Bullying among our youth is a significant problem–and it is steadily increasing. Many experts fear bullying has become so widespread and common, adults are blinded to its extensive harm. Here are the facts:
- It is estimated that 160,000 children miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by other students. Source: National Education Association.
- A survey conducted by the American Association of University Women reported that 85% of girls and 76% of boys have been sexually harassed in some form and only 18% of those incidents were perpetrated by an adults.
- Young bullies carry a one-in-four chance of having a criminal record by age 30. Study by Leonard Eron and Rowell Huesman.
- American schools harbor approximately 2.1 million bullies and 2.7 million of their victims. Dan Olweus, National School Safety Center.
- One in seven students is either a bully or victim.
- 56% of students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school.
- 15% of all school absenteeism is directly related to fears of being bullied at school.
- 71% of students report incidents of bullying as a problem at their school.
- One out of 20 students has seen a student with a gun at school.
- Mean behavior among kids is a universal problem. In a poll of 232 kids in kindergarten through 8th grade at a Connecticut elementary school, every child claimed to have been the victim of at least one schoolmate’s or sibling’s meanness in the previous month.
BULLYING MUST BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY. TOO MANY CHILDREN ARE
BEING EMOTIONALLY OR PHYSICALLY INJURED DUE TO MEANNESS.
The best way to help children not become victims of bullies is by teaching them bully-proofing skills. Parents Do Make A Difference has simple but powerful strategies that help children learn to assertively and confidently stand up to bullying and teasing.
SOURCES: Education Week: August/September 1997; ERIC Digest 1997; National Center for Education Statistics, 1998 Bureau of Justice Statistics; Time, May 18, 1998
Michele Borba, Ed.D. is an internationally-recognized consultant on increasing children’s self-esteem and achievement and is the author of 24 publications including Parents Do Make A Difference: How to Raise Kids with Solid Character, Strong Minds, and Caring Hearts. A former classroom teacher and parent of three sons, she has presented keynotes and workshops to over half a million participants worldwide and is a frequent guest on radio and television talk shows.
© 1999 by Michele Borba. Adapted from Parents Do Make A Difference: How to Raise Kids with Solid Character, Strong Minds, and Caring Hearts. Jossey-Bass Publishers, 350 Sansome Street, San Francisco, CA 94104. 1999. $18.00 paperback, 320 pages. ISBN 0-7879-4605-2. Please contact for permission to reprint.