The following are some sobering facts about bullying from stopbullying.gov.
A national study found 28% of children in grades 6 to 12 reported being bullied by other students in school at least once during the past month. What’s more, 30% of students admitted they had bullied others. Approximately 70% of young people have seen bullying happen in schools while 70.4% of school staff have seen bullying.
Most bullying takes place in school. Student’s report being bullied inside their school, outside on the school grounds and on school buses.
What is happening and how often?
Various types of bullying have been reported including name calling (44.2%) teasing (43.3%) spreading lies and rumors (36.3%) pushing/shoving (32.4%) hitting and slapping or kicking (29.2%) stealing (27.3%) sexual comments or gestures (23.7%) threatening (27.4%) and leaving out (28.5%) email/blogging (9.9%).
In the past month, the study found 49% of students in grades 4 to 12 reported being bullied. During the same time period, 30.8% reported bullying others.
In the past year, 15% of high school students were bullied electronically. LGBTQ students were at a particularly high risk for cyberbullying (55.2).
The impact of bullying on our children
Research indicates that persistent bullying can lead to or worsen feelings of isolation, rejection, exclusion, and despair, as well as depression and anxiety, which can contribute to suicidal behavior.
Only about 20 to 30% of students who are bullied inform adults about the bullying.
The numbers speak to the seriousness of the bullying epidemic in our communities. Many of the adolescents and teens I work with on a daily basis have been victims of bullying. I’ve seen how these children have become hypervigilant, depressed, and hopeless. Children who are bullied do not want to snitch or tattle on the bullies or look to their parents or teachers for support.
As a counselor, I often arrange for parent-teacher conferences to bring awareness to school officials about bullying incidents.
Sometimes school officials intervene and sometimes they don’t.
I hear from my clients about how anti-bullying programs at their schools are just for optics and are only skin deep. There is no sustained support system, mentoring, or formal bully response process established. As a result, many of my clients feel isolated and alone. My job is to help them believe in themselves through positive affirmations, exercise, and encouragement. It is important for students who have been bullied to participate in clubs, sports, and self-defense classes.
My greatest satisfaction comes from cultivating trust that allows a bullied child to open up and share painful experiences that they may never have told another person, let alone an adult. It is through this trusted therapeutic relationship that a child or young adult can move past bad experiences and heal from the emotional trauma that comes with being bullied at school.
I’m here to help
If you or your child is experiencing bullying or any other emotional challenges and would like assistance, you are welcome to call me to book an appointment or fill out the contact form.