Thursday, November 3, 2011

25 Facts for Bullying Prevention Month

Bullying exists as more than just a buzzword these days: it's a serious issue that's been troubling individuals and societies worldwide for centuries and is only just now receiving the essential attention. An article such as this cannot entirely summarize the social disease's true complexities, so it focuses mainly on the education sector. Even then, not everything comes to light. It does, however, offer up a quick overview of the various ways in which children and teens emotionally and physically suffer as a result of others' cruelty. Looking at some numbers behind the plague's ravages marks the first step in combating it for good. Spend this Bullying Prevention Month researching beyond the statistics listed here, and start fighting the good fight and standing up for victims in November.

  1. Thirty-three percent of kids say they're bullied "every once in a while, but not every week:"

    By contrast, eight percent report it happening on a daily basis, seven percent say every week, and 52% say they've never experienced bullying at all.
  2. Fifty-eight percent of kids say they've never bullied a peer

    Scarily enough, 15% reported that they do it every day, and 22% consider bullying a "once in a while" activity. Only five percent engage in bullying behaviors on a weekly basis.
  3. Victim-blamers are more likely to bully

    An upcoming (at the time of this writing) study showed that elementary and middle school students are far more likely to brutalize one another if they feel a specific trait is the victim's fault. Perspectives painting the obese as nothing but a choice, for example, even though numerous other genetic and medical factors beyond their control might be at play.
  4. Around five percent of students avoid school outright

    Some school avoidance might not stem directly from bullying, but it's still a very common motivator all the same. Depression and anxiety amplify in victims, causing physiological side effects and making many feel too ill to attend class. These behaviors not only negatively impact their health, but academic performance as well.
  5. Apathy and fear motivate office bullying

    And these negative emotions snake their way down the hierarchy if those in power positions feel isolated from decision-making processes. Unfortunately, many "hands-off" companies ultimately facilitate office bullying with their lax policies and enforcement, which particularly screws over lower-level employees.
  1. Four out of five LGBTQIA teens feel like they have no support from teachers and administrators

    Both in and out of school, members of the LGBTQIA community remain some of the most vulnerable to bullying. When it comes to high schoolers, many feel as if no authority figures will guide them through regular brutality, leaving them more entrenched in depression and anxiety and at risk of self-destructive and suicidal behaviors.
  2. Twenty-two percent of LGBTQIA teens have skipped school for safety reasons

    Within the past month, by the way. And thinking the adults in their high schools don't care only exacerbates their desperate situations.
  3. There are three "styles" of bullying

    Verbal, which involves any sort of aggressive, spoken taunts, insults, threats, hate speech and other piercing, damaging words. Physical, which should be self-explanatory. And social, which manifests itself via rumors, purposeful exclusions and other words and actions meant to isolate and ostracize from further away.
  4. Bullying increases the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors

    In both victims and perpetrators, interestingly enough. However, the former are more at risk of suicidal actions, while guilty parties usually think more than behave. Females admitted to these unfortunate psychological constructs more often than males, although they plague both demographics
  5. No state has passed laws regarding hazing or cyberbullying

    However, every state except for South Dakota does have legislation guarding against harassment and/or bullying, so victims and, when applicable, their parents might want to be aware of what charges can and cannot be pressed. Unfortunately, though, the lack of cyberbullying and hazing laws makes it more difficult to defend the bullied brutalized from such situations.
  1. More than half of minority students receive race- and ethnicity-related slurs in school

    This statistics includes Latin American, Black/African-American, Asian, Pacific Islander and mixed-race students. Native Americans, however, experienced such bullying at a lessened, but still disconcerting, rate, at 43% reporting verbal harassment regarding their race and/or ethnicity. Roughly a quarter of Asian, Pacific Islander and Black/African-American kids and teens compromise their attendance in order to stay away from their bullies.
  2. Native American students receive more bullying for their religious views than anything else

    Although bullying targeting their race and ethnicity happens at a lower rate than their minority peers, 54% of Native American students suffer from verbal harassment regarding religion. A further 26% find themselves physically victimized for the same reasons. Over one-third end up skipping school to avoid persecution, making them and Latin Americans (whose statistics remain similar) the most likely to fall behind academically as a direct result of bullying.
  3. Less than half of bullied minority students report incidents

    Many feel as if teachers, administrators and even parents won't properly address the issue, maybe even ignore it entirely. Of the individuals who do report bullying, less than half claimed the intervening adults did little to actually assuage a continuing problem.
  4. The staggering majority of school bullying situations receive no intervention

    Eighty-three percent, in fact. Only four percent of incidents involve intervening adults, and 11% see peers coming to victims' defenses or acting as mediators. Seeing as how school bullying happens every seven minutes, that means a stomach-churning, heart-wrenching amount of students suffering alone.
  5. Most kids are cyberbullies…and most kids are cyberbullied

    Abusing one another online is apparently the hot new trend. Although 58% of children say they've received threatening or insulting comments online, with 40% saying it's happened on multiple occasions. However, many of these victims turn right back around and lay the pain on others, as catharsis one would imagine. Fifty-three percent admitted they themselves perpetuated cyberbullying, and one in every three bullies said they did it more than once.
  1. Eighty percent of arguments end in physical altercations

    Arguments with bullies, of course. In fact, around 282,000 secondary school students end up attacked on campus every month, and one out of three report overhearing death threats.
  2. Most education professionals consider bullying a "minor problem:"

    Only eight percent think it serious or critical, as opposed to 35% for moderate, 47% for minor and, scarily enough, 10% for "not a problem." However, the numbers do go up a bit when it comes to urban (15% consider bullying a major issue) and middle (15%) school professionals.
  3. Most education professionals witness bullying approximately once a month

    Approximately 25%, with 13% claiming they never saw any at all, 25% reporting two to three times a month, 16% saying once a week, 15% witnessing bullying several times a week and nine percent, sadly, watching it happen daily. All of this going down within the span of a month. Once again, rates increased in urban and middle school settings.
  4. Eighty-nine percent of education professionals think it their job to intervene

    On a less somber note, the majority of teachers and education support professionals do consider bullying intervention part of the job description. Now it's just a matter of reaching out to and changing the hearts of the two percent who don't.
  5. The majority of schools have "formal bullying prevention efforts," but not as many as one would think

    Only 58% of American schools hold explicit anti-bullying policies and programs, although 62% of both the elementary and high school levels provide such services. Unfortunately, only 39% of educational professionals admit they take part in any available bullying prevention efforts. And schools without more formalized policies still have some sort of rules against it: 93% of all institutions, in fact.
  1. But what's the point, if only 54% of educational professionals receive anti-bullying training?

    Which means 46% of teachers and education support professionals have no idea how to handle a bullying situation when it crops up. That certainly bodes well for their victimized students!
  2. Twenty-one percent of middle and high schoolers report gang presence on campus

    Within the previous six months, however. Students in urban areas with high gang activity are also twice as likely to fear commutes to and from school, as gang activity does increase one's risk of becoming a bullying victim.
  3. No gender delineation exists in bullying

    Both males and females (if one must go with a bipolar gender model, anyways) are just as likely to be victims and perpetrators in a bullying situation. However, the ladies utilize social methods more than physical, while the menfolk prefer fists for fighting. In addition, public and private school dwellers hover at roughly the same bullying rates.
  4. Six percent of students carry weapons to school

    Although the rate dropped by half between 1993 and 2003, that number should still warrant concern. These findings, however, did not indicate motivations behind the presence of weapons, but many can presume self-defense ranks pretty high up there. In fact, four percent of students explicitly avoid certain corners of campus to protect themselves.
  5. Teachers get bullied, too

    Nineteen percent of principals reported that their teachers received taunts, threats and other disrespectful comments and actions on a daily or weekly basis. Student bullying most frequently receives media attention and scientific studies, but it happens to adults as well, both inside and outside the classroom.

Disclosure: I did not receive any products nor was paid for this post. I was provided info from the company or PR firm to share. Thanks to onlinecollege.org for the article. The expressed opinions are my own and personal thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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