Every seven minutes a child is bullied. Eighty-five percent of bullying episodes happen in front of bystanders. The level of aggression and abuse rises with each additional audience member. Adults intervene in only 4 percent of bullying incidents on the playground, and 14 percent of bullying incidents in the classroom. These are just a few disturbing statistics.
There’s one common theme in all the individuals involved with school violence — all perpetrators have reportedly experienced some sort of bullying or demeaning treatment.
We can’t assume all parents or guardians can address this on their own, nor can we expect schools or law enforcement to successfully address it alone. We have to join together to teach kids to celebrate their own uniqueness and to recognize and appreciate the differences in each human being.
I challenge parents, schools and other youth-serving organizations to reach out to those who can help — organizations such as Girl Scouts — with curriculum to deliver to children to help combat self-esteem issues, which can keep children from growing into strong leaders who are able to stand up to bullies and not become bullies.