You Big Bully!

BullyThere is no doubt that bullying is a problem in U.S. schools, but just how much of a problem is it? The latest bullying statistics 2014 reflect bullying in “real life,” as well as cyber bullying. The numbers are both shocking and disheartening.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) anti-bullying website, Stopbullying.gov, bullying is defined as “intentionally aggressive, usually repeated” verbal, social, or physical behavior aimed at a specific person or group of people. And recent news stories abound where the target is harassed through social media or other.  The majority of bullying still takes place at school; 1 in 3 U.S. students say they have been bullied at school, according to the DHHS.

Most of the student in the study reported name calling as the most prevalent type of bullying, followed by teasing, rumor-spreading, physical incidents, purposeful isolation, threats, belongings being stolen, and sexual harassment.

A simple message, such as ‘Bullying is not tolerated,’ is not likely to be very effective, and effective anti-bullying programs need to focus on the bystanders, who can step in and stop the behavior.

83 percent of girls, and 79 percent of boys report being bullied either in school or online.  75 percent of school shootings have been linked to harassment and bullying against the shooter.

The Targets – Unfortunately, children and teens who are considered “different” from their peers are the most frequent targets of bullies. Special needs students; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) students; students who are overweight; and students who are perceived as “weak” are the most likely targets of bullying by others.

Unfortunately, only 20-30 percent of students who are bullied tell adults or authorities about their situations.

Not shockingly, students who are bullies as young adults continue the trend of abuse and violence into adulthood. By the age of 30, approximately 40 percent of boys who were identified as bullies in middle- and high school had been arrested three or more times.

We Can  Help!

School bullying prevention programs are known to decrease bullying in schools up to 25 percent.  When an adult intervenes in a bullying incident, it stops within 10 seconds or more about 57 percent of the time. This is why addressing the problem often cuts down on bullying incidents that happen daily.

Each day about 160,000 students miss school because of bullying or because of their fear of being bullied. The sad fact is that every 7 minutes a child is bullied on the playground. Adult intervention is often 4%, peer or classmate intervention is 11%, and no intervention is 85%. This means that is more common for these incidents to be ignored.

Written byOrthodontic Specialists of Florida July 1, 2014