The CDC “defines bullying as unwanted aggressive behaviors by another youth or group of youths, that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance, and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated. Bullying may inflict harm or distress on the targeted youth including physical, psychological, social, or educational harm. Bullying can also occur through technology, which is called cyberbullying.” According to the CDC about 1 in 5 high school students reported being bullied on school property. More than 1 in 6 high school students reported being bullied electronically last year. The CDC also indicated that Nearly 14% of public schools report that bullying is a discipline problem occurring daily or at least once a week. Reports of bullying are highest in the middle schools (28%) followed by high school (16%) and elementary schools (12%). Reports of cyber bulling are highest in the middle schools (33%) (Followed by high school at 30% and elementary schools at 5%.)
Consequences of Bullying
According to the CDC “Bullying can result in physical injury, social and emotional distress, self-harm, and even death. It also increases the risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, lower academic achievement, and dropping out of school. Youth who bully others are at increased risk for substance misuse, academic problems, and experiencing violence later in adolescence and adulthood. Youth who bully others and are bullied themselves suffer the most serious consequences and are at greater risk for mental health and behavioral problems.”
Warning signs that a Youth May Be Involved in Cyberbullying
- Noticeable increases or decreases in device use, including texting.
- Exhibits emotional responses (laughter, anger, upset) to what is happening on their device.
- Hides their devices from others.
- Starts to avoid social situations.
- Behavioral changes begin to appear.
People bully because it can be an effective way of getting what they want and because they lack the life skills to do so without harming others. Youth are not born bullies; they are made, and it starts at an early age.
Free Digital Book: The Bully Book