Revision as of 10:32, 15 April 2011 by WikiSysopMPD
- Bullying is a widespread and serious problem that can happen anywhere. It is not a phase children have to go through, it is not "just messing around", and it is not something to grow out of. Bullying can cause serious and lasting harm.
- Although definitions of bullying vary, most agree that bullying involves
- Imbalance of Power: people who bully use their power to control or harm and the people being bullied may have a hard time defending themselves
- Intent to Cause Harm: actions done by accident are not bullying; the person bullying has a goal to cause harm
- Repetition: incidents of bullying happen to the same the person over and over by the same person or group
- Types of Bullying
- Bullying can take many forms. Examples include:
- Verbal: name-calling, teasing
- Social:spreading rumors, leaving people out on purpose, breaking up friendships
- Physical: hitting, punching, shoving
- Cyberbullying: using the Internet, mobile phones or other digital technologies to harm others
- An act of bullying may fit into more than one of these groups.
- There are many warning signs that could indicate that someone is involved in bullying, either by bullying others or by being bullied. However, these warning signs may indicate other issues or problems, as well. If you are a parent or educator, learn more about talking to someone about bullying.
- Being Bullied
- Comes home with damaged or missing clothing or other belongings
- Reports losing items such as books, electronics, clothing, or jewelry
- Has unexplained injuries
- Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches, or feeling sick
- Has trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams
- Has changes in eating habits
- Hurts themselves
- Are very hungry after school from not eating their lunch
- Runs away from home
- Loses interest in visiting or talking with friends
- Is afraid of going to school or other activities with peers
- Loses interest in school work or begins to do poorly in school
- Appears sad, moody, angry, anxious or depressed when they come home
- Talks about suicide
- Feels helpless
- Often feels like they are not good enough
- Blames themselves for their problems
- Suddenly has fewer friends
- Avoids certain places
- Acts differently than usual
- Bullying Others
- Becomes violent with others
- Gets into physical or verbal fights with others
- Gets sent to the principal’s office or detention a lot
- Has extra money or new belongings that cannot be explained
- Is quick to blame others
- Will not accept responsibility for their actions
- Has friends who bully others
- Needs to win or be best at everything
- Bullying has serious and lasting effects. While these effects may also be caused by other factors, research has found bullying has significant effects for those who are bullied, those who bully others, and those who witness bullying.
- People Who are Bullied
- Have higher risk of depression and anxiety, including the following symptoms, that may persist into adulthood:
- Increased feelings of sadness and loneliness
- Changes in sleep and eating patterns
- Loss of interest in activities
- Have increased thoughts about suicide that may persist into adulthood. In one study, adults who recalled being bullied in youth were 3 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts or inclinations.
- Are more likely to have health complaints. In one study, being bullied was associated with physical health status 3 years later.
- Have decreased academic achievement (GPA and standardized test scores) and school participation.
- Are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.
- Are more likely to retaliate through extremely violent measures. In 12 of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990s, the shooters had a history of being bullied.
- People Who Bully Others
- Have a higher risk of abusing alcohol and other drugs in adolescence and as adults.
- Are more likely to get into fights, vandalize property, and drop out of school.
- Are more likely to engage in early sexual activity.
- Are more likely to have criminal convictions and traffic citations as adults. In one study, 60% of boys who bullied others in middle school had a criminal conviction by age 24.
- Are more likely to be abusive toward their romantic partners, spouses or children as adults.
- People Who Witness Bullying
- Have increased use of tobacco, alcohol or other drugs.
- Have increased mental health problems, including depression and anxiety.
- Are more likely to miss or skip school.
- How Do I Get Help?
- There are things you can do to stop the bullying. Visit pages that apply directly to you:
- If you are a parent or guardian, talk to the school administration or the adult that supervises your child’s community activities.
- What to Do When Bullying Continues or Gets Worse
- If the bullying gets worse and you need additional help, consider the following if:
|Someone is at immediate risk of harm because of bullying||Call the police 911|
|Your child is feeling suicidal because of bullying||Contact the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)|
|Your child’s teacher is not keeping your child safe from being bullied||Contact local school administrator (principal or superintendent) or your local school resource officer (208-847-1324)|
|Your school is not keeping your child safe from being bullied||Contact the State School Department|
|Your child is sick, stressed, not sleeping, or is having other problems because of bullying||Contact your counselor or other health professional or Bear Lake Memorial Hospital Counseling Services - (208)-847-4464 - after hours or emergency (208)-847-1630|
|Your child is bullied because of their race, ethnicity, or disability and local help is not working to solve the problem||Contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Office on Civil Rights|