LIGHTING THEIR WAY HOME BULLYING AWARENESS – FIGHTING THE EPIDEMIC
LIGHTING THEIR WAY HOME BULLYING AWARENESS – FIGHTING THE EPIDEMIC
Welcome family – to the first post in Lighting Their Way Home’s Bullying Awareness Program! Every second Wednesday we will be posting articles on bullying – what it is, the statistics, the myths, our school prevention programs, stories from children who have been bullied etc. – and we are going to begin educating ourselves on what we can do to protect our children and combat bullying in our society. So let’s get right to it!
DID YOU KNOW – 2.7 million children are bullied every year.
What is bullying? Bullying is the act of one person using strength or status to infringe on another person, whether with insults, threats, physical harm, ostracism or infringing on their boundaries in any way. Bullying is basically a form of intimidation or domination toward someone who is perceived as being weaker. It is used as a way of getting what the bully wants through coercion or force, and is a way for the bully to ‘establish’ some sort of perceived superiority over another person.
DID YOU KNOW – Bullying occurs once every 7 minutes on the playground and once every 25 minutes in the classroom.
Bullying can take place anytime, anywhere with anyone. Bullying can consist of hurtful actions, such as physically or psychologically harmful behaviour, it can be face-to-face or behind someone’s back, and it is often used to intimidate the victim/target. Bullying is repetitive and as the hurtful actions keep happening, the victim finds it more and more difficult to escape the effects.
DID YOU KNOW – 71% of students report bullying as an on-going problem.
There are three primary types of bullying.
Physical bullying is unwanted physical contact between the bully and the victim.
- Destroying/stealing another’s belongings.
- Use of available objects as weapons.
DID YOU KNOW – 7 – 12% of bullies are habitual and pose a serious threat to others.
Emotional/social/verbal bullying is any form of bullying that causes damage to a victim’s psyche and/or emotional well-being, such as the use of malicious, defamatory, slanderous statements or accusations that cause the victim emotional distress. As a child my sisters and I were fans of the expression – “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but names can never hurt me.” – now as an adult, I see that words can hurt more than any physical attack, words are a deadly weapon and they can, and have, killed.
- Name Calling
- Making Threats
- Spreading Rumors
- Making negative comments about one’s culture, ethnicity, race, religion or sexual orientation.
- Attacking another’s looks, clothes, body etc.
- Social Isolation
- Intentional Exclusion
- Damaging Another’s Reputation
- Ignoring people – ‘The Silent Treatment’
DID YOU KNOW – The rate of discrimination experienced among students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-identified, Two-spirited, Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ) is three times higher than that of heterosexual youth.
Cyber Bullying is using the internet, email, text messaging, social media or other digital technologies to intimidate, put down, spread rumors or make fun of another. Cyber Bullying is usually done anonymously, with the bully hiding behind a computer and screen name.
DID YOU KNOW – IN OUR SCHOOLS:
– Over 282,000 students are attacked at school every MONTH.
– 76% of all students have witnessed a bullying crime take place while at school.
– 15% of all students who don’t show up for school report the reason for the absence as being done out of fear of being bullied at school.
– 1 out of 10 students drop out or change schools due to repeated bullying.
– 1 out of every 20 students has seen a student with a gun at school.
– Only 20 – 41% of students who are experiencing bullying actually report it.
– 23% of 9th graders have carried a weapon to school in recent years.
Understanding bullying means we need to educate ourselves on which behaviours commonly create an atmosphere for a child to become a bully. Bullies often come from families that use physical forms of discipline. Females are more likely to be social bullies, spreading rumors, breaking up friendships, ostracizing another, etc. Males are more likely to be physical bullies, hitting, punching and slapping, etc. Bullies are commonly overly concerned about their appearance and popularity, they have an urge to dominate others, and there is the mentality of bully or be bullied. Bullying stems from insecurity.
DID YOU KNOW – 25% of students encourage bullying if not given proper education and support in anti-bullying techniques.
DID YOU KNOW – In the majority of bullying cases, the bullying stops within 10 seconds when peers intervene or do not support the bullying behaviour.
Bullying leads to serious problems such as severe emotional scarring, problems with a victim’s self-esteem and self-image, physical injury, difficulty in forming healthy relationships, depression and the most terrifying of all, suicide (bullycide). The part that terrifies me as a mother is the fact that bullying damages children in ways which are not clearly visible if a parent or guardian is not educated on the warning signs of bullying.
DID YOU KNOW – 47% of parents report having a child who is a victim of bullying.
The bottom line is that bullying is a very real threat to our children, and we need to make some changes before we permanently damage and lose any more young lives.
Having your child being bullied is every parents’ nightmare. Knowing that our children can be forever changed by the actions of those who we may have thought were his friends is overwhelming. HOWEVER – we have the power to control and change this situation. We do have the power to keep our children safe – and that power lies in EDUCATION. We need to educate ourselves, our schools, our children about bullying, what it is, how to recognize it, what it does to another, what to do to stop it and what the consequences are of these vicious attacks.
This is why LTWH has created this program, we want to share this education. We want to open a public forum to discuss bullying, what it is doing to our children, how we are handling it, how we SHOULD be handling it and what we can do to prevent bullying from even happening, let alone reacting to the damage it has done after the fact. It is time to stand up and take control of what is happening to our children, to MODEL a respectful lifestyle that has no room for the act of bullying. We can do this my wonderful family, we can do it.
Next week we will focus on one of the types of bullying in greater detail. We will share with you the warning signs, the long term effects, how we can educate our children about that type of bullying, and the actions we can take to keep our children safe as they head back to school this fall.
~ by LTWH on August 20, 2014.
Posted in BULLYING AWARENESS