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Facts About Bullying

In our previous blog, we went over some of the advantages that school uniforms offer. One such advantage was that school uniforms reduce bullying. Bullying is a major concern among students, parents, and teachers, and it isn’t hard to understand why once you know the facts. In this blog, we will go over the crucial information you must know about bullying to understand why this is an essential problem for schools and parents to address.


Prevalence

In the United States, between in-school and cyberbullying, one in four children are bullied regularly. Roughly one in five students confess to being a bully themselves. About 30 percent of American students are involved with bullying, whether they are victims or bullies themselves. In schools, verbal bullying is the most common, with roughly 77 percent of students being bullied verbally. This can include spreading gossip, using derogatory terms, or yelling obscenities. About 14 percent of these students have a severe reaction to this abuse, meaning they experience such side effects as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and even suicidal thoughts. Half of all students fear being bullied, and teens believe that they have seen an increase in violence within schools. Most disturbing of all, in roughly 85 percent of bullying cases, teachers and administrators fail to intervene. However, more and more, school administrations are catching onto the prevalence of bullying and designing interventions and other programs in an attempt to address this serious problem.

Additionally, as social media has become an integral part of young people’s lives, cyberbullying has been on the rise. Approximately 80 percent of high schoolers have experienced online harassment. The connection between cyberbullying and teen suicide has been made, with many campaigns against cyberbullying focusing on the young people who have died by suicide as a result of this type of abuse. About 35 percent of teens have been threatened with violence online. Half of students report having said something mean to another student online, and most report having done this more than once. 

Risk

Bullying can happen anywhere, at any time, to any child. However, there are some types of students who tend to be bullied more than others. In certain areas, students who are LGBT or have disabilities, are more likely to be bullied. In general, students who are bullied are considered different from their peers, whether because they wear glasses or unique clothing, are new to the school, are lower income, or are over or underweight. Additionally, these students are often considered “easy targets” because they are unable to defend themselves from bullying in some way, are often considered “unpopular,” have low self-esteem, or have trouble getting along with others. However, even if a child falls under none of these categories, they can still be bullied. 


On the other side of the equation, there are certain children who are more likely to bully others. Students who have a lot of social power, are particularly invested in popularity, and like to be in charge of others are more likely to be bullies. On the flip side, some bullies are children who feel isolated from others, give into peer pressure easily, and have difficulty empathizing with others. Other characteristics of those who are more likely to bully are being more aggressive or irritable, having problems at home, thinking negatively about others, thinking positively about violence, having difficulty following rules, and having friends who bully. The power imbalance that allows bullying to happen does not necessarily mean the bully is physically stronger or larger; it can come from being at a social or intellectual advantage.


Impact

Bullying has a clear negative impact on a large scale. First, for those who are bullied, mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and insomnia, are common. Many experience more physical health issues as well due to the stress of their environment. They also see an effect on their academic performance and are more likely to skip or drop out of school. There is also a very small number of bullied students that may act out violently; in the 1990s, 12 of 15 school shootings were carried out by students who had been bullied. Additionally, while the media has linked bullying and suicide, the vast majority of students who are bullied do not have suicidal ideation. While bullying puts these children at greater risk of dying by suicide, there are many contributing factors to this phenomenon, such as previous mental health issues and a traumatic history.

On the other hand, kids who bully also are at greater risk for certain problems. For example, when they grow up, kids who bully are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, vandalize, be convicted of a crime, and be abusive. As children, they are more likely to get into fights, drop out of school, and engage in sexual activity.

The impact of bullying goes beyond those directly engaged in it; students who witness bullying are affected too. Children who are bystanders to bullying are more likely to use alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. They are also more likely to experience mental health problems like depression and are more likely to skip school.


Prevention Strategies

While the issue of bullying isn’t an easy one to solve, there are many initiatives being made to address this important issue. Bullying is an issue that must be addressed by the whole community by creating a culture that emphasizes respect for all. Students, parents, teachers, administrators, nurses, bus drivers, cafeteria workers — everyone must become involved. While zero-tolerance programs that expel bullies have not proven effective, programs that encourage bystanders to intervene when they see bullying have made a difference. Additionally, adults talking to their children about bullying and encouraging respect and kindness has shown to be an effective bullying prevention strategy.

Finally, school uniforms are a great way to deter bullying because they serve to unify students and erase the most obvious differences between them. Many schools report a decrease in bullying after adopting school uniform policies. If you are a school administrator who is concerned about bullying, it’s time to implement new measures to prevent it, such as school uniforms. If you need wholesale school uniforms, we are the experts. Shop Wholesale School Uniforms today!