According to the latest data, 1 out of 4 teenagers face bullying on a daily basis, and as many as 160,000 kids stay home from school each day, for fear of bullying. These numbers don’t include the sharp increase in cyber bullying.
It is generally agreed that certain acts are defined as bullying when:
- The behavior hurts or harms another person physically or emotionally. Bullying can be very overt, such as fighting, hitting or name calling, or it can be covert, such as gossiping or leaving someone out on purpose.
- It is intentional, meaning the act is done willfully, knowingly and with deliberation.
- The targets have difficulty stopping the behavior directed at them and struggle to defend themselves. (via pacer.org).
Organized by the Pacer Center, National Bullying Prevention Month seeks to raise awareness and support for those students who are bullied. Events are planned throughout the month; visit http://www.pacer.org/bullying/ to join the cause and interact online by sharing your stories and signing “The End of Bullying Begins with Me” petition.
Rick Phillips, developer and Executive Director of Community Matters, wrote Safe School Ambassadors about the dangers of bullying, or, “mistreatment,” and offers strategies for empowering and equipping students with nonviolent communication skills to reduce emotional and physical violence. In this excerpt from chapter two of Safe School Ambassadors, Phillips outlines the cost of mistreatment—for the targets, the aggressors, and bystanders.