Bullying way too young

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Posted Sun, Nov 25, 2012

Bullying is taking over America these days. The problem is bullying is starting younger and younger in children, and even more alarming, is most of it takes place in schools.

Stanford University School of Medicine reported: Nine out of 10 kids in elementary school will be bullied. And six out of 10 kids will bully others.

Kindergartners are being bullied by their fellow classmates, so it’s even starting in elementary school. Jack Lewis, an elementary school student, witnessed bullying in one of his classes.

“My friend was coming back from the bathroom in hand chimes,” says Jack, “and somebody wouldn’t let her through the door so they were shoving her.”

Next it moves into middle school, where students’ minds are going through a stage where they might react in a more terrible way. In her Physical Education class, Ally Lewis, a middle school student was being bullied by another student.

“Every time she would pass me in the gym,” says Ally, “she would call me white legs.”

This made Ally upset, and she didn’t want to go to gym. Kids in middle schools are even starting to challenge adults who are in authority. Just this summer a video surfaced of children from a middle school, verbally bullying and abusing a bus monitor, while riding the school bus. In high school the bullying can be taken a step further, and the results of being bullied are even more catastrophic.

Amanda Todd was a sophomore at a high school in Canada. Unfortunately she posted some inappropriate pictures of herself on Facebook, and they got into the wrong hands. A man who found them, stalked her, and sent them out to her friends around school. The kids verbally and physically bullied Amanda. She posted a video on YouTube telling her story. In October 2012, Amanda Todd ended up taking her own life, all because she was bullied, and couldn’t handle it anymore.

Amanda hasn’t been the only high school student to commit suicide because she was bullied; there have been several others as well. As bullying is becoming more prevalent in school, and the consequences more serious, schools have been stepping in more, trying to reduce the amount of bullying. Most schools have been implementing programs to bring down the amount of bullying.

Some schools go straight at the tactic of anti-bullying. They address what bullying is, and ways to prevent it. Other schools are going a different route, and rewarding good behavior rather than emphasizing bad behavior.

Lisa Lewis has children that attend schools with both programs.

“I like the anti-bullying aspect from the aspect that empowers the victim more, to where they are hearing from adults that if they are bullied they have places they can go and people they can turn to, so I like that anti-bullying for that aspect,” says Lisa. “I think it really empowers the person who may be being bullied to have enough courage to stand up for themselves or to take it to a teacher, an adult, a friend, or someone like that. I think it cuts down on it that way. I don’t know the effect it has on the actual bully themselves, but I feel like it really helps the victim.”

Lisa goes on to address the other program.

“I think it handles it from a different perspective to where kids that would naturally lean towards negative behavior are more inclined to choose the positive behavior, because of the results. I think it focuses more on the bully, and trying to get them away from being the bully.”

There are 4 types of bullying:

Physical: Hitting, kicking, Punching, Pinching, scratching, spitting, or any physical attack.

Verbal: Calling names, insulting, making jokes about someone, and offensive comments.

Emotional: Spreading rumors about someone, and excluding someone from a group.

Cyber: Bullying on the internet, or phone.

Most schools are focusing on defining to the kids, what bullying actually is considered to be. Sam Adams-Berger, a school counselor at Goddard Middle School, understands that definitions can be different of what bullying actually is.

“The definition of bullying is really wide ranging for kids, depending on their life experience,” says Sam, “some kids who haven’t been physically touched don’t consider it bullying. We of course want to shift that definition, so they realize even unkind words or actions, even if there’s not any physical contact can be considered bullying.”

Schools are also working on making sure kids know, to always report bullying.

Bullying is a continuing cycle. A lot of bullies have been bullied or witnessed it themselves.

“A lot of people who bully have been bullied or have witnessed it happening and they think it looks like a solution,” says Sam.

In reality it’s not a solution, and it just causes more bullying to occur.

As much as schools encourage for bullying to stop, and for good behavior to take place, it’s not going to happen. Most likely there will always be a bully.

“I think it’s impossible,” says Lisa. “I think its human nature. People have to learn and grow. Kids grow up, and choose different paths, and kids choose different behaviors for different reasons. I think there will always be people that choose the bullying route.”

The hotline to talk to someone outside of school or home about being bullied is: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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About Ashley King

I have lived in Colorado for most of my life, and love living here. I'm a student at Metro working toward my degree in Creative Writing, with a minor in journalism.

View all posts by Ashley King

2 Responses to “Bullying way too young”

  1. Spencer Says:

    Thats crazy how many elementary shcool kids are getting bullied now. It was never like that when I went to school. Great article

    Reply

  2. Leah Says:

    Very sad, but very informative article. Liked the way you progressed the article as the students progress through school!

    Reply

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