Here’s an interesting video that I came across while browsing through youtube. It’s meant to show schools for anti-bullying and I feel this different method has a good chance of connecting with kids these days. There are obvious problems with the way schools are run in this country and it’s directly causing bullying and even some of the more recent violent encounters at school. School should be a place to learn and expand your thinking, not a “prison” where bullying runs rampant. Take the time to watch the video and also visit their website at http://.DefeatTheLabel.com
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Bullying is getting a lot of attention in the media these days, and with good reason. With more deaths and suicides as a result of bullying more and more states and organizations are joining together to do something about this terrible problem. More and more states are working hard to come up with comprehensive anti-bullying legislature that is designed to define the practice of bullying and create effective solutions that punish those who bully other children.
On February 4, 2013, theHouse of Delegates in Virginia overwhelmingly passed an anti-bullying bill that helps define bullying and sets the stage to get schools to set up rules and policies related to bullying. The bill, called HB1871, passed 93-6. All the Democrats and all but 6 of the Republicans in the house voted for the bill. The Republicans who voted against the bill were from the southern and western parts of the state, which follows recent voting trends.
The bill defines bullying for the schools, saying it can include behavior designed to harm or intimidate individuals that is aggressive and repeated over time. It also includes a provision designed to keep weaker children from being taken advantage of by stronger children. It excludes teasing, horseplay, or ordinary arguments from the definition.
The bill also states that schools must adopt anti-bullying policies, including a character education program designed to reduce how often kids are bullied. These programs should focus on certain personality traits, such as respect, self-control, kindness, and more. Each school board will be required to come up with guidelines for behavior that include punishments to be handed down to offenders. There will also be required training for teachers and other employees that will educate them on how to best create an environment where bullying is not condoned or encouraged in any way. The bill will also reward grants to districts where the school boards set up unique and innovative character education programs and do a particularly good job in their anti-bullying efforts.
The bill is set to go before Virginia’s Senate, but a date for this hearing has not been set by the state. The state’s biggest LGBT organization is upset that the bill has no wording relating to bullying of children from that segment, but a spokesman says that they are hopeful this will change because it’s important to “protect all children from bullying.” Their organization is going to lobby each individual district to create rights for students based on sexual orientation, gender, race, and religion. The spokesman is very hopeful that the districts will adopt policies that will protect all the kids equally and fully.
This anti-bullying bill is another important step in protecting our children. There are hundreds of new cases of bullying reported every day in the media, with thousands more going unreported. It is well past the point where we need to start changing the culture that allows this behavior to continue unchecked. Children are our greatest and most precious asset, and we need to do whatever it takes to protect them from harm.
Can you remember how it felt to come face-to-face with a teaser or a bully? Do you still remember the words, sounds, smells and sights that surrounded you? If you still remember, I would advise you to read this article so that you can help your kid lessen and stop the pain that bullying causes. To begin with, I want you to believe that bullies do not rule. With your help, your child will know when they can deal with a bullying episode themselves and when to run to an adult for help. The following tips may be of great assistance in trying to help your child reduce the problems associated with bullying.
Their Appearance – What can you tell your kids about their own appearance so that they will not become easy targets for bullies? Some children are not aware that how they dress and act can attract a bully’s attention. As a parent you should be eager to learn the way children walk, talk, and move so as to assist them in evading harassments.
Start Bully-Proofing Early – If you teach your child about dealing with bullies from a very young are before they start school, you will give them a head start in knowing what to do when a bully strikes. Begin your bully education program before your child experiences bullying, so that he/she will recognize bullying when they see it and find effective ways to deal with it. Because you have taken time to be pro-active, your children will have more options in knowing what to say or do to stop bullying.
Share Your Experiences – As your child learns how to recognize and learn helpful responses to different types of bullying, you, your child’s siblings, grandparents and extended family may want to discuss bullying situations you have encountered in the past and challenges you have faced in solving them. However, before telling your story in presence of your kids, try listening without judgment to your child’s concerns about his own problems. Let your child know that you have truly listened by making a positive comment once he/she has completed narrating what he/she uncounted. You will then explain your own experience. Seeing that you or someone the child knows has experienced bullying will help your child put a bullying incident in a perspective and know that it will eventually come to an end.
Use Common Sense to Outsmart a Bully – Encourage your child to use common sense to help keep bullies away and give them a good sense of knowing what to do. Let them see you using common sense in dealing with situations you face each day. Modeling common sense in everyday choices and decisions you make will go a long way in teaching them to use it in their own lives. If you have a preschool child facing bullying, offer a variety of options and ask him/her to choose the best one. Have your child consider all the circumstances surrounding each bullying event to help determine which would be the best course of action in each case. With that you will be equipping your child with the tools to use in different scenarios of bullying.
Talking about bullying statistics in the US, a good number of adults still retain horrible memories dating back to their days in the high school. This is mainly due to the bullying they were subjected to back then. This goes to a large extent to show that teenage bullying is a problem that has come a long way in schools. Although there are various types of bullying, no matter how subtle the type of bullying could be, it will always have a huge negative impact on the person being bullied.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is said to be those behaviors that is primarily targeted at certain persons in the bid to make them feel inferior, a sort of belittling behavior. When one or more persons are incessantly harassed, physically harmed or ostracized, it is nothing short of being bullied. There are various types of bullying and they include the following:
- Physical Bullying
- Verbal Bullying
- Emotional Bullying
- Cyber Bullying
Teenage Bullying – Is it Common?
Now coming to the bullying statistics in the US proper, even though bullying laws have been enforced in a higher percentage of the States in the US, statistics show that the problem of bullying is one that has refused to decrease. Listed below are some of the facts:
- Research carried out shows that 1 out of every 7 students interviewed has either been a bully or a victim of bully, from kindergarten to Grade 12.
- Out of the number of students interviewed, about over 60% of them agreed that bullying can in most cases, lead to the bullied or the bully shooting the other.
- Over 56% of the students interviewed have witnessed cases of bullying while still in school.
- More than 70% affirmed that bullying is a continuing problem in the society.
- More than 50% of students who were victims of physical abuse in their various homes usually turn out to be bullies.
- Although bullying can start earlier, it is usually between 4th and 8th grades.
- In a given month, about 282 students are victims of bullying in the US alone.
- About 90% of bullying victims admitted to have suffered adverse side effects which include visible drop in their grades, isolation and high level of anxiety.
Further researches have shown that bullying is more common among younger teens than it is among the older teens. This could be due to the fact that the younger bullies resort more to physical bullying unlike the older teens who device other sophisticated means of belittling their victims which are not easily identifiable. In terms of gender, boys engage more in physical bullying while the girls resort to verbal and emotional bullying which involves mostly sexual gossip and other nasty rumors.
These statistics serve as eye-opener to the fact that bullying is being more rooted and as such, everybody needs to do their best to ensure that the younger generation lives in a bully-free nation. It is everybody’s responsibility to make sure that cases of bullying are reported to the appropriate authorities for necessary actions to be taken.
Unless one has experienced bullying directly or indirectly, they might not notice how it can be devastating particularly for a teenager or a child. Besides being very hurtful, bullying may also leave the victim feeling angry, frightened, totally undermined, and depressed. However, bullying must never be condoned, regardless whether you are a student, parent or teacher. Here are some anti-bullying tips for students.
Understand the Bullying Problem
- Ignore the bully: Bullies usually want to be in control over their victim’s emotions, so never respond with anger or even revenge physically. Walking away, ignoring or assertively and calmly telling the bully you aren’t interested in their intentions demonstrates they don’t really control you.
- Protect yourself: In case you are unable to keep off and you are physically being hurt, try to protect yourself.
- Report to an adult: If you fail to report assaults and threats, the bully will get more aggressive. Most adults have ways of resolving such problems without the knowledge of the bully. If it becomes overly violent, you might have to bring in an attorney. While I haven’t had much experience in this matter, a friend of mine talked to The Clark Law Office – Criminal Attorneys in Lansing, MI, and the end result was a stop to the whole thing without having to take any real legal action.
- Be relentless and report such incident until it ends. Don’t try to put up with it for any reason.
Reframe the Bullying Problem
- View bullying from another perspective: Bullies are frustrated and unhappy people with the intention of controlling one’s feelings to feel just as bad as they are. Never give bullies such satisfaction.
- Look at the bigger picture. It can be very painful, however ask yourself how it can affect you later in life. Would it matter to you in the future? If your answer is no, refocus your energy and time elsewhere.
- Concentrate on the positives: Reflect on everything you appreciate including your personal positive gifts and qualities. Come up with some list and use it as a reference when you are down.
- Find the humor: In case you feel relaxed and is able to notice the silliness of the bullying situation, and comment about it with some humor, you may not be a target of bullies.
- Don’t try to control things beyond your control. Several things in this life are uncontrollable—including other people’s behavior. Instead of stressing yourself, concentrate on issues within your control like how you can respond to bullies. Change your attitude on bullying to regain your sense of control.
Seek Support From Non-Bullies
- Find people with similar interests and values: Having trustworthy people to go to if you need support and encouragement will improve your resilience while being bullied. Seek allies in youth groups, religious organizations or book clubs. Learn some new sports, join a team, or engage in some new hobbies like chess, music or art.
- Share your feelings. Speak to your parents, coach, counselor, trusted friend or religious leader. Expressing your experience can change how you feel.
- Boost your confidence: Exercising is a great way of helping one feel good about themselves and lower stress. Join a kickboxing club or punch a mattress to reduce your anger.
- Avoid stressing yourself: Never make a bullying experience worse by putting too much thought on it or just replaying it in the head. But focus on past positive experiences. This way, you will certainly overcome the bullying experience.
The National Crime Prevention Council explains that approximately 160,000 children miss school every day as a result of the fear of being bullied. This means that three out of every four kids have been teased or bullied in school. The effects of bullying include stress and anxiety which can lead to suicide in extreme cases. According to experts, bullying should be dealt with quickly and with great care. They also believe that it’s easier to prevent bullying than to cease it. To stop this violent means of coercion, parents, teachers and the whole community should take anti-bully initiatives. Here are a few tips on how you can prevent and stop bullying.
How to Stop Bullying
Tip #1: Encourage the Children to Tell
The first thing that the bully attaches is the child’s self-esteem and confidence. He/she instills fear by issuing threats so that the child cannot tell on them. For that reason, teachers and parents should encourage the kids to tell once they are bullied. As a parent, you should bond with your child so that she can confide in you and thus tell you about any problem she encounters when you’re away.
Tip #2: Trusting the Teacher
Teachers should also create a bond between them and their students. Trust gives a child the oomph to approach a teacher and tell her his troubles. This kind of information can help the school authorities to be keen on the activities that happen inside and outside the school compounds.
Tip #3: Confidence
Children should be encouraged to demonstrate confidence especially when faced by a bully. Make the child understand that it’s okay to say no to the bully’s demands or talk back to him. When the kids stand up for themselves, there are high chances that the bullying will not continue. However, don’t encourage your child to fight as fighting can backfire.
Tip #4: Friends
Children should be encouraged to create new friends with his classmates. In addition to that, children should always be by their friend’s side. Good friends will stand by each other when being bullied. Furthermore, bullies often pick on loners who appear to be weak. For that reason, encourage your child to integrate with his classmates and walk with friends as there is safety in numbers.
Tip #5: Unsupervised Areas
Bullying often occurs in unsupervised or isolated areas. As such, it’s important that all children are advised to avoid such areas. Again, advice your child to avoid the bully at all costs. Avoiding unsupervised areas and the bullies themselves prevents the two parties from having any physical interaction.
In addition to the aforementioned tips, the teaching and the non-teaching staff should receive proper training so that they can handle bullying situations. Schools’ administration on the other hand should formulate or adopt clear policies against bullying. Equally important, teachers should discuss these policies with the students. Parents too have a role to play. You should talk to your kids and make sure that they understand the consequences of such bad behavior. All students should understand that human relationships are based on kindness and mutual respect.