You should be concerned… Very concerned…
Over 13,000 kids from 5th – 12th grade were surveyed. They were asked what steps they’ve taken to stand against bullying.
- 20% Hit or Fought the Bully!
- 27% Made Plans to Get Back at or Fight the Bully!
Concerned yet? You should be. That means that 1 in 5 kids who were the targets of bullying resorted to physical violence! Worse yet, 1 in 4 either seriously considered violence or some other way of “getting even”.
Those numbers are staggering. When we visit schools we often hear from kids who are the targets of bullying. Many times they feel the only way out is to become a bigger bully themselves…
The problem with that is that it doesn’t fix anything. It just creates a bigger bullying problem. Eventually it spirals out of control…
The survey, which was done by The Youth Voice project, also asked students how effective each action was.
Only about a third of the kids tried telling an adult at school, but this was the most effective tactic. 38% of students who tried this reported that it made things better.
About half the students told an adult at home. 37% of those students reported improvement as a result.
The least effective tactics were things like telling the bully to stop and ignoring the bully’s actions.
Here Are the Main Takeaways from
All Those Numbers…
Telling kids who are bullied to “just ignore it” doesn’t work. That’s really bad advice. In fact, 22% of the kids who tried it said it made things worse.
We need to open the lines of communication between kids and adults. This is the most effective tactic, but also the least utilized. Kids are either afraid to tell an adult what’s happening, or are uncomfortable for some other reason.
When bullying is reported to us, we need to take action and monitor the situation to make sure it improves. Unfortunately many adults respond by saying “just ignore it”. We’ve already established that doesn’t work.
Data like this provides valuable insights into the front lines of the bullying epidemic!
Davis, Stan, and Charisse Nixon. “What Students Say About Bullying.” Educational
Leadership 69.1 (2011): 18-23. Academic Search Premier. Web. 6 Feb. 2012.