Bullying is a Deadly Serious Problem
Bullying can end up with physical violence, social and emotional distress and sometimes death. The recent suicide of 14-year old, Jamey Rodemeyer, who family members say was tortured by bullies, has reignited a fierce fight against bullying.
Among those jumping to action is Jamey’s role model, Lady Gaga. Right after Jamey’s death last month, she tweeted “Bullying must become illegal. It is a hate Crime.” “I am meeting with our President. I will not stop fighting. This must end. Trend it #MakeALawForJamey. “
Jamey was the creator of inspiring viral videos “It Gets Better,” in which he talked about the fears and frustrations he suffered because of school bullying. Rodemeyer even endured cruel comments posted on social media websites that his friends say, eventually led to his death.
Other tragic stories include the vicious beating and stomping death of Douglasville, Georgia college student, Bobby Tillman. Witnesses say, he was attacked for no apparent reason at a house party.
Bobby Tillman’s mother, Monique Rivarde, speaks about combating bullying
In another case, despite pleas to school administrators, 11-year old Jaheem Herrera took his life in 2009 when his mother said he couldn’t take the homophobic bullying anymore. Bully and harassment victims also include females. In Detroit last year, a 14-year old hanged herself after weeks of harassment by her classmates. Before Samantha Kelly’s death police had dismissed her charges that a high school senior had raped her. Her classmates tormented her mercilessly when they found out about her allegations. On this website, are advice from professionals, tips, and important hotline numbers that are for you to help in this crusade. With your help, this will end! What is Bullying? Bullying is an ugly widespread and serious problem that can happen anywhere. It is not “kids being kids” or “just messing around”. It can bring on serious psychological and physical harm. There are often 3 players in bullying situations: The Bully, The Victim, and those who watch. Bullying situations usually involve:
- Imbalance of Power: people who bully use their size, popularity and power to control or harm and the people being bullied. Consequently victims usually have a tough time defending themselves
- Intent to Threat or Cause Harm: The bully usually has an intention to hurt
- Repetition: Most bullying occurs to the same person over a span of time by the same person or groups of people.
- Verbal: Name-calling, threats, name-calling and public humiliation
- Social: Spreading rumors, leaving people out of a group scene on purpose with the intent of embarrassment or other harm. Studies show that girls are more likely to bully socially and boys use physical harm.
- Physical: Hitting, pushing, kicking or other forms of fighting
- Cyber-bullying: Using Social Media, cell phones, the internet or other digital technology to spread harmful messages
Who is at risk of being Bully Victims? There is no one reason that will mean that a person will be bullied; however, generally children, teens and young adults who are targeted fit in the following categories:
- Are not as popular as others
- Have few to no friends
- May be gay, bisexual or do not conform to gender norms
- Have low self esteem
- Are timid, anxious nervous and do not handle confrontations
How to tell if someone maybe a Victim Oftentimes victims are too embarrassed or afraid to get help. One thing is for sure, they will behave differently at the start of the problem. Signs include:
- They may come home with damaged or missing clothing or belongings. They may claim they’ve lost their cell phones, jewelry etc. etc.
- Has unexplained injuries
- May have suicidal thoughts or other harmful inclinations like running away from home
- Changing eating and sleeping habits
- Complains of headaches, stomachaches or feeling sick as a way to miss or skip school
- Appears sad, angry or depressed
- May be interested in extreme self-defense options. IN 12 of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990’S, the shooters had a history of being bully victims.
Who may be guilty of Bullying Others? Again, it’s not easy to spot a bully before it happens. But parents, school administrators and other students should move to act when they see Bullies intimidate and manipulate others.
- Bullies are overly concerned about their popularity and how others see them
- Bullies like to be in charge of others and dominate them
- Bullies are aggressive and have difficulty following rules
- They see violence in a positive way
Signs of People likely to Bully
- Gets into physical or verbal fights easily as a way to handle social situations
- Is quick to blame others
- Has extra money or new belongings that cannot be explained
- Has trouble with authority figures. Many are sent to the principals’ offices often and more likely to have criminal convictions and other run-ins with police.
Witnesses and On-lookers! Did you know about 60% of students say they have personally witnesses some type of bullying. Too many people take a passive role in this problem. Sometimes the people who see a bully incident are not comfortable with it and afraid themselves. If you see a bully in action, speak out. You can make a powerful move to end this by letting authorities know and also when the bully realizes his actions do not impress anyone.
- You may get a school official if you witness a physical confrontation on campus.
- Use your cell phone and Call 911 if you’re off campus
- If you feel you may be in danger, get to a safe place and get help as soon as you can
- By all means, Speak out!
The Unique Dangers of Cyber-bullying Instead of happening face-to-face, bullies can use computer, cell phones, i-pads and tables to spread the hurt. Cyber-bullying includes hurtful rude mean text messages. Also bullies can create websites, videos or use Facebook or Twitter to embarrass or humiliate their victims. Bullying online is extremely dangerous because of the following consequences
- Messages can be constantly sent 24/7, 365 days a year
- Messages can be sent and shared to an extremely wide audience
- Since they are sent anonymously, the victim may not ever know who originated the message.
Stand Up to bullying! If you are a victim, remember you are not alone. It is not your fault. Even President Barack Obama and other major celebrities were bullied. So do the following and don’t let the bully win.
- Tell the bully to stop.
- Walk away. Ignore them and don’t give them the satisfaction of hurting you.
- If you are being physically attacked, protect yourself and get away from the situation as safely as possible
- Don’t blame yourself. Remember no matter what someone says, you should not be ashamed of who you are or what you feel.
- Tell an adult or someone you trust to figure out the best ways to deal with your particular situation.
- If you are a young adult, the rules change. Some behaviors that are only considered bullying when you were younger now trigger criminal charges. For example a hit can be considered a type of assault.
If you are a school administrator, encourage all students to participate in Bully prevention initiatives. Studies show that a reduction in bullying takes place where teachers and witnesses intervene. Adult intervention is critical from elementary through high school.
- Learn how to identify and intervene in bully situations.
- Encourage students to report bullying and establish a confidential method (i.e. suggestion box, emails) that students can use to alert school officials
- Empower bystanders and witnesses who report by protecting them from retaliation
- Create strong policies and Codes of Conducts that convey respectful behavior. Be sure outline disciplinary actions for students who violate the rules.
If you are a witness or on-looker, tell it! You are in a strong position to stop bullying. 1. Report all incidents of bullying, harassment or cyber-bullying to school officials or another adult of authority. 2. Your silence empowers and encourages bullies and makes them feel powerful. 3. Don’t confront the aggressor directly about their behaviors, instead find a safer more effective way of intervening If you are a bully, get help. In the end, most bullies wind up in trouble, If you keep acting mean and hurtful, sooner or later, you only have a few friends left. You’ll lose the power you’re searching for.
Hotline Numbers and Information Resources: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800- 273- 8255 (TALK) (Someone is there 24/7. It’s free and confidential) The Trevor Project is determined to end suicide among LBGT teens and young adults by providing support and resources. 24/7 confidential Hotline. 1-866-488-7386 (1-866-4-U-TREVOR) Contact the State Department of Education if you are not satisfied with your school administration’s response to your reports of bullying. Their Toll Free School Safety Hotline is 1- 877- SAY STOP. Jeff Hodges, is over Safe and Drug-Free Schools and he is headlining the state’s efforts. His number is 404- 463- 7891. You may email him at email@example.com Helpful websites Download Free PDF manuals at www.bullies2buddies.com
- How to Stop Being Teased and Bullied
- A revolutionary Guide to Reducing Aggression between children
- The Golden Rule Solution to Racism
Atlanta area Middle and high school students are pushing a movment to stop sterotypes that may lead to bullying and harassment. Find out how you can get involved at www.poweroverprejudice.org Check out free webisodes to help explain how kids should take a stand at www.stopbullying.gov Read the Georgia Department of Education Policy against Bullying, Harassment and Intimidation at: http://www.gadoe.org/sia_titleiv.aspx?PageReq=SIABully Teachers, School Administrator can assess their strengths and needs to shape a Bullying Prevention Program at www.stopbullyingnow.com Your school may qualify for funding from the Centers for Disease to help provide technical help. Contact the CDC at 1-800- CDC- INFO (232-4636) and learn more about the CDC’s approach to stop bullying at http://www.cdc.gov/ViolencePrevention/pdf/Bullying_Factsheet-a.pdf
Atlanta Police Department Chief George Turner discusses bullying
PRINT OUT AND SIGN HOT 107.9’s ANTI-BULLYING PLEDGE
I, ___________________ (your name) agree to abide by this Anti- Bullying Pledge in hopes of ending bullying within my community and/or school.
I understand that “Bullying is NOT HOT” in my community and/or school.
I understand that no one deserves to be a victim of bullying.
I believe that everybody should feel safe and be accepted in their community regardless of their age, race, color, gender, intelligence, religion, sexual orientation or nationality.
I pledge to make myself aware of the various forms of bullying. These forms include physical, verbal, cyber, and emotional bullying
I pledge to refrain from engaging in shoving, hitting, name-calling, teasing, making inappropriate jokes, and/or isolating or excluding individuals who may be different from me and/or my friends. I understand that our individual differences are what make each of us great!
I pledge to never use electronic mediums such as text messages, email, and social networking websites to engage in bullying.
By signing this pledge, I agree to:
1. Recognize that bullying is cruel and causes pain to the victims and their families
2. Embrace, respect and value the differences of other people because I want people to embrace, respect and value my differences
3. Treat others with the same amount of respect that I would like to receive
4. Refrain from being involved in any bullying incidents, including being a bystander
5. Be aware of the different types of bullying both direct and indirect types
6. Pay attention to places in my community and/or school where acts of bullying are known to take place. It is my responsibility to report bullying incidents, even if I am not the victim.
7. Include people who have been left out and refrain from isolating my peers or members of community because of their individual differences
8. Speak to adults (teachers, counselors, and parents) about bullying in effort to educate myself
9. Encourage my peers / friends to speak out against bullying in their schools and communities
10. Be a good role model for younger people and people who look up to me in my school and/or community.
11. Organize and/or participate in assemblies and community programs that promote anti- bullying.
12. Introduce anti-bullying campaigns and websites to my community and/or school
13. Be positive through my words and actions and support those who have been a victim of bullying by befriending them and including them in school and/or community activities.
14. To spread the word in my school and/or community that Bullying is Not Hot!
Email:_________________________________________ Age: ________________
Name of School:____________________________________________
Created By Rashidah J. (Atlanta Market)
Updated 08/02 – 2:30p