Bullying Is Becoming An EpidemicBy Home Security Source 10/19/2010 | 10:20:26 amPosted in: Child Safety, Personal Safety
Video from a school bus camera became quite a hit on the Internet last month. It showed an angry father boarding the bus to confront students he believed had been bullying his 13-year-old daughter who has cerebral palsy. His profanity-laden burst was maybe understandable, but inappropriate.
In a news conference a few days later, the man apologized, saying, “At that time, I was a bully… I just didn’t know where else to go.”
That’s a problem facing many parents these days as bullying seems to be more of a problem than ever. Last fall, the American Public Health Association reported that 43 percent of American middle school students were bullied within the previous 30 days. Recently the topic of bullying has moved to the front pages of newspapers and led television newscasts, driven in large part by five suicides by teenagers who were relentlessly bullied in person and on the Internet.
Currently 45 states have bullying legislation in place. Pending bills in Congress would require K-12 schools receiving funding for public safety programs to define bullying as conduct that produces reasonable fear of physical harm based on race, sexual orientation or gender identity among other factors. Other bills would establish processes for students or parents to file complaints about bullying with school officials.
Meantime, parents can encourage their school officials to create more effective zero tolerance programs and improve staff/student communication. Students can band together to develop strong friendship groups so they can stand up against bullies.
Bullying can’t be totally eliminated, but it can be brought under control with input from lawmakers, police, school officials, parents and kids.
*Content expressed in Home Security Source does not represent the thoughts and opinions of ADT unless explicitly indicated. Bloggers featured on HomeSecuritySource.com are professionals compensated by ADT. Please visit our Community Guidelines page for additional details.