The effects of bullying can attack a child’s well being. It can severely impact their mental health, drive them to substance abuse, and elevate the risk of suicide. It has no place in today’s society, and we’re working with programs to help children maintain high self-esteem and a sense of well-being to eliminate bullying all together.
StopBullying.gov compiled the following statistics from their studies:
▪ 28% of U.S. students in grades 6–12 experienced bullying
▪ 30% of young people admit to bullying others
▪ 70.6% of young people say they have seen bullying in their schools
▪ 70.4% of school staff have seen bullying
▪ When bystanders intervene, bullying stops within 10 seconds 57% of the time
▪ The most common types of bullying are verbal and social. Physical bullying happens less often. Cyberbullying happens the least frequently.
▪ Only 20 to 30% of students who are bullied say something
Not all children will show warning signs, but the following are indicators that may point to a larger problem:
▪ Unexplainable injuries
▪ Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
▪ Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
▪ Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating
▪ Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
▪ Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
▪ Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
▪ Self-destructive behaviors
While the signs might vary, children who are bullying others:
▪ Get into physical or verbal fights
▪ Have friends who bully others
▪ Are increasingly aggressive
▪ Get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently
▪ Have unexplained extra money or new belongings
▪ Blame others for their problems
▪ Don’t accept responsibility for their actions
▪ Are competitive and worry about their reputation or popularity
Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things and includes:
▪ Teasing, name-calling and taunting
▪ Threatening to cause harm
Social bullying involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships and includes:
▪ Leaving someone out on purpose
▪ Spreading rumors about someone
▪ Embarrassing someone in public
Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions and includes:
▪ Hitting, kicking, pinching, spitting tripping or pushing
▪ Taking or breaking someone’s things
▪ Making mean or rude hand gestures
Parents, school staff, and other caring adults have a role to play in preventing bullying. They can:
▪ Help kids understand bullying. Talk about what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely. Tell kids bullying is unacceptable. Make sure kids know how to get help.
▪ Keep the lines of communication open. Check in with kids often. Listen to them. Know their friends, ask about school, and understand their concerns.
▪ Encourage kids to do what they love. Special activities, interests, and hobbies can boost confidence, help kids make friends, and protect them from bullying behavior.
▪ Model how to treat others with kindness and respect.
Several years ago, our 2014 Youth Award Honoree Jaylen Arnold was giving a presentation on the effects of bullying at a middle school in Florida. After the presentation, a girl named Rose approached him and confided in him that she was planning to commit suicide that night. She even showed Jaylen the marks on her arms where she had been cutting.
Because of Jaylen’s presentation through his nonprofit organization, Jaylen’s Challenge, he was able to connect and intervene. Rose told him that she didn’t want to die anymore, and with resources Jaylen was able to pull together, they saved her life.