I would like to say that bullying is a fad, but…
Examples of bullying are everywhere in the news today, and the ultimate tragedy is that many young people are committing suicide from being bullied. I’m sure when you talk to your friends, many can relate to being taunted and picked on as a child, but I don’t believe that bullying was ever promoted by the media like it is today. I would like to say that bullying is a fad, but with the number of bullying cases increasing ever day, we know that it’s not going to go away anytime soon.
Are we becoming numb to the act of being bullied, never imagining that it will ever occur to our children? And if it did, would we really take a stand and put an end to it, or would we feel that it’s all part of a child’s growing pains? With the growing number of child abuse cases and bullying, I have to question why we continue to promote abuse on television and print ads targeted to children and teenagers who are influenced so easily.
It’s difficult to swallow hard facts, but 30% of school children today will be bullied, 20% will experience physical violence from a bully and 43% of teens will be cyber-bullied. These rates seem alarming, but what’s really appalling is the long-term effects of bullying, including suicide.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. But what are we doing on a personal level to prevent bullying? When we see, hear and read about children in the media, more often than not, we’re witnessing incredible tragedy or despair. It’s time we stop accepting ads like the one below with Heather Morris of Glee, where a bruised eye is considered “cool.” We need to step up to the plate and stop paying patronage to such methods of advertising. Tyler Shields (the “IT” photographer of the moment) and Heather Morris should use their amazing creativity and talents to take a stance against bullying and abuse, and create a positive message that would have beneficial lasting effects.
If we could just reduce the number of bullying or abuse cases by 1%, that would positively impact more than 300,000 children in the U.S. We need to focus our efforts toward putting an end to these growing statistics, and leave the black eyes, bruises and battering to those that are in the ring.