SAN ANGELO, TX -- More than one out of every five students report being bullied (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2016). October is National Bullying Prevention Month. According to the Department of Education, bullying is defined as unwanted aggressive behavior; observed or perceived power imbalance; and repetition of behaviors. Many children or teenagers get picked on because of their size, disability, or other factors.
Bullying includes causing physical harm, verbal attacks including rumors, and property damage. We know these incidents to occur at school, with the most common area are the hallways and classroom. Other areas include the cafeteria, bathroom, outside, or even on the school bus.
With technology at everyone’s fingertips, cyberbullying has been on the rise. Cyberbullying involves verbal attacks through electronic communication such as instant messaging, gaming, text or picture messages. This may vary from threats, spreading rumors, or destruction of electronic information. According to PACER, among high school students, 15 percent are cyberbullied and 20 percent are bullied on school property.
Many children feel ashamed about being bullied and become more afraid to tell an educator or their parents. The following signs may indicate your child is being bullied:
- Your child makes up excuses to avoid going to school
- Grades drop
- Has torn clothes and bruises
- Needs extra money because he/she was robbed
- Constantly hungry after school because their lunch or lunch money was stolen
- Loses possessions including toys, electronics, or clothes
- Wants to be driven or walked to and from school
- Shows fear, sadness, depression, anxiety, withdraws, or nightmares
- Has headaches, stomach aches, bruising, or other injuries
The best way to eliminate bullying is by having honest communication with your children about their friends and experiences. In addition, to having good relationships with educators. Sutliff & Stout has compiled a list of resources for parents and educators to assist in the efforts to combat all forms of bullying. It is important that our children have the ability to learn and grow up in safe environments.