In 2012, 20 percent of high school students were bullied (CDC, 2012). It doesn’t take the statistics from elementary and middle schools to see that bullying is a serious problem. Bullies intentionally prey on those perceived to be weak or different. With tactics that include taunts, threats, harassment, and exclusion, victims are often left fearing or expecting harm.
It wasn’t long ago that Georgia became the first state to adopt anti-bullying legislation, prohibiting bullying on school property, buses, and at school-related functions. Unfortunately, due to freedom of speech laws, school jurisdiction does not include cyber-bullying that occurs on technologies and networks that are not school-owned. However, if those behaviors spread into classroom environment, it can there be addressed.
Kids and teens don’t want to be labeled as a snitch or tattler, so they often don’t disclose when they are being harassed. It takes a lot of strength for them to publicize mistreatment. Here are some actions to carry out if your child has been a victim of bullying: