Dr. Boozman's Check-up
Oct 15 2014
Bullying has long been prevalent during adolescence, but the stories of bullying are more violent than ever before. We need to eliminate the thought that ‘kids will be kids’ and these acts are just a 'rite of passage.' The reality is that bullying has long lasting impacts for both the bullied and bully.
Children who are bullied may often underperform academically, develop self-esteem issues, and suffer from depression or anxiety - a result of being led to feel isolated from other kids. On the other hand, children who exhibit bullying behavior may engage in more risky behavior as they enter into teen and young adulthood. Some of these behaviors may include alcohol and drug abuse and aggressiveness toward others and others’ property, which could lead to criminal convictions. These behaviors lead both sets of children with an inability to reach their full potential.
The unfortunate reality is that bullying takes place every day at all grade levels. We all have a responsibility to eliminate bullying and help create an environment in which students feel safe and accepted all the time. To raise awareness, October is designated as National Bullying Prevention Month. This important campaign aims to bring awareness on how to assess, recognize, prevent, and educate school administrators, teachers, parents and students on combatting bullying in their schools and communities. It is a month to engage each other and build a safe environment for discussions on bullying prevention to occur.
It is important that we, as adults and parents, respond immediately to bullying when we recognize it – whether it be physical, social or cyber bullying. There are many warning signs that a child is being bullied or is bullying others. You can learn more about what bullying is, who is at risk, as well as response and prevention methods at this informative website.
As a former member of the Rogers School board, a father to three daughters, and grandfather to one granddaughter, I understand the importance of this on-going discussion and the need for schools to implement their own anti-bullying guidelines. We must change the culture of bullying and put a stop to it once and for all. While we spend this month raising awareness about this issue, preventing bullying is something we need to work on year-round, at school and at home.