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On the Radar – Bullying Prevention

October is National Bullying Prevention Month

 

by Trooper Angela Bieber - October 4, 2017

October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and this segment is some basic information about bullying in order to help others understand there is a problem and there are things we can do to try to prevent it.
According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, more than 20% of students report they have been a victim of bullying. But, of that 20%, only about 1/3 of them actually tell someone about the bullying.
Bullying has negative effects on both the victim and the person doing the bullying.
Victims are at increased risk for poor school adjustment, sleep difficulties, anxiety and depression.
Bullies are at increased risk for academic problems, substance abuse and violent behavior as they get older.

What is bullying? Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center describes bullying as: an intentional behavior that hurts, harms or humiliates another person either physically or emotionally. There is an imbalance of power – either real or perceived.

So let’s differentiate between a conflict and bullying. We all have various degrees of conflict in many of our relationships, whether it be family, friends, peers, or co-workers. We can disagree with someone and express our views equally. Once there is an imbalance of power and the goal of one of the parties is to hurt or humiliate the other – then it becomes a bullying situation rather than just a difference of opinion.

For a long time bullying was considered a normal part of growing up and it was often recommended to just ignore it and it will go away. But, when we look at all the negative impacts bullying can have on victims, bullies, and even witnesses, we know we can’t ignore the issue.

The act of bullying has changed with the use of technology. What was once thought of as someone getting beat up on the playground now can happen anytime of day or anyplace with electronics and social media. Sometimes the bully might not even be known due to the ease of being anonymous online.
Cyberbullying is unique in that there can be a much larger audience and information spreads almost instantaneously.

Bullying appears to happen more often than we know or think. Emotional, social and cyberbullying can be difficult to detect. So what can we do in our schools, communities, families, and peer groups to help prevent this from occurring?
– Have a zero tolerance policy. Let everyone know the behavior will not be accepted
– Use peer pressure in a positive way. Show support for the victim of bullying and let the bully know that their behavior isn’t winning them any friends.
– Maintain open lines of communication so incidents might be more readily reported.
– Be a good role model for family, friends and peers. Set the example for others to follow.
– Stay educated on and aware of the issue. Many people don’t know that bullying can be a crime.

This article is referenced from and there is more information on this topic at Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center’s website: http://www.pacer.org/bullying/

Credits:

Idea/Concept: Trooper Angela Bieber

Videography: Andrew Moore

Video Editing: Andrew Moore

Writing: Trooper Angela Bieber

Photography: N/A,

 

Produced by Vogt Media

Funded by UPMC Susquehanna, Matthews Motor Company

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