Bullying. It’s a big issue. 74% of 8-11 year olds say bullying happens in their schools. It’s in the news all the time…from the positive (e.g., the Dignity for All Students Act and the ‘Be an Ally’ campaigns to encourage us all to stand up and speak up) to the negative (e.g, girl on girl bullying and cyberbullying.)
What do you need to know?
- How can you tell is your child is affected by bullying? Here’s an article that covers all you need to look for, 14 Signs that Your Child is Bullied or Being a Bully.
- This is a normal part of growing up… like all stages, this too will pass, right? Nor really. Studies show that the behavior patterns we learn as children tend to ‘grow up’ with us as we assume more adult relationships. So for both victims and kids with bullying behaviors, there’s a greater incidence of dating violence, relationship abuse and sexual violence later in life.
- Bullying behaviors may be a gateway to criminal behavior? Wow…that’s a reason to take it seriously. According to the aforementioned 14 signs article, Some consider adolescent bullying a “gateway” criminal behavior. According to the National Education Association’s position statement on Bullying and Harassment, “Boys identified as bullies in grades six through nine had one criminal conviction by age 24. Forty percent of those identified had three or more arrests by age 30. Bullies are at even greater risk of suicide than their targets. Bullies often grow up to perpetuate family violence.”