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Bullying has proven to be a pervasive issue that affects schools across the country regardless of their size. While the challenges of preventing bullying have been around for centuries, developments in mobile technology and social media have taken bullying to new territories. In addition to traditional methods used to prevent bullying, these modern problems necessitate a modern solution.
Bullying does not necessarily mean physical abuse. In many instances, it involves taunting or teasing the victim. It can also happen indirectly, with the bully spreading rumors or making threats to the victim behind his or her back - as is often the case with cyberbullying.
According to a study from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 1 out of 4 middle school students say they have been bullied, while 15% of high schools students answer similarly. Bullying can lead to any number of problems for victims, including a higher suicide rate, worse performance in school and more. According to the CDC:
- 22.5% of high school bullying victims are likely to consider suicide
- 40.9% of middle school bullying victims are likely to intentionally harm themselves
- 20.4% of high school bullying victims are likely to be physically hurt by a family member
However, many parents, teachers and school administrators are not taking the necessary steps to prevent bullying. In fact, some adults consider bullying a part of growing up and something that will pass over time. But in reality, bullying can cause long-lasting mental and emotional damage, including depression and anxiety.
This is not an issue that only affects the victims either. A study from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln shows that the bullies themselves are at greater risk of depression and anxiety, and are more likely to drop out of school or perform worse in classes than their peers.
Furthermore, schools that do not effectively prevent bullying may suffer reputational damage and risk losing the trust of their students and parents.
Fortunately, there are steps schools and parents - as well as students - can take to stop and even prevent bullying. Communication and commitment are key. Communities must make a concerted effort to notice the signs of bullying and raise a red flag as soon as possible. This does not always mean reporting incidents to legal authorities, but this may be necessary in serious or pervasive situations.
Educating teachers, parents and students about the issue can also go a long to preventing and stopping bullying in schools. There are several approaches schools can take to accomplish this, including:
- Providing teachers with training through seminars that discuss how to recognize and prevent bullying
- Holding school-wide assemblies that inform both students and teachers about the effects of bullying and how to stop it
- Sending or emailing flyers that highlight the dangers of bullying and present parents with talking points to discuss with their children
- Hanging up posters and flyers that remind students and teachers about what they’ve learned in assemblies and provide information about how to prevent and report bullying
These efforts can be taken further with the uTip bullying notification solution from e2Campus. The tool enables students, faculty and parents to report bullying anonymously through text messages, ensuring the proper people are quickly made aware of the bullying.
Discover how uTip can be implemented in less than an hour to help prevent and stop bullying in your school.