Bul­ly­ing...it’s un­ac­cept­able

Calhoun Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Lo­cal Mother, Grand­mother and Re­tired Teacher

It’s that time of year again! The smell of fall in the air, leaves fall­ing, the an­tic­i­pa­tion of the up­com­ing hol­i­days, but most of all re­turn­ing to school for an­other year of sports, friends and new ad­ven­tures! You can feel the ex­cite­ment!

Un­for­tu­nately, along with the new and good come the re­al­ity that many of our chil­dren are be­ing bul­lied each day. There is the feel­ing of help­less­ness fac­ing an­other year and be­ing pow­er­less to be able to stop this abuse.

A bully can turn some­thing like go­ing to the bus stop or re­cess into a night­mare for kids. Bul­ly­ing can leave deep emo­tional scars, and in ex­treme sit­u­a­tions, it can in­volve vi­o­lent threats, prop­erty dam­age or some­one get­ting se­ri­ously hurt. Bul­ly­ing is in­ten­tional tor­ment­ing in phys­i­cal, ver­bal, or psy­cho­log­i­cal ways. It can range from hit­ting, shov­ing, name- call­ing, threats and mock­ing to ex­tort­ing money and pos­ses­sions. Some kids bully by shun­ning oth­ers and spread­ing ru­mors about them. Oth­ers use so­cial me­dia or elec­tronic mes­sag­ing to taunt oth­ers or hurt their feel­ings.

Many times, the par­ents are un­aware of the sit­u­a­tion, and the par­ents that are aware of this prob­lem aren’t ex­actly sure what to do. Is it re­ally new, or sim­ply be­ing re­ported more of­ten? Ei­ther way, par­ents need to be aware of the stress that to­day’s chil­dren of all ages face. It’s im­por­tant to take bul­ly­ing se­ri­ously and not just brush it off as some­thing that kids have to “tough out.” The ef­fects of bul­ly­ing can be se­ri­ous and af­fect kid’s sense of safety and self- worth. In se­vere cases, bul­ly­ing has con­tributed to tragedies such as sui­cides and school shoot­ings.

Some of the signs that may point to a bul­ly­ing prob­lem are: 1. Un­ex­plained in­juries 2. Lost or de­stroyed elec­tron­ics or jew­elry.

3. Fre­quent headaches or stom­ach aches, feel­ing sick or fak­ing ill­ness.

4. Changes in eat­ing habits, like sud­denly skip­ping meals or binge eat­ing.

5. Dif­fi­culty sleep­ing night­mares.

Bul­ly­ing can im­pact how well your child does in school, their abil­ity to make friends and can have an ef­fect on them for many years. There are many or­ga­ni­za­tions that are ad­vo­cates against bul­ly­ing, please seek help if you feel your child is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing this abuse. cloth­ing, or books, fre­quent

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