by Katherine Reilly
Have you ever been bullied at school? The answer, whether one likes to admit it or not is ‘yes’. School bullying is the most common form of violence students experience today. Most students admit to being bullied at least once per week, while other cases are more frequent – some on a daily basis.
What’s made matters even worse, is the increased accessibility to the Internet and the affordability of technology, offering bullies even greater tools to harass their victims. ‘Cyber-bullying’, as it is now known, has contributed even further, to the suicide of multiple children.
Some statistics show that over 60% of children with autism have been bullied three times more than other children, while the numbers are also high for migrants as well as students of the LGBTQ community.
Now, for the question lingering in your mind. Is there a way to handle bullying? I’ll answer by asking you this… Should we just sit idly by and do nothing? There are ways to handle bullying as long as the school, parents and the victimized child work together.
1) Teachers and Parents should look for signs that something might be wrong
It’s extremely difficult for a child to find the courage to speak up and tell his beloved ones about the ordeal he’s going through. Most students who are being bullied are usually depressed, agitated or even scared. One usual reaction is to lash out to their parents or exhibit a notable decline in their progress at school. We should always be wary of any signs the student shows which are out of character and are concerning.
If this is the case, the students’ parents must immediately contact the school principal and his teachers, to handle this issue accordingly.
2) Show your child support
Parents should always listen to the child’s story without interrupting. They should explain to their child that it’s normal to be upset and that no one has the right to bully anyone. Ask for a complete description of the incidents (when, where, who) and contact the school administration. If the child wants to stay home, calmly explain that this won’t solve the problem and might make matters even worse.
3) Students must support each other
When a child is bullied, the immediate reaction his peers will have is to laugh at his expense; not because they find it amusing, it is due to the fact that they are also afraid of falling victims to bullies. Students must find the courage to support one another.
- Students should show their disapproval during these horrible incidents and in turn, support the victim by comforting and encouraging him.
- Incidents of bullying should be reported to the administration of the school, as well as their own parents. These issues could be addressed at parent meetings and can be dealt with more efficiently in the future.
- Finally, they should attempt to defuse the incident either alone or in a group. Bullies are cowards; when they see others around them in numbers, they just flee.
Admitting to being bullied needs a lot of strength. If you are being bullied, just remember…
“IT’S NOT YOUR FAULT! TELL YOUR FAMILY AND TEACHERS ABOUT IT!
YOU’RE NOT ALONE!”
– Katherine Reilly