Bullying is a very real problem in many schools in America .Statistics indicate that approximately 2.3 million students are victims of bullying each year. This results in over 160 000 teenagers missing school every day because of bullying .When questioned 90% of students between 4th and 8th grade report that they have been victims of bullying whether physically or verbally .These facts alone indicate that bullying is still a huge problem in our schools .
The best way to address bullying in a school is to stop it before it actually starts.There are a number of things that teachers ,principals and parents can do to that will make schools safer and prevent bullying .
Educate Students about Bullying
As part of a teaching curriculum students should be taught to identify what bullying is in themselves or as they see it in others.They should be taught to be able to communicate positively .Having these skills will help create a more positive environment at schools.This will in turn ensure that bullying is less likely to occur.
Classroom discussions can be held about the motivation and effects of bullying .Students should be taught that bullies are usually children who have experienced bullying themselves.Those bullies suffer from low self esteem .They try to make themselves feel better by making sure that they can control children around them . It is important that students understand the terrible effects that bullying can have on the victim.
Hopefully this education will help children understand the effects, supporting any school anti bullying campaign .
System in place to report bullying
All schools should have a system in place for a child to report bullying ( anonymously if need be ).This must be well advertised at the school .If there is no system in place parents should lobby for one .These systems should be drawn up with the advice of a professional counselor .All reports must be taken seriously.
Counseling must be available
Counseling should be available through the school for children who are victims of bullying and for those that do the bullying .If need be these children should be referred to therapists outside of school for on going assistance .
Bullying Awareness Campaigns
Regular awareness campaigns should be held at schools both in assemblies as well as backed up by support in the classroom .Poster competitions can be held highlighting Anti Bullying .Classes and groups of children could act out play situations where bullying may take place .Teachers can assist by helping children to understand the impacts of bullying.
Consequences of Bullying
Schools should have in place systems where there are strong consequences for bullying.Bullying is actually an illegal in 49 states.Zero tolerance should be shown .However once reported,efforts must be made to get to try and establish why the bullying is taking place .
Family relationships and Bullying
Parents also need to be educated and pass this onto their children that bullying is not acceptable behavior. Families should examine their family relationships and make sure that there is no bullying at home .
Mention should be made of the growing trend of cyber bullying . Children must be taught never to respond to this form of bullying.Report any bullying on social media to parents and teachers . They must be taught to protect their accounts and save evidence if necessary .
Bullying has been part of our society since the beginning of time and it is not going to disappear very easily.Hopefully with a joint effort between schools,parents and children it eventually will .