22 Feb 2017

Anti-Bullying Campaign

In about 85-88% of bullying incidents observed on the school playground, peers were present and were watching the bullying happen. Peers spent 54% of the time watching the child who was bullying and 21% of the time joining in. Children are drawn to bullying episodes, even though the majority of children say they don’t like to see another child being hurt. Children who are bystanders learn about the negative use of power and aggression in relationships. Overtime, bullying behaviour becomes “normalized”.

With a captive audience, a child who is bullying receives the attention of peers and this brings social status. Peer attention and status reinforces the bullying behaviour (making it more likely it will be repeated). Yet, when peers had the confidence and courage to intervene, the bullying ended within 10 seconds in the majority of playground episodes.

There are many forms of bullying, name calling, physical hitting, cyber bullying, it can be racist, sexist, demeaning. As kids or teens in school we call this bullying. But as we get older it turns into a form of harassment and we’re penalized for this. Kids and teens have their own form of punishment by the schools or parents. But the fact that kids are capable of performing acts like harassment in this day and age is horrifying.

I was teased in school for being a different color, for being Indian, for my name, the skin color I am, I even remember being teased for my hair color. Most of it was in elementary, grade 3 to be exact, its scary to think as young as that kids can be bullied. I remember I was scratched, kicked, or my hair was pulled. One time a girl who compared her hair to mine, said I would look so ugly with blonde hair even if I tried to “change”.
The scarier thing is, why was she so mean? why do kids do such horrible bullying? it makes me think of the actually bully themselves, what kind of parents they had, or what happened in their upbringing that made them like this? Who was their influence? Or what were their insecurities that they had to put someone else down?
  • Children who are bullied suffer more headaches, stomachaches, depression and anxiety. Mental health problems associated with bullying tend to last until later in life.
  • Children who bully, and those who are bullied, are at greater risk of suicide.
  • Children who bully, and those who are bullied, will be more likely to miss school, show little interest in their studies and suffer poor grades.
  • Children who bully are more likely to use drugs and alcohol and engage in criminal activity. According to one of the world’s leading researchers on bullying, 60% of boys who frequently bullied others in elementary school had criminal records by age 24.

Without intervention, a significant number of youth who bully in childhood will continue to bully as they move through adolescence and into adulthood. As children mature, the nature of bullying changes. From early adolescence, new forms of aggression emerge. With developing thinking and social skills, children become aware of others’ vulnerabilities and of their own power relative to others.

Bullying then diversifies into more sophisticated forms of verbal, social, homophobic, and sexually and racially based aggression. Over time, these new forms of aggression are carried forward into different relationships and environments. The destructive lessons learned in childhood about the negative use of power may translate into sexual harassment in the workplace, dating violence, marital abuse, child abuse, and elder abuse.

I just want kids to know, its not “cool” to be the bully, its cooler to help the victim of the bullying. To stop it.
We are all apart of it, whether we are the bully, the one being bullied, or a bystander watching.
As adults can try and protect and stop as many kids as possible, but that playground is a big place, so if all kids are taught to stop bullying in a safe and positive way, or tell an adult as soon as possible, then we can have a greater impact together.
References and resources on how to stop bullying!

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