Thursday, January 17, 2008

Bullying in Schools

"Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never harm me." We've all heard it, and we all know it's not true. Yet, bullying has become a HUGE issue in schools across the country. In fact, it is such a concern, some schools have instituted anti-bullying campaigns. I was in one such school on January 7th.

Little Chute Middle School in Little Chute, Wisconsin had me spend the day to help kick-off a week-long program to eliminate bullying in their school. Based on the conversations I had that day with both teachers and students, and the emails I received from several students, they are off to a good start.

I found these statistics startling and I think you'll agree:

(Click on image to enlarge.)

In one of my classroom visits that day, I asked the class to raise their hand if they have been bullied, and the vast majority raised their hands. The same response was true when I asked them if they had ever bullied anyone. Even the teacher raised his hand to both questions!

The old adage "Boys will be boys," doesn't cut it any more. In fact, it's not just boys doing the bulling these days. Some researchers are finding girls to be just as big a problem when it comes to being both the bully and the person being mistreated.

Here's a very informative article on Girls Bullying Girls. Check it out. It introduces us to the phrase "relational aggression." This article is based on a longer article written by Marina Skowronski.

The last piece I'd like to take you to is Bob Chase's column dated 3/25/01, the President of the National Education Association in Washington, D.C. He offers some insight into what needs to be done to help curtail the problem.

Bullying is a problem young people are coping with and they need direction. We, as parents, teachers and concerned adults need to help them however we can. If you have any suggestions, please leave a comment. Thank you in advance.

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