Bullying is such a complex and wide spread issue, which can have life-long implications for all parties involved. I recently spent time in the Behavioral Health and Prevention Services (BHPS) Department at the NWESD and had an opportunity to chat with the staff about bullying. What I found staggering was recent data that showed nearly 30% of American students have reported being part of a bullying incident. This means that 5.7 million children nationwide have experienced either being a victim, a bystander or the bully. And while I found that number relatively shocking, other reports found that 64% of children who are bullied do not report it;*Heartbreaking.
Much of my conversation with the BHPS staff was around the Bullying Awareness Guidebook on the Accredited Schools Online website, and the eye-opening data it presented. Did you know that 28% of students between the ages of 12 and 18 reports being bullied at school? That is just unacceptable. When you look at the cycle of bullying (also in the guidebook), you realize how many people are actually involved in an incident – directly and indirectly. This underscores the seriousness of this problem and the impact beyond the victim and the bully.
Thankfully, we have groups like the BHPS staff that are addressing the issue. Simple steps can be taken to decrease these numbers, and I plan to be part of the solution. Take a moment to review the Bullying Awareness Guidebook and connect with the BHPS department to discuss new programs and initiatives for your school or district. It's time to give students a chance to learn in a safe, secure, and healthy environment.
*Michaelis, Dr. Ben, and Dr. Steven C. Schlozman, M.D. "The Bullying Awareness Guidebook." AccreditedSchoolsOnline.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2015.