Bullying: A Big Problem with Bigger Consequences
Some people feel that bullying is a normal or an inevitable part of growing up. It doesn’t have to be that way! There will always be conflicts between kids, but bullying is intentional cruelty, harassment, and emotional, physical, and sometimes sexual abuse. This behavior can set the tone for a lifetime of problems, for the victim, the bully, and the upstander. We can work together to take this problem seriously and create change for the better.
Let’s look at the big picture of how prevalent bullying is.
- 1 out of 4 teens are bullied.
• 9 out of 10 LGBTQ+ students experienced harassment at school and online.
• 5.4 million students stay home on any given day because they’re afraid of being bullied.
• 1 out of 5 kids admits to being a bully or doing some “bullying”.
• 43% fear harassment in the bathroom at school.
• 282,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month.
• More youth violence occurs on school grounds as opposed to on the way to school.
• 80% of the time, an argument with a bully will end up in a physical fight.
• 1/3 of students surveyed said they heard another student threaten to kill someone.
• Playground statistics– Every 7 minutes a child is bullied.
Adult intervention happens 4% of the time. Peer intervention 11% of the time. No intervention happens in 85% of bullying incidents.
Bullying can affect everyone and anyone.
A target of bullying can have increased depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed.
Bullying can cause decreased academic achievement and school participation. Kids who are bullied are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.
Bullying can cause health complaints.
Kids who bully are more likely to get into fights, vandalize property, and drop out of school. They are more likely to abuse alcohol and other drugs in adolescence and as adults. They are more likely to have criminal convictions and traffic citations as adults. They are also more likely to be abusive as adults towards their partners, spouses, and children.
Bystanders or witnesses to bullying are more likely to have increased use of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs. They are more likely to have increased health problems, including depression and anxiety. They are also more likely to skip or miss school than those who do not witness bullying.
Let’s get involved and change this! When bystanders become upstanders, it not only helps the victims of bullying, but shows other bystanders how to take action to prevent or address bullying. An upstander is someone who sees a problem and takes action, particularly someone who intervenes on behalf of a person being attacked or bullied. Let’s work together to take a stand against bullying!
You’re not alone in this and neither is your child.