Most of us think of going back to school with fond memories, and look forward to hearing what our children have to tell us after they step off the bus or when we pick them up at carpool. But the unfortunate truth is that many children do not enjoy school and experience bullying by their peers on a daily basis.
Bullying is defined as physical, verbal or emotional intimidation by others. This can range from hurtful words to actual physical attacks. The effects of bullying can impact peer relationships and harm emotional development and academic performance. Children can become socially isolated and can develop anxiety and stress and in worse case scenarios low self-esteem, depression and suicide.
About 30% of all school children are bullied in one way or another, and with social media outlets and mobile phones, bullying is not confined to the school grounds or school hours. A study by the American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry shows staggering results:
1. 1 in 3 teens has experienced harassment on the internet.
2. 160,000 children miss school every day for fear of attack or harassment by a peer. (Just in our district, 4 bus loads full of kids stay home every day due to fear.
3. 1 in 10 students drop out of school due to repeated bullying.
4. Bullies are more likely to commit crimes.
5. Two-thirds of school shootings are linked to past bullying.
6. Suicide is the leading cause of death among 10- to 14-year-olds, and around 30% of suicides are linked to bullying.
Read more on page 96 in the October 2012 Issue of FW