Experts Say Bullying is a Serious Public Health Problem
If you thought bullying in school was just a matter of “kids being kids,” think again. According to a news report in the Seattle Times, a leading panel of experts has warned that bullying is a “serious public health problem,” which should not be mildly dismissed. The fact that bullying is so prevalent in our school campuses could have perhaps desensitized us to the problems it poses. But bullying, which is defined as targeted, aggressive behavior from one child against another, is not a normal part of childhood, experts say.
Prevalence of Bullying
According to studies, nearly one-third of all children between the ages of 5 and 18 experience some form of bullying. The effects of bullying can range from headaches to sleep problems or even issues with grades. There are those students who are physically bullied on the school playground. Then, there are those who are bullied online, which is a lot more difficult for adults to monitor. This could be a problem for anyone who acts or looks different. Bullying rates are higher for disabled, gay, transgender or overweight students, studies show. Anywhere between 7 and 15 percent of students are bullied online.
How Can Bullying Be Prevented
The report titled “Preventing Bullying through Science Policy and Practice” was released this week. Sponsored by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies, the 300-page report treats bullying with an urgency similar to traumatic brain injuries in youth sports, highlighting the need for immediate attention.
Currently all 50 states including California have laws in place to address school bullying. Billions of dollars in federal funding have been earmarked to combat the problem. But the results have not been great. Experts say there needs to be more research and more prevention training for all adults who work with children. They are also urging social media sites to publish anti-bullying policies.
If Your Child Has Been Injured
If your child has suffered serious injuries and/or emotional trauma as a result of school bullying, it is critical that you protect his or her rights. School authorities have a responsibility to intervene and stop bullying on campus. They have a responsibility to take all complaints seriously and thoroughly investigate them. Not doing so amounts to negligence. Contact an experienced California school bullying lawyer who will hold school authorities accountable for inaction or lack or action.