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Bullying: A Concern for Survival

            Children should not have to survive school, they should be able to be in school and enjoy their experience. Instead, many children have to survive through the school years. Gregory Green, PH.D. wrote about many instances where bullying had extreme consequences. It not only caused a chain reaction, but ended in pain and heartache. There have been many studies done and the statistics of how many adults put their head in the sand is disturbing. Green also wanted to have more preventative measures and a program in elementary schools where kids learn that violence of any kind is not the answer. Preventative measures should be taken so that extremes do not happen.

            Many remember the year of 1999 in Littleton, Colorado (Green, 1). Columbine was a result of two teenagers who were bullied and were fed up with the fact that no one would do anything about it. This bullying resulted in 15 deaths, 13 people and then they turned the gun on themselves and committed suicide (Green 1). Many times, bullying leads to suicide, but suicide had such a stigma that they didn’t do any studies to find out what was truly going on. Then in 2005 at Red Lake High in northern Minnesota another kid went on a killing spree (Green, 1). He killed his grandfather, a security guard, a teacher, five students, and then committed suicide (Green, 1). Green also talked about a study that was done with 847 eighth grade students and 110 teachers, counselors, and administrators (Green, 2). The numbers that came to light were disturbing. Only 16% of the adults thought kids were bullied in middle school (Green, 2). Researchers found that 58.8% of students were actually bullied (Green, 2). They then took the stats and separated them based on gender. They found that boys (47%) were less inclined to be bullied than girls (53%) were (Green, 2). Boys were also more inclined to be physically bullied, while girls were had a higher chance of being mentally bullied (Green, 2). There are two types of bullying, physical and mentally (Green, 2). The number of students who were actually injured (10%) due to bullying is disturbing (Green, 2). Usually the physical doesn’t get worse than a bruise, bump, or a split lip, but there have been some reports that there have been hospitalizations also (Green, 2).

            Parents and teachers need to learn how to spot bullying when it is happening so they can stop it in its tracks (Green, 3). Also schools need to have training for teachers to learn how to spot bullying and how to stop it (Green, 3). A lot of the school systems are not equipped to handle these issues at hand. Many think that bullying is only in certain places, such as middle school and high school, but in fact it starts in elementary school (Green, 3). Green talked about Briggs starting a program in schools for children in second and third grades (Green, 3). The program teaches the children “how to deal constructively with simple disagreements in the classroom (Green, 3).” He also tried to teach them that talking about their problems is better than bullying (Green 3). Another part of the program was teaching the kids “the art of negotiation, conflict resolution, and simple courtesy (Green, 3).” Something else that Green talked about was the fact that bullies should incur a harsher punishment (Green, 3). One school went as far as actually suspending the students who bullied and those who didn’t try to stop it (Green, 3). Many ask if this harsh punishment should be enacted in all schools.

            Bullying can go too far. It can lead the kids to go to extreme measures, such as in the case of Columbine. Kids feel that they are not getting the help to stop the emotional abuse. Schools need to put in more preventative measures and programs to help the victims of bullying and the bullies. Also, parents, teachers, counselors, and administrators need to take the blinders off and see what bullying is doing to the children. We do so much to keep our children safe, but we don’t do anything to stop the bullying. Bullying is not keeping our children safe, it is hurting them more and we need to do more about it.

 

Works Cited

Green, Gregory. “Bullying: A Concern for Survival.” Education 128.2 (2007): 333-36. Print.

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