Almost 30% of youth in the United States (or over 5.7 million) are estimated to be involved in bullying as either a bully, a target of bullying, or both.
In a recent national survey of students in grades 6-10, 13% reported bullying others, 11% reported being the target of bullies, and another 6% said that they bullied others and were bullied themselves.
In 2001, 8% of students reported that they had been bullied in school in the last six months, up from 5% in 1999."
The rate of nonfatal violent crimes at school has actually declined from 48 per 1,000 students in 1992 to 33 per 1000 in 1999.
The rate of serious school-related violent crime, including rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault, has also generally declined over that time period. In 1999, 7 out of every 1000 students were victims of serious violent crimes while at school or going to and from school
In the 1998-99 school year, less than 2 percent of the murders of children and youth in the United States were school-related.
However there has been a slight rise in number of multiple victim homicides. Such as school shootings like the one at Columbine high school.
Cyber Bullying: "Cyber bullying" is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones.
Cyber bullying can happen in many different arenas such as:
blogs and any other form of communication that occurs electronically.
Cyber bullies sometimes, but not always, know their victims in real life.
Cyber victimization has been shown to cause:
repeated school absences,
and in some cases suicide.
These outcomes are similar to real-life bullying outcomes, except for that with cyber bullying there is often no escape. School ends at 3 p.m,. while the Internet is open for business year round.
Between 1994 and 1999, there were 220 school associated violent events resulting in 253 deaths - - 74.5% of these involved firearms. Handguns caused almost 60% of these deaths. (Journal of American Medical Association, December 2001)
In 1998-99 academic year, 3,523 students were expelled for bringing a firearm to school. This is a decrease from the 5,724 students expelled in 1996-97 for bringing a firearm to school. (U.S. Department of Education, October 2000)
The National School Boards Association estimates that more than 135,000 guns are brought into U.S. schools each day.
Educators for Social Responsibly works with educators to create a safe, respectful and productive learning environment. Their online teacher center provides resources related to safety, conflict resolution, peacemaking, and violence prevention.
Pierrot Productions offers an anti-violence themed program in the form of circus acts. The four C’s of conflict resolution (cool down, communicate, compromise and celebrate) are stressed and study guides are also available.
Cary Trianovich entertains elementary, middle and high school students as he brings forth messages about self-esteem, character development, and dealing with bullies.
In Charge of Me is a theatrical assembly program focusing on bullying, respect, and peer pressure.
What to Do – The Bully Building student competence and confidence is one of the first steps in developing positive character traits.
Interventional school and community services can be provided both for focusing on academic development and social development.
Differentiated instruction should be provided so as to motivate and yield more involved students.
Cooperative group work, paired work and peer tutoring can foster academic achievement and positive social interaction.
Providing time for the teacher to communicate with students will allow students to express fears, emotions, and concerns.
What to Do – The Victim Victims of bullying also need to build positive self esteem and positive social skills. Victims are often students who don’t make friends easily and are frequently loners. The steps listed above to help a bully are often the ones suggested in helping the victim to get along well with others and develop friendships.
A positive school environment will promote respectful treatment of others. All students benefit from development of self confidence and social skills.
A classroom that demonstrates respect and includes praise will help build confidence and self-esteem. Focus on students’ doing the right thing.
Reinforce positive behaviors and work from students’ strengths.
Be a positive role model. Students will emulate teacher’s treatment of and reactions to students. hen a teacher reacts in a positive manner to students, other students will exhibit similar behavior. When teachers value the contributions of students, students will value the contributions of other students
Introduce and develop sharing of ideas about bullying with discussions, books, audio CDs, videos, DVDs and current events.
Conduct role play activities in which students are confronted by a bully and methods of dealing with the situation.
Provide discussion time for identifying ways in which students can cope with and diffuse a situation involving bullying.
McGruff , the crime dog, encourages students to take an active role in defusing bullying. He suggests having a group of students remove the victim from the situation and walk away from the bully together. Then students should report the incident. The victim of bullying can try to talk it out, walk away from the bully, stick with friends and report the bullying to an adult.