Dear Future President,
One program or assembly will not prevent bullying. One policy will not prevent bullying. Schools and communities must work together to build solid foundations of including all persons through kindness and understanding of differences. Bullying can cause multiple problems from when it happens in your childhood years to even adulthood. Most importantly bullying impacts a person's health in the short term and long term into adulthood. According to LA Times reporter, “bullying may be responsible of nearly 30% of cases of depression among adults” (Kaplan). If a child or teen is bullied they most likely will suffer from some sort of depression which can cause more issues in adulthood such as more severe depression or substance abuse. This also can cause poor work in school or in their job (academic consequence), social concerns and make poor choices because low self esteem such as theft or stealing, gain weight--food is coping mechanism--to make them feel better. "Bullying may be responsible for nearly 30% of cases of depression among adults, a new study suggests. By tracking 2,668 people from early childhood through adulthood, researchers found that 13 year olds who were frequent targets of bullies were three times more likely than their non-victimized peers to be depressed as adults." (Los Angeles Times)
Technology is huge in 2016 and this means that it can be easier for bullies and anyone to have it be anonymous because it is not in plain sight. When you are bullied to your face it’s less likely that they will even talk to you because the are either anonymous online or they don’t, because when using social media kids and teens don’t see the emotion of the receiver of the bully which is virtual.It is also harder to manage this by adults and parents because of they way the child or adult is managing the account or the technique of bullying, bullies can also make fake accounts/anonymous and pretend to be some else. The computer and internet lawyer journal reports, “When do schools have the authority to reach into the cloud and punish a student for what they find? The line between on - campus and off- campus speech has blurred by the easy availability of internet access.” “About 50 percent of children have experienced cyber- bullying and between 10 and 20 percent of children experience cyberbullying on a regular basis. Some are driven to suicide. Teachers and even administrators often are the brunt of cyberattacks. One of the favored techniques is to create a fake profile of the administrator.”
Furthermore since bullying is getting worse schools need to hold parents accountable. Wisconsin Newspaper, Star Tribune reported, “Several towns in Wisconsin now will fine parents who refuse to keep their children and teens from bullying...it’s no different from when a parent walks into a store with a child who breaks the expensive dish on the shelf. The parent pays,” (Smith). If parents need to spend time reflecting with their student or pay a fine, it is time also away from their responsibilities and a blow to their pocket. Meaning, parents may be more likely to follow through with consequences for their child if they are directly impacted. Parents will hopefully take any report of their child’s actions seriously, rather than brushing them off as “kid stuff”. More action by schools, parents, and communities is needed because bullying is not stopping.
Communities must agree to recognize that bullying is an ongoing problem in order to work at fixing the issue, rather than a quick fix. The work will never be done.