A Discussion on Bullying: How can We Keep Children Safe?

I was bullied many times throughout my childhood. Once, I was called fat. This may seem like not a big deal, but I was just a sixth-grader going through an awkward growth spurt. It doesn’t matter the size or shape of someone, I didn’t deserve this. Of course, I was extremely upset and didn't want to set foot in that class for the rest of the year.  I’ve always been a sensitive person, and sadly I believed what the person said. My support system at home then wasn’t great, so that made the situation worse. I remember my self-esteem and self-confidence really took a nose-dive for a while.

Thinking about my situation, I wonder how we can protect kids from being bullied when bullying is such an issue?

I fully believe that bullying is detrimental and can lead to life-long psychological effects such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, insomnia, and substance abuse. The sad situation is 15% of students are involved in bullying situations. This includes both the bullies and the victims.

Bullying LGBT

Bullying is serious.

Children see effects even in their adult life.

Can schools help keep kids safe from bullies?

OK, let’s be real. As a kid, a presentation or even an assembly over bullying would have done barely anything. I’d like to say if the school made the presentations more visually and auditorily stimulating that would help, but not going to lie… I doubt that would make a difference. How many kids would really pay attention? Especially now in a world of technology, I can’t imagine being in a presentation with all these kids on their iPhones.

In middle school and high school I had a group of guys that kept harassing me. They would come and push me, call me names, and prank call my number over and over. My parents were aware, but the school wouldn’t step in because they didn’t have “video proof.”

This was humiliating to me. I felt like no one cared enough to step in and help me. My spirit was crushed day in and day out at school because of this group of guys. I’d go begging the school counselors and principals with no avail. I’m not sure if this has changed by now, but I wouldn’t feel safe going back to school as a kid with no support.  

Stop Bullying

Stop. Bullying. Now.

How do we end this? Should parents intervene and when there’s a threat keep their kids home?

I say YES! To be honest, there’s no way schools can protect kids the way they need to be protected. Parents have a better shot at this! If there’s any threat of bullying I think parents should step in and take it seriously. If someone is complaining of bullying, they deserve to be heard! Get the school’s attention. I think it’s important for the parents to do anything they can to prevent their children from being bullied, especially when bullying can have such long-term effects on a person and lead to other mental health issues such as anxiety and depression!

For me, I wish someone would have stepped in and stopped those boys from bullying me. Maybe then my anxiety and depression would be less now?

What do you think? Comment below and let’s start a discussion!

XOXO,

Mariah

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