The 21st Century Problem in Schools: Bullying, and How to Keep Your Kid From Being a Victim
Children bullying other children has been an issue since there were children, and though it has often been downplayed as “part of growing up,” it has always had potentially serious implications from an emotional perspective.
But these days, due to a host of factors such as our society’s glorification of celebrity and being popular, violence in mass media, and easy access to deadly weapons, the implications can be especially risky. At the extreme, in many of the school shootings over the last decade, the perpetrators were withdrawn students who had a history of being bullied. Though still largely ignored or discounted as a minor issue, bullying is a very serious – and growing – problem.
According to a new study of two schools by UCLA researchers, 47 percent of sixth graders in one school and 46 percent in the other said they’d been bullied at least once during a five-day period.
Bullying can take on many forms-name calling, teasing, spreading rumors, physical aggression-and the end result can be tragic, both for the victim and the bully. After being teased, even if it’s “just joking around,” kids are seriously affected, and verbal abuse happens twice as often as physical abuse, according to the UCLA study that was published in the March/April issue of the journal Child Development.