Six Important points about Bullying that you need to know – You cannot miss the fourth one
As my child grows up, I vouch for the day when he will start his journey of school, where he will meet new friends, teachers, well wishers, not so well wishers, and yes bullies. I was bullied myself, by my own brother and the scars of bullying still remain. Thankfully, I was spared of incessant ragging at college, but not many are that lucky. So, here it is, our latest piece on bullying, Rampant bullying statistics, Parent/Child experiences, cyber bullying, its psychological impact and how to tackle it.
Rampant bullying statistics
As per National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Social Justice, about 21% of students in the age group 12-18 years experience bullying. Another report titled 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) states that across US, 20% of students in grades 9-12 have reported being bullied within school property 12 months before the survey.
These are disturbing figures. Mainly because the survey might not have captured the whole picture and many more cases would have gone unreported. We may never have the true numbers. Secondly, students elsewhere may not be lucky enough and experience years of sophisticated bullying and keep suffering in silence. Years and years of innocence across the globe getting wasted at the hands of bullies who, in turn, may be battling their own demons.
There are tons of horrible parent/child experiences of bullying, some of them even resulting in death of the victim. Let’s start with that of Chelisa Grimes who was so fed up with the bullying of her gay son that she decided to arm her son with a stun gun as she thought ‘I brought the stun gun ‘cause I wasn’t safe,” she says. Afterwards, when confronted by bullies, the young man pulled out the gun from his backpack and fired in the air. This made the bullies scurry away. Needless to say, things could go anyway from there.
Cade Poulos from Oklahoma Junior High School shot himself while being dressed as Batman series villain Two Face. It is believed he was a victim of terrible bullying and when he could not bear anymore, he decided to take the extreme step. Who is at loss in both the above cases and in several hundreds of others, a number of which often go unreported!
- The school – NO
- The bully – Possibly NO
- The parents and the victim – Big YES
Privy to confidential information, embarrassing pictures and other invaluable material, bullies have successfully mastered the art of cyber bullying. Easy access to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and others makes it immensely easy for the bully. Don’t like someone, fine – just shoot a damaging comment. Having access to otherwise private pictures of the victim, upload them everywhere. Let the victim be damned!
Psychological Impact of long term bullying
All these bring us to the next question – what are the consequences for the victim? What about the psychological impact? I have suffered confidence related issues due to the same and it took me a great deal of time to recover.
- It makes kids wish to skip school, play or both
- Makes the school a place to fear, not enjoy
- Unable to bear the stress of bullying, it makes them sick
How to tackle a bully
- If possible, avoid the bully
- Be brave and stand tall
- Be a buddy and get one
- Control over your emotions
- Don’t be a bully
- Tell an adult
How parents can help
- Teach their kids to solve problems without using violence
- Talk to their kids regularly about the way the school is going, social events, classmates, friends and if they are experiencing any problems at school
- Talk to the teacher
- If the teacher fails to take any action, talk to the principal
- Don’t tackle the bully themselves
- Stop bullying their kids