New School Year, Time for a Bullying Alert with NoBullying [PRWeb, 01/09/2014]

The new school year is upon us and for every parent a new school year could also mean brushing back in with school bullying. It is time for parents and educators to understand what bullying could lead to for children before it is too late, all with NoBullying’s guide to school bullying this year, released today.

It is first to be noted that bullying is not mere teasing or “kids’ play.” Especially if the child is new at school, bullies are, sadly, everywhere and they have various methods of bullying to intimidate and push down other children.

The bullies’ actions may start out as simple teasing, but over time verbal harassment can lead to physical harm. This alone can have severe consequences for both the bully and the target.

Even if it is verbal, bullying is an expression of violence in its purest form. Bullying can progress to being physical, thus harming the bully, the victim and the bystanders involved.

But what could the acts of bullying lead to? Bullying could often lead to a variety of symptoms and actions for the bully and the victim.

Children who are victims of bullying are inflicted by violence in a physical sense that is done subtly by the bully to escape punishment from teachers. Some children at school could face hitting, tripping, pushing, slapping, or even their belongings destroyed. If a child is coming home with unexplained injuries, damaged clothing or lost/damaged possessions or even any signs of stress, parents need to step in right away.

Those who are present when a bully is causing harm to his or her intended target may also be affected by what is witnessed. Bystanders may be affected by what they see or hear, which could have long lasting psychological consequences, even as adults. Children who witness the bullying of their friends are most likely to experiment with smoking, drugs, alcohol or delve into promiscuous activities, even leading in some cases to teenage pregnancy.

It may not seem directly related but bullying and acts of unkindness could have serious consequences on a child’s or teen’s ability to make correct decisions. They may delve into these things to get on the good side of the bully, including running away from home.

It is also to be highlighted that more than 3.2 million students fall victim to bullying every year and that one in four teachers do nothing because they see there is nothing wrong with bullying. This is a serious call for parents to take note of bullying in school and learn how to stand up to it properly.

Ciaran Connolly, Co-Founder of NoBullying.com, said, “With the new school year upon us, we need to keep fighting bullying in school. It takes the entire community to end bullying in school.”

He added that parents and teachers should make a point to educate the younger generations about the sad outcome of bullying online and offline. According to Connolly, it is quite imperative to press for more firm laws condemning all acts of bullying and harassment.

NoBullying.com features many pages dedicated to parents, teens, teachers, health professionals as well as posts related to cyber safety and the latest news about law making concerning curbing Bullying worldwide as well as inspirational Bullying Poems and famous Bullying Quotes.

The website regularly updates its bullying statistics and cyber bullying statistics as it is essential to understand how widespread the bullying epidemic is. It also regularly runs cyber bullying surveys and questionnaires to get recent updated statistics on everything related to cyberbullying.

He also added that anyone suffering from bullying in any form or way can always find advice and help on the NoBullying website – but if anyone is suffering from severe bullying or cyber bullying, the best thing is to talk to someone locally – a parent, teacher or local organization that has been set up to help with specialized councilors to deal with this topic.

More than 400 pupils a year fleeing bullies in Essex schools. [BBC News, by Laurence Cawley, 03/05/14]

In 2012 443 pupils switched school compared with 441 last year, according to a freedom of information request to Essex County Council.

The charity Family Lives said “stronger partnerships” were needed to support the victims of bullying.

The National Association of Head Teachers said bullying was “one of the most sensitive” issues staff face.

The figures released by the county council do not go into any detail as to the type of bullying the affected children have complained of.

‘Fear of retribution’

But Sion Humphreys, policy advisor to the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) said cases of cyber-bullying – in which victims are targeted by bullies over the internet or telephone – was on the rise.

And the perpetrators of cyber bullying, he said, were “often” the parents of other children.

“Despite this awareness and readiness to address bullying,” said Mr Humphreys, “it remains one of the most sensitive and often most challenging behaviours facing adults in schools.”

Reasons for these difficulties, he said, included victims being concerned about sharing information with adults and “fear of retribution allied with the cultural reluctance to ‘grass up’ peers”.

“A second matter is defining bullying. Most children will from time to time be unkind in various ways and this is sometimes perceived as being bullying.

“Whereas such behaviour must be challenged and dealt with appropriately, bullying should be defined as an ongoing and systematic campaign to undermine and hurt others, physically and/or emotionally.

“Schools can only act on the basis of evidence even when gut feeling may dictate that the accusations are grounded. This is difficult for alleged victims and their parents to accept and is understandably a source of frustration and annoyance.”

Suzie Hayman of the charity Family Lives, which runs the BullyingUK website, said: “Any child being bullied is one child too many.

“Family Lives believes there needs to be a stronger partnership between parents, pupils and teachers to increase parental engagement and improve child outcomes.

“Although circumstances vary depending on the type of school, teachers tell us that the tension between a heavy workload and the demands from parents for more time-consuming forms of communications must be eased if engagement is going to improve.”

Christie Signs Tougher Law on Bullying in Schools [ The New York Times, by Richard Perez-Pena, 6/1/2011]

New Jersey on Thursday enacted the nation’s toughest law against bullying and harassment in schools, three and a half months after the suicide of a Rutgers University student drew national attention to the issue.

The law spells out a long list of requirements, including the appointment of specific people in each school and district to run antibullying programs; the investigation of any episodes starting within a day after they occur; and training for teachers, administrators and school board members. Superintendents must make public reports twice a year detailing any episodes in each school, and each school will receive a letter grade to be posted on its Web site.

The law, which goes into effect at the start of the next school year, lists harassment, intimidation or bullying as grounds for suspension or even expulsion from school. It applies to public schools, and portions of it apply to public colleges.

A bill had been in the works since 2009, but it gained momentum last fall. It passed both houses of the Legislature on Nov. 22, with just one dissenting vote, and Gov. Chris Christie signed it into law on Thursday. The New Jersey School Boards Association endorsed the law, concluding that schools could largely carry it out with existing resources.

“This is one of the great civil rights laws in New Jersey history, and to have a fairly conservative Republican governor sign it sends a resounding signal to other states,” said Steven Goldstein, chairman and chief executive of Garden State Equality, a gay rights group, who was involved in drafting the law. “It’s also a major achievement for bipartisan governance in New Jersey.”

On Sept. 22, Tyler Clementi, a freshman at Rutgers, jumped to his death from the George Washington Bridge; three days earlier, officials have said, his roommate surreptitiously streamed video of him in an intimate encounter with another man. While it remains unclear what role the video may have played in Mr. Clementi’s suicide, news coverage of the episode gave added impetus to efforts to enact laws against bullying and harassment.

“No question, that tragedy and a string of other suicides in the fall by school kids gave it momentum,” said State Senator Barbara Buono, Democrat of Middlesex County, a prime sponsor of the bill. “The idea is just to make the climate of school one of tolerance and respect.”

Forty-five states have laws against bullying, and New Jersey has had one since 2002, including a 2007 amendment covering cyberbullying. New Jersey becomes the fifth state to adopt a new law in the past year; New York was among the others.

“Other states have bits and pieces of what this New Jersey law has, but none of them is as broad, getting to this level of detail, and requiring them, step by step, to do the right thing for students,” said Sarah Warbelow, state legislative director at the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights group. Many states, she said, do not even offer the protections of the 2002 New Jersey law, which made it a crime to bully or harass on the basis of race, sex, sexual and gender identity or disability.