Tuesday, January 17, 2012
THIS IS A BULLY-FREE ZONE...
It's about to get REAL up in here! I am so sick of all the bullying that goes on anymore. Yes, there was bullying when I was young (I know, I was the recipient of it), but it is seriously out of control. There are zero repercussions for kids anymore, at school OR at home. What is it going to take to make the adults who are in charge to WAKE UP?? Back in my time, this kind of behavior was mostly done out of school, because school officials would not tolerate it. Nowadays it happens IN school, IN FRONT of educators, and no one bats an eyelash; no one but the one getting bullied. It was recently brought to my attention that a girl who I have known since she was in Kindergarten was on the receiving end of a hideous form of meanery! Her peers, whom she has known since she was a toddler, thought it would be funny to nominate her to represent the class at the basketball homecoming ceremony. Enough kids agreed to do this and she was selected. I can only imagine how excited she was to hear this, only to be told by those same kids that it was all a joke. How cruel is that? How are kids so insensitive and unsympathetic anymore?
It's time EVERYONE with kids, or has direct ties to kids, to wake up and start taking responsibility! I am far from a perfect parent, but you can guarantee that if I ever heard of my kids acting this way there would be hell to pay. I am proud that Ben and I have raised two caring girls. They have been raised with the Golden Rule. For those of you that don't know what that is it's 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. It's a simple saying that is pretty self explanatory. It makes me sick that some parents don't take the time to teach their kids how to be accepting, tolerant, caring citizens. There is enough nastiness in the world; we don't need it in our backyards too. It breaks my heart that EVERYDAY there are beautiful, sweet kids, who go to school just to get harassed and ridiculed, and for what? Having a different style? Having brains? Having a speech impediment? Not having the 'right' clothes or hair color? Not being the 'right' size? Seriously folks, how can you possibly NOT do right by your kids and just sit them down and talk to them about how their words can weigh on others. You can't just assume your kids aren't going to join their peers in making fun of other kids in the hallway, because if they have never been on the receiving end of it they may not know how bad it can really hurt! Do your job as a parent and let them know that just like it's not OK to do drugs, text and drive, get in the car with strangers, eat lead paint, or swim before waiting 30 minutes after eating, that it's gross to belittle others for the sake of a laugh! It's not rocket science. It's called responsible parenting. Bullying is defined as aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions. It's pretty straightforward, if your kid wouldn't want it they shouldn't give it!
The facts and stats below brought tears to my eyes and made me nauseous.These numbers continue to rise every month...
- It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. Source: National Education Association.
- American schools harbor approximately 2.1 million bullies and 2.7 million of their victims. Dan Olweus, National School Safety Center.
- 1 in 7 Students in Grades K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying.
- 56% of students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school.
- 15% of all school absenteeism is directly related to fears of being bullied at school.
- 71% of students report incidents of bullying as a problem at their school.
- 1 out of 20 students has seen a student with a gun at school.
- 282,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month.
- Those in the lower grades reported being in twice as many fights as those in the higher grades. However, there is a lower rate of serious violent crimes in the elementary level than in the middle or high schools.
- 90% of 4th through 8th graders report being victims of bullying
- Among students, homicide perpetrators were more than twice as likely as homicide victims to have been bullied by peers.
- Bullying statistics say revenge is the strongest motivation for school shootings.
- 87% of students said shootings are motivated by a desire to “get back at those who have hurt them.”
- 86% of students said, “other kids picking on them, making fun of them or bullying them” causes teenagers to turn to lethal violence in the schools.
- 61% of students said students shoot others because they have been victims of physical abuse at home.
- 54% of students said witnessing physical abuse at home can lead to violence in school.
- According to bullying statistics, 1 out of every 10 students who drops out of school does so because of repeated bullying.
... please take heart parents. Even if you are sure that your kids aren't drinking the bullying kool-aid, talk to them. Ask if they are getting bullied. Ask if they have witnessed it. Ask if they have participated in it. JUST ASK! Get involved in their lives. Do what you can before it's too late; before they do irreversible damage to another, or before irreversible damage is done to them. We only get one shot at raising our kids to be good people. They will reach a point in their lives where they become permanently wired and they will ALWAYS be a bully or always be a victim. Save your kids while they are kids!