Bullying is a buzz word across schools, with prevention programs and educational awareness tailored to showcase the definition, as well as identify and help reduce bullying within schools.
According to PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center, one out of every five student reports being bullied, however, 64 percent of those who were bullied did not report it.
While there is no legal definition of bullying, bullying can be described as a repeated behavior toward someone with intent to physically or emotionally harm that person, and can take on many forms including verbal assaults, physical violence, spreading rumors about that person and cyberbullying.
The effects of bullying can contribute to poor self-esteem, academic performance and feelings of isolation and can lead to additional mental health struggles such as anxiety and depression. However, studies have also found that those who are doing the bullying are also at greater risk of mental health concerns, substance abuse and violence later in adulthood.
Many times, children are afraid of alerting others about being bullied for fear of retaliation or because of guilt or embarrassment. However, there are some warning signs that might alert you to your child being bullied, such as changes in sleep or eating patterns, mood changes, including expressing or showing more anxiety or worry, or reluctance to participate in normal activities, such as refusal to go on the school bus or to school.