"Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose." (StopBullying.gov).
Bullying. It can happen anywhere. Sometimes a person may not even realize that they are bullying another person. Many times they know exactly what they are doing but they thrive on the feelings of being in that kind of control.
If someone is "different" or "individual" they may become a victim of bullying. And that may follow them through all of their life. It's been around forever. But that doesn't mean it has to happen now. The subject, bullying, begs the understanding of Respect.
During the 2008-2009 school year, according to U.S. Department of Human Services (DHS) Vstatistics, 28 percent of students age 12-18 reported being bullied. They were called names or insulted, subjected to hurtful rumors, pushed, shoved, tripped or spit on, threatened, cyber bullied, excluded from activities, forced to do things they didn't want to do or their property was destroyed. Twenty percent of girls and 25 percent of boys were bullied. Boys are more likely to be physically bullied, girls are more likely to be excluded or the subject of rumors.
Why are there bullies? It all is tied to family and peers, community and school. That appears to make bullying everyone's business.
Kids who are bullied are more likely to be depressed, harm themselves, have suicidal thoughts and attempt suicide. Kids involved in bullying are apt to have headaches, backaches, stomach pain, sleep problems, poor appetite, or even wetting the bed. When kids are bullied their academic achievement is lower and they avoid school.
Many kids don't report bullying for some obvious reasons. There will be someone who will shame them for being a snitch or tattle tale. They are afraid of retaliation-nobody wants the bully's attention turned toward them. Gender stereotypes and lack of confidence in adults' actions rounds out the list of reasons.
Other related topics include, but are not considered bullying:
- Peer conflict
- Teen dating violence
- Gang violence
- Workplace bullying
The effects of bullying can last a lifetime and affects the community as well as the individual.
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