Bullying occurs when one or more people repeatedly do or say hurtful things to another person who cannot defend himself or herself. Bullying may involve repeated teasing, verbal abuse and insults, offensive comments, cyber abuse, the spreading of rumors, or physical injury. Bullying is happening right under our noses, with devastating consequences, throughout Missouri and Kansas and right here in Kansas CIty.
Bullying often occurs by a child’s peers. Sometimes, older children bully younger children, but most often the children are at the same grade level.
Bullying amongst boys is usually direct and involves physical injury and name calling. Bullying amongst girls can be less direct and more subtle. It may involve exclusion from a group of friends, backstabbing and manipulation of friendships or social situations.
A study of American students in sixth through tenth grade found that approximately 30 percent of all children are involved in bullying either as a victim or an instigator.
Most bullying occurs at school. Forty to 75 percent of bullying takes place during recess, lunch, or other breaks and occurs in the school yard, lunch room, corridors and bathrooms where children are not well supervised. Bullying can also occur in the classroom if the teacher is not attentive. Some bullying occurs when children are on their way to school or are going home after school, but out of school bullying is less common.
Bullying Can Have Serious Consequences. Children Who Are Bullied May:
- Be depressed, lonely, or anxious,
- Have low self-esteem,
- Be absent from school,
- Feel sick,
- Think about or attempt suicide.
Warning Signs That a Child Is Being Bullied:
- Chile comes home with torn, missing, or damaged clothing, books, or other possessions,
- Child has unexplained injuries,
- Child has few or no friends with which he spends time,
- Child is afraid of walking to school, riding the bus, or joining organized activities such as clubs or sports,
- Child takes a longer, less direct route to walk to school,
- Child has lost interest in school or grades suddenly drop,
- Child appears sad, depressed, teary or moody after school,
- Child complains of frequent illness, headaches, stomach pains or other ailments,
- Child has difficulty sleeping or bad dreams,
- Child experiences loss of appetite,
- Child appears anxious,
- Child has low self-esteem.
What can a parent do?
1. Talk to your child. Ask about children at school and ask about teasing. Your child may be afraid to give you too much information.
2. Talk to your child’s teacher. Ask if the teacher suspects bullying or has noticed any social difficulties.
3. Be supportive. Gather as much information as possible and don’t blame your child. There are no excuses for bullying. Do not encourage retaliation.
4. Contact your child’s school. Bullying rarely stops without the intervention of adults. Contact the school and give them the facts. Try not to get emotional. Let them know that you want to find a solution to the bullying for the sake of all children involved.
5. Help your child become more resilient to bullying.
• Help your child build confidence by developing talents and positive attributes.
• Encourage your child to spend time with friendly students from his class or make friends outside the school environment.
• Teach your child to seek help from an adult when he feel threatened.
• Provide a safe, loving home environment.
• Monitor your child’s internet use.
The effects of bullying can be devastating. “Bullycide” is a term used to describe suicide that is caused by bullying and it is all too frequently becoming a “way out” for the victims of bullies.
Has Your Child Been Injured By The Negligence Of Others?
If your child has been injured it's important to speak with an experienced child injury attorney as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our office directly at 816.471.5111 to schedule your free consultation.