Preparing Kids for the Start of School … and Bullying Prevention
Love Our Children USA announced today that bullying and teasing is at the top of kids’ issues at schools, and with school set to open in a few weeks, parents, teachers and school administrators should take caution and sensitivity in handling these issues.
Kids who are intimidated, threatened, or harmed by bullies often experience low self-esteem and depression, whereas those doing the bullying may go on to engage in more serious antisocial behaviors. Some kids are so traumatized by being bullied, that they contemplate suicide. Bullies often have been the victims of bullying or other mistreatment themselves.
Ross Ellis, Love Our Children USA Founder and Chief Executive Officer, remembers only too well what it is like to be bullied. Today it’s a regular occurrence in schools starting as early as kindergarten. And many kids have committed suicide because the taunting was so torturous.
Bullying can be so painful and clearly has played a role in recent school shootings across the country. While boys are more physical, girls use weapons, exclusion, slander, rumors and gossip.
And beware of cyberbullying which is on the rise. This social online cruelty is used in the forms of e-mail, cell phone; pager text messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal Web sites, and defamatory online personal polling Web sites, deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior, and is used by an individual or group -- intended to harm others – especially amongst our youth.
While most kids use the Internet for friendly interactions, more and more kids are using these communication tools to antagonize, terrorize and intimidate others.
In an effort to further prevent bullying, Krysten Moore, 2007 Miss New Jersey Teen International, has joined Love Our Children USA as a spokesperson for bullying prevention. And, to increase efforts to prevent cyberbullying, Love Our Children USA has formed a partnership with the New York State Office of Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure Coordination. Additionally, Love Our Children USA has partnered with the Supernanny to ensure that bullying prevention takes priority in our schools and communities.
Ellis said “Parents must keep open communication with their children. Look for signs. And school administrators can no longer sweep bullying under the rug. Students should be educated about the harmful effects of bullying. Every school should declare No Bullying Begins Today.”
Ellis urges all schools to get involved and work together with students, faculty and parents. She suggests that schools set up a web site where kids can anonymously report the person who is bullying them. That way victims can feel safe in making the report and the school can deal with the bully.
According to the Bureau of Justice - School Crime and Safety, recent statistics show:
• 1 out of 4 kids is bullied.
• 1 out of 5 kids admits to being a bully, or doing some "bullying."
• 8% of students miss 1 day of class per month for fear of bullies.
• 43% fear harassment in the bathroom at school.
• 100,000 students carry a gun to school.
• 28% of youths who carry weapons have witnessed violence at home.
• A poll of teens ages 12-17 proved that they think violence increased at their schools.
• 282,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month.
• More youth violence occurs on school grounds as opposed to on the way to school.
• 80% of the time, an argument with a bully will end up in a physical fight.
• 1/3 of students surveyed said they heard another student threaten to kill someone.
• 1 out of 5 teens knows someone who brings a gun to school.
• 2 out of 3 say they know how to make a bomb, or know where to get the information to do it.
• Almost half of all students say they know another student who's capable of murder.
• Playground statistics - Every 7 minutes a child is bullied. Adult intervention - 4% Peer intervention - 11%. No intervention - 85%.
Ellis said “Helping your children cope with either being a bully or being a victim often requires outside assistance, such as from your child's school or the community. School is the most likely place for bullying to occur, so discuss your concerns with your child's teachers and counselor and ask what they can do to help. School personnel can be influential in helping a child modify his behavior.
Take advantage of any psychological counseling services that may be offered at your child's school or in your community.”
Bullying is a form of child abuse and bullies are very likely to grow up as an adult who abuses children.
More information about bullying and how to help your children and students can be found at www.loveourchildrenusa.org
About Love Our Children USA
November 2007 will mark Love Our Children USA’s ninth year as the national nonprofit leader that honors, respects and protects children. Its mission is to break the cycle of violence against children. Love Our Children USA has become ‘the go-to’ prevention organization for all forms of violence and neglect against children in the U.S. It works to eliminate behaviors that keep children from reaching their potential. It redefines parenting and creates kid success by promoting prevention strategies and positive changes in parenting and family attitudes and behaviors through public education. It works to empower and support children, teens, parents and families through information, resources, advocacy, and online youth mentoring. Its goal is to keep children safe and strengthen families. Its message is positive ... one of prevention and hope.
Contact: Media Relations
Love Our Children USA
1.888.347.KIDS (5437) / 212.629.2099