We Need to Pay More Attention
Kids Are Suffering From Bullying
Rachel Gillian Miller - PCA-Intern
May 28, 2018
Growing up in today’s society can be very challenging for many children and adolescents. Adverse experiences, especially bullying, are crippling our children throughout their early development. Despite living in a well-off neighborhood and school district growing up, I was teased and bullied relentlessly throughout elementary school. Incidents such as being shoved on the concrete resulting in bloody knees, being choked by a jump rope, and being singled out were some examples. Teachers and staff noticed but never notified anyone. If there was no physical evidence my parents more than likely would not have noticed either. Missed warning signs and no communication about bullying and its effects are failing our children's mental health.
The recent tragedy at Santa Fe High School in Texas marked the 22nd school shooting this calendar year. Ten people were murdered and ten people were wounded when a seventeen-year-old boy open fire on fellow students, yelling “surprise!” Is it really a surprise though? Imagine years of torment and verbal abuse from your peers and being labeled as different. News reports have student and teacher statements that depict the boy to be an outsider and quiet, that he was picked on for how he dressed and behaved. While this can be damaging over time, it is not an excuse for someone to harm others. Preventative measures such as addressing warning signs and getting outside resources involved can help identify when a child might be in need of help. Some common warning signs of a child being bullied are:
- Misbehavior at school or an unwillingness to attend school.
- Exclusion from friendships.
- Unexplained pain, cuts, bruises or scratches.
- Unwillingness to talk about their day or how they are doing at home or school.
These are some of the more common signs, but not all of them. Some children do not display signs at all. Sudden changes in mood, behavior, and appearance are always something to pay attention to and how it is affecting the child or adolescent. The National Association of People Against Bullying (NAPAB) is a non-profit organization that can provide services and support for victims of bullying as well as education to families and schools. There are many more organizations and advocacy groups that can intervene and help students struggling with bullying and connect them with the resources they need now instead of dealing with the consequences later.
If you are struggling with bullying or know someone else who is, please do not ignore the signs. Reaching out and being proactive is the first step to address the issue at hand and to start getting someone help. Palmetto Counseling Associates has many providers that can help with many aspects of life and counseling. LaRaine Jenkins, Kristen Morand, and Ashley Young deal specifically with adolescents and teenagers and would be an excellent first resource to reach out to. LaRaine can be reached at email@example.com, Kristen at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Ashley at email@example.com. Appointments can also be made by calling our office at (803) 254-9767.
National Association of People Against Bullying. (n.d.). Retrieved May 21, 2018, from https://www.napab.org/
Warning Signs of Bullying. (2017, July 7). Retrieved May 21, 2018, from http://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/bullystoppers/Pages/signs.aspx