Is your child getting bullied? As a parent of a child with special needs, you're most likely not a stranger to bullying.
We know bullying exists, but do we fully understand its scale?
Statistics show that bullying is much more of a problem than we may think. The latest statistics reflect that, and the numbers are shocking. Before we get into the numbers, let's define bullying:
Intentionally aggressive, usually repeated, verbal, social, or physical behavior aimed at a specific person or group of people.
Why Kids bully others
A study by UCLA says that many bullies are incentivized by the social status gained after bullying (in middle school.) Nearly 2,000 students were surveyed, and the results found that most bullies were deemed "cool" by their peers. (Students who were surveyed answered with the names of kids who were considered "cool" – the same students were considered bullies by the surveyed students.) Other research shows that there is a relation between substance abuse and bullying.
So where does bullying take place?
Bullying usually happens at school.
30 percent of students say they've been bullied at school according to the DHHS.
20 percent of U.S. students in grades 9-12 reportedly have experienced bullying or are feeling bullied
28 percent of students in grades 6-12 report the same, and experts agree that most incidences of bullying occur during middle school
29.3 percent of middle school students had experienced bullying in the classroom
29 percent experienced it in hallways or lockers
23.4 percent were bullied in the cafeteria
19.5 percent were bullied during gym class
12.2 percent of bullied kids couldn’t even escape the torture in the bathroom
70.6 percent of teens have seen bullying occurring in their schools
30 percent of young people admit to bullying themselves
57 percent of the time when someone intervenes, bullying stops within 10 seconds
Forms of bullying
The most cited form of bullying is name calling. This is followed by teasing, rumor-spreading, physical incidents, purposeful isolation, threats, belongings being stolen, and sexual harassment. Cyberbullying occurred with the least frequency.
How to stop bullying
In this study, the messages that were proven to work most effectively in anti-bullying campaigns were focused on intervention.
"Bullying is not tolerated" is not likely to be very effective
Effective anti-bullying programs need to focus on the bystanders, who can step in and stop the behavior
If your child is getting bullied
Although bullying happens more and more frequently these days, it's important that parents take action. If you have taken measures against bullying, and the problem still persists, it's time to start considering a more significant change. Many of our students have come from public schools where they were the center of a bully's attention. Their exceptionalities should not be used against them, they should be embraced. That's why we absolutely pride ourselves on creating an inclusive environment where students treat each other with respect and are set up to thrive.