Let’s start off with the actual definition of bullying from stopbullying.gov:

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

 

Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

 

Growing up, I was bullied, bullied for my weight, bullied because I didn’t play sports, bullied because I wasn’t like everyone else.  In 10th grade, it got so bad, I had people calling our house at night. Back then, it was a house phone, and once dad got done talking to their parents (thanks, caller ID and small school directories) those people at least didn’t call again.  It didn’t stop the bullying at school.  It got so bad that I seriously contemplated ways out.  When I think back, at least I had the solitude of home.

Nowadays, kids don’t even have that, with personal smartphones and social media. Once bullying starts it keeps going and can happen without the person being there, through posting on social media sites for their peers to see.

According to stopbullying.gov, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) said that 49% of kids in grades 4-12 reported being bullied in school at least once during the past month.  We also know that when bystanders step in, bullying stops within 10 seconds over half the time.   The real question is, how to we do better to stop or at least make that 49% a lot lower?  Sometimes it's kids not speaking up, other times, the adults we expect to step in, fail the kids being bullied.  Either way, we need to all come together to help fix this problem.

So let’s start with this… Has your child been a victim of bullying?  Take a few minutes to answer some questions on this anonymous survey, so we can take this info to school and community leaders and see how we can help stop bullying.  A Netflix series like ‘13 Reasons Why’ shouldn’t need to be a thing.  Teen suicide shouldn’t be happening.

(FYI - if you're on your phone, the survey may not show up. Scroll to the bottom of the page and hit "Desktop Version" to access it. Or, click here to get to the main survey page.)

Let’s start looking for solution… and thanks for your help! -Rob

http://dpds.polldaddy.com/s/is-bullying-a-problem-in-west-michigan-schools