“Stomp Out Bullying” is a national organization which began its campaign to increase awareness of bullying in October of 2007. Years ago, bullying was considered a rite of passage, and kids were told “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” and to “toughen up and punch ‘the bully’ in the nose”.

With the internet, more parents working after school hours and access to guns, drugs, or weapons, children today are exposed to much more extreme and even deadly forms of bullying. Bullying tactics now cross the line from annoying to dangerous. Name calling has evolved to public reputation damage via the internet. A punch in the stomach has been replaced by weapon brandishing.

Persons with disabilities are at a greater risk from bullies, because they are perceived as an easy target by the bully. Recent research in the American Journal of Public Health shows that suicides have surpassed car crashes as the nation’s leading cause of injury-related death. The suicide rate increased 15% from 2000 to 2009, according to the report. By contrast, in that same period rate of deadly car crashes dropped by 25%, as a wide array of traffic safety interventions were implemented. Children and teens may be hesitant to talk about bulling experiences. Thus, parents should watch for sudden changes in their child’s behavior.

Signs of Being Bullied include:

  • Withdrawal
  • Depression
  • Reluctance to go to school
  • Sudden drop in grades
  • Self-deprecating talk
  • Staying away friends
  • Crying Episodes
  • Frequent complaints of headaches and/or stomach aches
  • Unexplained bruises

Resources: Stomp Out Bullying  www.stompoutbullying.org / It Gets Better Project  www.itgetsbetter.org

Author: Rizk Law

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