Bullying: A Scary Situation for One-in-Five Students
Monday, October 31, 2022
It's the last day of National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, and experts are reminding Ohioans to be aware of the patterns within bullying.
One in five students reports being bullied, says the National Center for Education Statistics. Cyberbullying has come to the forefront as a problem, but there's frequently an offline component as well.
Research suggests bullying peaks in middle school, and 50% of students ages 9 to 12 say they've experienced it at school.
Jan Helson is co-founder and board chair of the Global Game Changers Children's Education Initiative, a nonprofit focused on social-emotional learning. She said building confidence and empathy are key in helping to prevent bullying.
"If you build a child's core where they feel confident about themselves and who they are, and have empathy for others, then it helps to avoid bullying in the first place," Helson asserted.
Ohio has anti-bullying laws in schools, but they do not cover off-campus conduct. Students who are bullied are at a higher risk for depression, anxiety and sleep problems, along with lower academic achievement and a higher risk of dropping out of school.
Research suggests school-based anti-bullying programs decrease bullying by 20%. No matter the approach, Helson emphasized it is important for students to remain in dialogue with parents and teachers.
"Whether it's a teacher communicating with students, or whether it's a parent communicating is to really stress the importance of opening up that dialogue and providing your child a safe space and looking for those signs, whether they are the victim or the bully," Helson outlined. "Parents have to be open-minded to both sides of that."
Helson explained the root cause of bullying often is the bully's own insecurity, and noted it is helpful to consider the inner life of the bully.
"What is it about their background? I think having children understand and have empathy that maybe that bully has something going on in their life that they have no control over," Helson advised. "It's a way of them feeling like they have control of something, making them feel bigger than others."
She added empathy for the bully does not mean accepting their behavior, but giving students insight into the lives of others may help break down the barriers with bullies.
get more stories like this via email
Groups fighting for Palestinian rights are praising a new fact sheet on religious discrimination from the U.S. Department of Education's Office for …
Lawmakers and immigrants-rights activists in the Commonwealth are hoping to pass the Language Access and Inclusion Act, which would dramatically …
New U.S. Department of Agriculture rules will target fraud and increase oversight of the $64 billion-a-year organic food industry. In Iowa, the …
By Jennifer Weiss-Wolf for Ms. Magazine.Broadcast version by Eric Galatas for Colorado News Connection reporting for the Ms. Magazine-Public News …
Health and Wellness
With Black History Month underway, Wisconsin researchers and support groups are highlighting the disparities in cases of Alzheimer's disease…
North Dakota's plan to boost animal agriculture has reignited a thorny issue: loosening restrictions on corporate ownership of farms. The state said …
Oregon is pursuing an aggressive climate plan to switch to renewable energy sources, but it faces one often overlooked issue: enough high-voltage …
A measure in the Washington State Legislature would provide free school meals to K-12 students, but nutrition service workers are worried they are …