Educators can benefit from a variety of information including toolkits for bullying prevention in schools, teaching tools for diversity and school safety resources. Physical bullying is damaging and can be emotionally and psychologically devastating. When a child fears for their safety, they’re not able focus on life and function normally. Notwithstanding the trauma that physical bullying causes, most children don’t report it to a teacher or to their parents. Signs of physical bullying may include unexplained scratches, bruises, and cuts, or unexplainable headaches or stomach aches. However, the psychological effects of physical bully may be even more pronounces than the physical scars. Children who are withdrawn, struggle to focus, or become anti-social may also be the recipients of physical bullying-even if there aren’t any other outward signs.
The current definition acknowledges two modes and four types by which youth can be bullied or can bully others. The two modes of bullying include direct (e.g., bullying that occurs in the presence of a targeted youth) and indirect (e.g., bullying not directly communicated to a targeted youth such as spreading rumors). In addition to these two modes, the four types of bullying include broad categories of physical, verbal, relational (e.g., efforts to harm the reputation or relationships of the targeted youth), and damage to property.
When students have been bullied, they often believe they are the only one this is happening to, and that no one else cares. In fact, they are not alone. There are individuals, communities, and organizations that do care. It is not up to one person to end the bullying and it is never the responsibility of the child to change what is happening to them. No one deserves to be bullied. All people should be treated with dignity and respect, no matter what. Everyone has a responsibility – and a role to play – as schools, parents, students, and the community work together for positive change.
Currently, there aren’t any Federal anti-bullying laws. However, state and local lawmakers have taken steps to prevent bullying and protect the physical, emotional and psychological well being of children. To date, 49 states have passed anti-bullying legislation. When bullying moves into the category of harassment, it then becomes a violation of Federal law. Criminal code as it relates to bullying by minors varies from state to state. The map below shows the states that have established anti-bullying laws, anti-bullying policies, and both anti-bullying laws and policies.
Some might not think bullying is a big deal. They may even want to bury their heads in the sand calling it tough love” instead of bullying when it comes from coaches or decry that we are raising a nation of wimps if they can’t take a little heat on the field” when it comes from peers. The truth is, bullying gets in the way of essential life skills and bullying tactics don’t help build better futures. When was the last time a business professional got ahead by leveling a punch in the boardroom, routinely verbally abusing a superior, or harassing staff on the Internet? These tactics deeply injure the victims and will eventually even hurt the bully. Whether you’re wearing pads or not, bullying hurts all the same. Jonathan Martin, along with countless other, can attest to that.