Bullying is a term that we hear all the time, and it’s becoming more and more common amongst young people. With the success of young adult novels like 13 Reasons Why more parents are looking into ways to prevent and stop this negative trend.
13 Reasons Why touches on the reality of what kids are dealing with at school. Netflix produced a series based on the Jay Adam’s novel, where Hannah is telling the story of what pushed her to suicide. The story shows different kinds of bullying committed by her school peers. The show has brought a lot of controversies from the graphic scene where Hannah takes her life and, the types of situations that constituted bullying. But, are we doing everything to prevent these situations from happening?
But, what’s bullying?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children. These behavior are frequent and reflect a power imbalance.
Bullying includes actions like threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Types of bullying
Verbal bullying is saying, or writing mean things. Involves name-calling, threatening and, making disrespectful comments about someone’s ethnicity, background, and appearance.
Bullying with aggressive physical intimidation involves hurting a person’s body or possessions.
Bullying with exclusionary tactics involves deliberately preventing someone from joining or being part of a group, whether it’s at a lunch table, game, sporting event, or social activity.
Online or cyber bullying
Cyberbullying happens when kids use technology and social media to spread negative messages.
Facts around bullying
- Nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online. 1 in 4 has had it happen more than once, according to dosomething.org.
- Only 1 in 10 victims will inform a parent or trusted adult of their abuse.
- Bullying victims are 2 to 9 times more likely to consider committing suicide.
Laws against bullying
No federal law specifically applies to bullying. In some cases, when bullying is based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or religion, it overlaps with harassment and schools are obligated to address it.
Stopbullying.gov has a map of all laws and policies by state. All these laws have these features in common:
Provide precise definitions for bullying and cyberbullying
Establish prohibited conducts and characteristics
Schools are the main point of contact when these situations occur, however, is important to check the state’s regulations regarding bullying and, get involved in preventing bullying from happening.
Bullying Tips for Parents – When to Take Legal Action
Address the situation
Pay close attention to any changes in your kid’s behavior and practice positive reinforcement.
72% of teens have a social networking profile. Taking the right steps is crucial to prevent and stop this kind of harassment.
Don’t respond to and don’t forward cyber bullying messages.
Learn how to report any abuse taking place on these sites.
Know the popular and potentially abusive sites, apps, and digital devices before your kids use them
Ask a Lawyer
If the situation requires it after going through the appropriate steps, you can ask a lawyer to help you navigate different solutions.
More importantly, remember this: we all have a part of us that feels hopeless, that sees all the injustice in the world, and that feels helpless and resigned, but finding help will make a big difference. Pay attention to the signals and offer to help.