Category Archives: Bullying

Why Bullying May Never End

Education Week Blogs, December 8, 2011

By Peter DeWitt on December 6, 2011 9:18 AM

“It’s like hearing the same song too many times on the radio. After a while people turn the station.”

The word “bullying” is used on a daily basis. We usually hear it for the first time when we’re watching the news in the morning as we get ready for work or school. There are sad stories from around the nation about children who are being bullied by their peers. The media often focuses on the worst stories of bullying because those are the ones that make the headlines. However, there are millions of more stories happening every day that hopefully will not have the same tragic endings but they are just as serious.

Bullying is targeted behavior on the part of one or more people toward one person. Bullying does not just happen in schools, it happens in neighborhoods where children live, the workplace, on television and even at home from a parent, sibling or another family member. As viewers, we are actually exposed to bullying by the turn of a channel. It involves one victim and one or more bullies. It can be from student to student, or adult to student and adult to adult.

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The following questions come to mind where bullying is concerned:
• How can we teach children to be an upstander (bystander who intervenes) when the adults around them won’t stand up?
• How often have you seen an adult talk about another adult or child on Facebook? If you have, how many “friends” comment negatively about the situation that they really know nothing about?
• How often, as an adult, have you not intervened in a situation because you didn’t want the bully to make you or your child the next victim?
• How often as a teacher or administrator, have you asked the victim to change their behavior so they will not be bullied?

Bullying is quite a popular word. 24/7 media focus on the worst cases, which is important because it provides viewers a glimpse into how, even the smallest of bullying issues, can end. However, this constant focus on the part of the media, although important, can lead many adults and children to take the issue less seriously. It’s like hearing the same song too many times on the radio. After a while people turn the station.

If we’re going to talk about bullying, then we need to make sure that we are focusing on real bullying issues and it will take more than just the school system to tackle this problem. Bullying is an issue that takes parents, schools and the media, and given the amount of mixed messages all of those groups send students, we may never see an end to the problem.

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Psst! Anti-Bullying Program Quiets Playground Gossip

Education Week’s blogs > Inside School Research, By Sarah D. Sparks on January 5, 2011 12:45 PM

Recess whispers about who has “cooties” abound on elementary school playgrounds, but encouraging other students to reject this early gossip can protect its victims from social isolation and more severe bullying later on, a new University of Washington study finds.

In a randomized controlled study published in a special issue of School Psychology Review, researchers found “malicious gossip” dropped 72 percent after elementary schools instituted an anti-bullying program, Steps to Respect, that encouraged bystander students to stand up for ostracized children.

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Teen Turns Texting Into Anti-Bullying Tool

Education Week, January 29, 2011

Wantage, N.J.

Ashley Craig recalls a turning point in her life.

She was an 8th grader at Sussex Middle School when a classmate sat her down at a desk. “I’m going to end it,” she recalls him saying. “I don’t have any friends. People make fun of me. I’m going to end my life.”

She promised to keep his secret but immediately told a guidance counselor. The boy went into therapy, and later thanked her for saving his life.

Craig, a victim of taunting herself, decided to take a stand against bullying. After eight months of research, the now-14-year-old presented an anti-bullying campaign to the High Point Board of Education, and the board unanimously approved her initiative, “Students Against Being Bullied,” as a student group.

Craig, with assistance from school officials, is now implementing her three-tiered plan, which relies largely on teen favorite for communication: text messaging.

“It was my bullying experience, my friends, and, overall, just seeing the enormity of the issue (that motivated me),” she said. “It’s being called an epidemic now.

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