A recent post by Brandon Dutcher on the Choice Remarks blog again highlights the growing concern about the effects of bullying in our schools. You can read Dutcher’s post here. We at All American Martial Arts share the concern about the safety of our children while in school.
If you have not researched this issue, the numbers can be quite startling. Below are the results from research conducted by various organizations both nationally and in Oklahoma:
- Nearly 50% of students are bullied at least once in elementary or middle school
- Nearly 1/3 of all students ages 12 – 18 reported being bullied in 2007
- “Pack” bullying is more common in high school and lasts for a longer period of time
- 160,000 students miss school each day due to fear of being bullied
- 282,000 students are attacked each year in secondary schools
- 46% of males and 26% of females report being in a physical fight during school
- 1/3 of Oklahoma students report being involved in incidents of bullying
- 12% of Oklahoma elementary and middle school students admitted to bullying other students
- 60% of middle school bullies have at least one criminal conviction by age 24
- 71% of school shooters identified bullying as a motivating factor
From the Oklahoma Department of Health
- 69% of 7th graders, 54% of 5th graders, and 40% of 3rd graders reported that bullying occurred daily or weekly in their school
- Most common places bullying occurs: 1. Playground, 2. School Bus, 3. Halls, 4. Bathrooms, 5. Classrooms
- 20% of Oklahoma elementary and middle school students worry often about bullying
- Only 34% of Oklahoma elementary or middle school students reported assisting someone who was being bullied.
Although June is just now ending, school will begin for many children in slightly over a month. What can you do to protect your child from bullying? Here are some quick suggestions:
- Help your child build a strong self-confidence (children with a healthy self-confidence are less likely to be bullied than others)
- Help them develop effective conflict resolution skills
- Teach them to become aware of their surroundings and how to avoid a potential conflict before it occurs
- Enroll them in a self-defense program – No child should be taught that fighting is good. However, they should not expected to simply be a victim either.
Bullying is a real issue our school children are facing. And its impact our our children’s lives is becoming more costly. Parents should provide their children with the knowledge and skills to handle bullying before their child becomes a victim.
James Davenport is c0-owner of All American Martial Arts, located in Del City.