Writers Name: Rosey Denise White
Title: Preventing Bullying is Everybody’s Business
For some unbeknown reason, many seem preferable having limited discussions on sensitive issues that are often complicated. Uncomfortable territories like incest, rape, sexual orientation, and others go unnoticed on purpose; particularly within the black family unit. Bullying is no different despite it being an issue that can affect everyone. Bullying is not a cultural issue, it is a community problem nationwide. According to www.bullyingstatisics.org, almost half of all primary and secondary education students will experience bullying incidents during their time spent at school.
In recent years, the media has brought more attention to the bullying trend. This is due in part to the increase in violence that bullying has produced. Unfortunately many children and teenagers are succumbing to the pressures of bullying through suicide. Several bullying victims have taken their own lives leaving the parents with burdens of grief, and misunderstanding. Earlier this year, a seven year old boy was found hanging from a bunk bed with a belt around his neck, this is according to the Detroit News. It was reported the boy, who has not been publically named, was depressed due to teasing at school because he was the only boy in a family of eight girls. Unfortunately, events like these will only increase unless a stronger awareness about bullying infects the community.
The only sure way to provide an effective solution to any problem is by first understanding it. Bullying is not merely childhood teasing. Bullying is described as intimidation or domination toward a perceived weaker person. This is not always achieved with physical violence; bullying can be both verbal and emotional without provocation. Some of the warning signs of a child who is being bullied include depression, declined school performance and fear of school. Because these warning signs could be associated with other issues, it is important for parents and educators to discuss bullying directly. Create an environment of trust and ask children outright if they are being bullied in school. Encourage them to speak freely about any issues they experience themselves or witness in school. It is also a good idea to identify if your child is a bully. Children and teens who are bullies may show warning signs of extreme aggression. He or she may view violence as a solution to problems and may also display signs of frustration easily. Developing honest communication is paramount to combating bullying. Information can assist adults in accessing the temperature of bullying in the school and community. Knowledge enables adults to work with educators to create a plan of action and support.
Bullying is a serious behavior that damages the self-esteem of the victim as well as the perpetrator. One in seven kids is bullied and an average of 160,000 kids nationwide miss school every day due to fear of being bullied. These statistics prove that bullying deserves meaningful discussions. We are all charged with the responsibility of providing safe environments for children to learn, interact and enjoy. Bullying cannot be the exception to this golden rule. Become involved in your child’s life by discussing the effects of bullying. Ensure that someone you love is not an aggressor or becomes a victim.