schools, it is important that we all understand the dangers of bullying, as well as, where and how to get help.
What causes bullying?
Bullying is a behavior that is often learned in response to stresses in the bully’s world. These stresses can include strained parental relationships or abuse, poor academic performance, unsupportive peer networks or anxiety regarding physical appearance. While bullies give off the appearance of confidence, it is often the case that their actions are driven by insecurities.
Harassing and overpowering others gives bullies a sense of superiority, making up for the lack of control in some other part of their lives. Surprisingly, many bullies are often motivated to abuse others because they have been victims of abusive behavior. The anger that they feel as a result of being hurt is directed toward other individuals.
|What effect does bullying have on children?|
|Every day children suffer the devastating consequences that result from bullying in our schools. Bullying affects not only the children involved, but also has a negative impact on the entire school environment. Bystanders who witness bullying may either fear that they will be the next victims or deduce that this abusive behavior is tolerable.
Bullying causes both short and long term damage related to:
Bullying is a serious problem that cannot be ignored. Statistics show that:
The problem has become so serious that bullying has been increasingly considered as a public health issue plaguing our entire nation. Approximately 60% of the boys in grades 6-9 who are classified as bullies are later convicted of at least one crime by the time they are 24 years old and 40% have three or more convictions. It is imperative that we address bullying with school-age children in an effort to keep our schools and streets safer.
|General advice for parents|
|As a parent you have the power to help your children whether they are being bullied or victimizing others. When faced with bullying, children need the support from an adult they feel comfortable confiding in. Although you may be unable to directly monitor the situation in your child’s school, you are not powerless. You can be the support your child needs and the voice calling for change in your child’s school.
Specific advice for parents:
To learn what you can do as parents or concerned citizens and for immediate help go to http://www.stopbullying.gov/
Dr. Scott Bonnis Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Drew University and a media expert. He is the author of the critically acclaimed book “Mass Deception: Moral Panic and the U.S. War on Iraq” and is currently writing a book about the public’s fascination with serial killers. He is deeply concerned about the dangers of bullying. He is @DocBonn on Twitter.
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- Bullying Complaints Quadruple in New Jersey (psychologytoday.com)
- October is Bully Awareness Month : JSS has Resources! (jadethunter.wordpress.com)
- School Bullying Will Only Stop If… (howtolearn.com)
- Crime Wire: BULLIES, What Makes Them Tick? (crimewire.blogspot.com)
- Bullying, Chik-Fil-A, and a Personal Plea For Help (rogercanaff.com)
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Posted on October 4, 2012, in Bullying, Social Issues and tagged Bullying, Doc Bonn, Dr. Scott Bonn, Mental Health issues, National Bullying Prevention Month, parental relationships, poor academic performance, social isolation. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.