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According to the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, nearly half of all school-aged children will become a victim of bullying. Ten percent of surveyed victims state that they are bullied on a regular basis. One research study (Craig and Peplerís), found that one incident of playground bullying takes place every seven minutes. Less than 5% of the incidents that occurred had adult intervention and less then 12% had peer intervention to assist the victims. Children who are bullied can experience real suffering and emotional trauma that can interfere with their social-emotional development. Whether you suspect that your child is the victim or the bully, itís important to act now to help your child end this common occurrence. Some of the topics written in this portion of Scott Counseling and the featured links will provide you with some valuable information to help you take action now.
What is Bullying?
A bully is ďone who torments others through verbal harassment, physical assault, or more subtle methods of coercion such as manipulation. Bullying generally follows one or all of the behavioral characteristics listed below:
∑ The behavior is often purposeful.
∑ The behavior is reoccurring.
∑ The behavior often occurs due to an imbalance of perceived power.
∑ The behavior is often negative and aggressive.
Examples of Bullying
Bullies often use a variety of tormenting tactics to instill fear and intimidation. Below is a list of examples that a bully may use to humiliate or torment their victim.
∑ Verbal Assault and Name Calling: The use of insults, hurtful language or verbal assaults that promotes fear.
∑ Physical Assault: The use of physical force that may include pushing, shoving, hitting, kicking etc. that promotes fear.
∑ Personal Property Damage: Ruining or destroying ones property or personal belongings to cause fear.
∑ Gestures and Sounds: Using facial gestures, body language or sounds such as whistling, pounding of fist or kissing of lips with the purpose of causing fear.
∑ Threats: Making verbal or writing statements that threatens
Bullying in schools often occurs when adult supervision is minimal or lacking entirely. Bullying can occur in any part of a school building, but research indicates that it occurs most often in the hallways, restrooms, locker areas and classes that require a lot of group work. Itís important to note that many states around the country have made it mandatory that teachers receive training to become more aware of this topic as well as other topics that involve harassment issues. Some of the training that school administrators and counselors have facilitated involved teaching teachers and students to:
∑ Act on a bullying situation by telling someone or asking for help
∑ Keep asking for help until you know that the person you told is going to do something about it
∑ Act on the school policy that states that bullying behavior is unacceptable
∑ Promote caring, respect and a provide safe environment for everyone in the school
∑ Increase adult supervision in the halls and other areas where bullying most occurs
∑ Allow victims of bullying to receive assistance that includes emotional
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