Post Content

The word "bullying" with a red line drawn through to indicate stop bullying

Bullying among children and teens has been a prominent issue in schools and neighborhoods for decades but not fully understood or recognized as a critical issue until more recent years. Bullying is a growing problem in the U.S. that has escalated, in some cases, to severe forms of harassment. There are many negative effects of bullying on all involved. This malicious act can cause feelings of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem in victims, as well as other mental and physical outcomes. More and more frequently, there are reports in the media of violent retaliations or suicides  as a result of bullying.

Bullying includes physical intimidation and aggression, verbal abuse such as name calling and teasing, and social or emotional abuse such as spreading rumors or ostracizing someone. With the rapid advancement of technology, cyberbullying is a more modern form of harassment that has become more common in recent years. The use of technology and digital devices to intimidate and threaten others has brought this nationwide problem to a whole new level: Bullying can now happen anywhere, at any time and is no longer confined to the school yard. In fact, 43% of teens have reported that they have been victims of cyberbullying in the last year, according to the National Crime Prevention Council.

How do you know if your child is being bullied?

There are several signs that a parent can look for which may indicate bullying:

  • Unexplainable injuries or lost/damaged belongings
  • Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
  • Complaints of physical ailments such as headaches or stomach aches
  • Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
  • Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
  • Feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, or depression

What can you do to protect your child?

Massachusetts has taken steps to help educate the public and prevent bullying. Governor Deval Patrick instituted the Massachusetts Bullying Prevention Law in May 2010. It includes guidelines and regulations for public and non-public schools and led to the formation of the Massachusetts Commission on Bullying Prevention. Comprised of stakeholders from the law enforcement and educational communities, the commission is tasked with reviewing the state’s General Laws to determine if any need to be amended to address bullying and cyberbullying, and to investigate parental responsibility and liability for bullying and cyberbullying.

October is recognized as National Bullying Prevention Month to raise awareness of this issue, and Wednesday, October 22nd is being promoted as Unity Day 2014. Help spread the message that everyone should take an active role in bullying prevention to make our schools, neighborhoods, and communities safer places to live, learn, and work.

 

Written By:

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Recent Posts

Celebrate Independence Day in Massachusetts posted on Jun 30

Celebrate Independence Day in Massachusetts

As the state where the Boston Tea Party, Battle of Bunker Hill, and first shots of the American Revolution occurred, Massachusetts is a special place to celebrate the 4th of July. Whether you’re looking for a free event for the family or a way to   …Continue Reading Celebrate Independence Day in Massachusetts

Clean Beaches Week: 6 Ways to Protect the Coast posted on Jun 26

Clean Beaches Week: 6 Ways to Protect the Coast

Did you know that the Massachusetts coastline is expansive enough to cover the distance from Boston to Miami on Interstate 95? Learn how you can help preserve over 1,500 miles of the Commonwealth’s coast during Clean Beaches Week, July 1–7. Read these useful tips from   …Continue Reading Clean Beaches Week: 6 Ways to Protect the Coast

The Importance of Protecting Your Home and Family Against Ticks and Mosquitoes posted on Jun 24

The Importance of Protecting Your Home and Family Against Ticks and Mosquitoes

No one wants to spend their summer worrying about ticks and mosquitoes. Although it’s difficult to escape these pests altogether, you can prevent them from infesting your property and minimize itchy bug bites on you and your family. The Department of Public Health (DPH) and   …Continue Reading The Importance of Protecting Your Home and Family Against Ticks and Mosquitoes