Bullying

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On the afternoon of April 9, 2010 I found myself in a meeting with Kerri Evans, the assistant principal of Pleasant Ridge Middle School, and my son Nicholas. I was there because my son had become a victim of verbal abuse. It was shocking to learn that bullying has become such an epidemic in our school system. “Nearly 1 in 3 students is involved in bullying” (Hertzog, 2010). In a perfect world there would be no bullying. Kids wouldn’t get shoved into lockers, and they wouldn’t be beat up in the hallway. Students wouldn’t talk about another student behind their back because of their shape, size, race, or religion. In a perfect world this wouldn’t happen, but at that moment in our imperfect world it was happening to my son. The question is, why does it happen and what can we do to stop it? “According to a 2009 federal survey of school crime and safety, 32 percent of middle and high school students said they'd been victimized during the academic year, compared with 14 percent in 2001” (Tyre, 2010). Bullying was making its way into my home and affecting my life. It was then that I realized that bullying was a problem that needed to stop. Bullying in schools is escalating and becoming a bigger and bigger issue, and we must take action to eliminate it. According to Problem-Oriented Guides for Police Series: Bullying in Schools “bullying has two key components: repeated harmful acts and an imbalance of power” (Sampson, 2002). Although bullying occurs in many other places, school is where bullying is most prevalent and most concerning. In schools, physical bullying is more common among boys. This is because boys are much more aggressive than girls. However, verbal bullying such as gossip is much more common among girls. “Physical bullying is more common among boys, and teenage girls often favor verbal and emotional bullying” (Teenage Bullying, 2009).

Boys tend to be more aggressive than girls.
(youthviolence.edschool.virginia.edu/bullying/bullying-research.html)

“Bullying comes in many forms, including direct attacks (such as hitting, teasing, name-calling or damaging belongings) or indirect attacks (such as spreading rumors or purposefully excluding someone)”(10 Facts, 2011). “When those who had been bullied were asked what form it had taken, almost 75% said they had been called nasty names, making it by the far the most common type of bullying” (Smith &ump; Shu, 2000). Both forms of attack have a common theme and that is to force a child to feel like they do not belong. One thing is clear bullying is harmful, and can cause serious psychological problems. Children who have been bullied for any length of time will show many psychological side affects. “Bullying can cause children to experience fear, depression, loneliness, anxiety, low self-esteem, physical illness, and in some cases, even suicidal thoughts” (“What are the”, 2008). Children that were relaxed and adventurous will become tense and afraid after being bullied. It can cause them to become withdrawn from other children and school, and it diminishes their concentration. A sign that their concentration has suffered usually manifests itself as bad grades. They can become depressed and highly irritable, and can even become violent. Bullying alters a child’s self-esteem, and makes them feel unwanted. “According to the National Center Of Children Exposed to Violence, children who are bullied may suffer from low self-esteem, as well as other serious emotional issues such as chronic anxiety and depression” (Madison, 2011). In severe cases, when the victim feels overly threatened, they may start carrying a weapon to defend them self. Reasons like this are why tragedies, like the Columbine shooting occur. An extreme consequence of bullying is suicide. If children feel trapped, and feel there is nothing they can do, they may consider ending their life as the only alternative. “Victims of chronic childhood bullying are more likely to develop depression or think about...
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