In October, the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center aims to raise awareness on bullying for National Bullying Prevention Month.
According to youth.gov, bullying is "unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance". It includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. With the use of technology, cyberbullying, can include offensive text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles.
One out of every five (20.2%) students report being bullied.
The reasons for being bullied reported most often by students include physical appearance, race/ethnicity, gender, disability, religion, sexual orientation.
-National Center of Educational Statistics, 2019
The roles kids play in bullying are not limited to those who bully others and those who are bullied. A circle of bullying, as defined by researchers, include both those directly involved in bullying and those who actively or passively assist the behavior or defend against it. Where does your child fall?
Most kids play more than one role in bullying over time and every situation is different. To learn more about the roles kids play in bullying, click here.
Bullying is considered an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE). ACEs are potentially traumatic events that can have negative, lasting effects on a person's development, the way they interact with others, and how they perform in school.
Among the serious consequences of bullying, there is also a connection between trauma and bullying. Every individual is different and incidents that traumatize one person may not affect another. However, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) suggests that children or teens who have been exposed to trauma and violence may be more likely to bully others or be bullied. So, how can we take action against bullying?
Parents, school staff, and other caring adults have a role to play in preventing bullying. Helping children build resilience has lasting effects. Other ways that you can help include:
To learn more about how adults can help to prevent bullying among children, click here.
As cases of bullying have risen, so have resources and attention. This month and every month is a great time to consider how you can help raise awareness about bullying and take actions to stop it. Together, we can keep our communities safe and nurture a sense of belonging for every child and family in Cape Girardeau County.
Sources: Pacer's National Bullying Prevention Center (pacer.org), stopbullying.gov, and youth.gov