Everyone has been affected by bullying of some kind throughout their life. It is in the media, you hear of story on top of story about students taking their own lives because they were bullied. Bullying is the deliberate and often repeated attempt to intimidate, embarrass, or harm another person. Bullying is a serious and potential deadly problem. It’s estimated that nearly 30% or 5.7 million children are involved in bullying, as victims, perpetrators, or both. Studies have found that 15 to 25% of students in the U.S. are bullied, and 15 to 20% bully others. Anyone can be the target of bullying. Research tells us that bullying is most common in grades 6 to 10, but it can happen at nearly any age and among both sexes.
There are different types of bullying: physical bullying, social, verbal and now Cyberbullying.
Physical Bullying: This is most common among boys. Pushing, tripping, and hitting are well-known examples. Bullies seem to overpower their victim.
Social Bullying: This is used to damage a person’s reputation. Peer pressure and manipulation to isolate a target and hurt is a great example.
Verbal Bullying: This is the most common which occurs when bullies tease, mock, threaten, insult and taunt their peers. This includes spreading rumors, gossip, and lies.
Cyberbullying: when verbal and social bullying take place over the Internet or electronic device is Cyberbullying. Cell phones, instant messages, social networking sites, websites, chat rooms, and even online video games are forums for this type of bullying.
Many students and parents ask “What can I do about being bullied?” Here are a few quick easy things to remember:
· Bullying is the problem – not you
· Bullying is not permanent
· Bullies are often insecure people
· Bullies often want to be accepted by “the crowd”
· Bullies high status they enjoy in school often does not last in adulthood
· Tell someone about your experience
· Find safety in number
· Tell a school official
· Use specific response to deal with the bully:
· Laugh along
· Roll with the punch
· Change the subject
· Learn verbal self defense
It is vital and imperative, if you are being bullied tell a friend, tell a teacher, tell the counselor or school official. Let’s stop the cycle of bullying.
Langan, Paul. Bullying in Schools. What You Need to Know. West Berlin: Townsend Press. 2011.