It goes without saying that bullying has gotten out of control.
With the new technology that is now available to students of all ages, it has taken bullying to a whole new level. Students are not only picking on each other at school but it has not expanded to after school and it even follows them home.
Cell phones and computers allow for students to be cyber-bullied if that is even a word.
Through Facebook, texting and other social media it allows the bully unlimited access to his/her victim. The ability to hide behind technology and social media allows the perpetrator the ability to dehumanize the victim. This is dangerous. At this time bullying takes on a different spirit of intimidation and could turn violent.
This unlimited access to all students gives the perpetrator an opportunity to gain a following for bullying. The bully usually has followers of other students that are aware of the acts of intimidation. Other students are usually around or are friends of the bully but they tend to treat the manner like an abusive game. A game that goes horribly wrong and usually spirals out of control.
Students are either afraid of speaking up because they do not want to become the object of the bully’s attention or they may have some sense of misguided loyalty. To be regarded as a snitch in the student community is like committing social suicide and all parents know how important it is for tweens and teens to be liked by their peers.
This desire to be liked is what keeps bullying alive. It is why students will not report bullying to the teachers, parents or any Administrator within the school. That person will be marked as a snitch and they would have broken the code of “do not tell”.
Bullying is a serious social misconduct among our students. Parents and educators should take the report of being bullied serious. It is no longer the day of “kids will be kids” but of intimidation and it will not be tolerated under any circumstances.
Bullying allows for misconduct to exist among tweens (pre-teens) and teens (teenagers) and the victims are expected to submit to the will of the bully. This behavior should not be tolerated, not even under the most innocent circumstances. The three following points can be viewed as a topic to help address student bullying:
- Students should be encouraged to report bullying anonymously if necessary. A website should be maintained for students to report the act of bullying to school Administrators. The perpetrator should be monitored, investigated and approached with the accusation of bullying. Discipline should result immediately following the investigation. Parents should be notified as well as juvenile services if necessary. There should be a zero tolerance of bullying.
- Students that observe the act of bullying should also be encouraged to report it on the website as well. Counseling forums should be established within the student body by the School Guidance Counselor to discuss bullying and how it affects the life of every student.
- Bullying should be addressed within the PTA. Parents should be made aware of the signs of bullying and the discipline that will follow if the student is found guilty.
It is no longer “kids will be kids” but bullying and it can turn violent.
It should be addressed and dealt with as zero tolerance. It is beyond time for parents to get involved.