Bullying is ongoing problem

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Bullying is an ongoing problem, one that has continued to get worse, not only in the schools but in the workplace. My concern is for our young adults, our future generation, who will be responsible for important decisions and examples for the next generation.

Actually, bullying is a problem that has been ongoing for many years. I in fact experienced it in my younger days while I was in school and probably after I was out of school. I did survive it, but we have to ask ourselves what has changed to make bullying worse. The sad twist to the subject is that we are now experiencing bullying at the tender ages of 5 and 6.

Every seven minutes a child is bullied. Children who are bullied often suffer from depression and in some tragic cases even take their own lives. Bullies are often the victims of bullying or abuse themselves and suffer from depression as well. The effects of bullying impact children emotionally, socially and academically.

Bullying in schools generally becomes news when some tragedy occurs. When a tragic event occurs, it will often elicit a horde of reporters and an emphatic chorus of informed experts to postulate endlessly on the roots of the problem and what must be done.

Other professionals, though, work every day in the trenches, advocating for safety and, ultimately, beneficial changes that can teach parents, fledgling bullies and potential targets ways to effectively approach the issue.

Technology has made it easier to be a bully, through text messages, social networking sites and e-mail. It also has seeped into the language of counseling, likening a young person's brain to a computer's memory.

I have recently watched young adults who have been bullied in the school system reach a point of having to search for alternate ways to receive their education. I find this very sad but am very proud of those who, one way or the other pursue their education and follow their dreams for their future.

Bullying has been experienced by almost all people, and not just in schools. Ask anyone if they have ever been bullied in their life and most can recall some incident at some time in their life. But each one of us has the right to feel safe in our lives and good about ourselves.

Boys who bully tend to manifest their aggression physically and girls tend more toward verbal abuse. Whatever the method, the behavior shows a basic lack of empathy.

Society has changed and bullying has reached epic proportions.

I am not going to be the type of person to point my finger and try to say where the responsibility for bullying lies, but I will say that the problem exists worldwide and needs to be dealt with in a way where action will benefit not only the bully but the one who is being bullied.

I do feel like we need to pay much more attention to what our children are doing on their computers at home. With nearly every teenager running around with cell phones, most with Internet access, it is our job to monitor that access tightly. Many young adults and adults are victims of cyber bullying.

I want our teenagers to grow into responsible young adults and not learn at an early age that the only way to get ahead is to abuse physically, verbally or both. And on the other hand, we need to deal with the victims because the problem does exist.

The majority of area schools do have a bullying policy in place, but have their hands tied to an extent. It can be an endless circle, because if they confront the bully, this in turn can create problems for the victim outside of school.

Our young adults have so many possiblities for future success. We need to help them, so those futures are not destroyed by bullying.