Imagine finding your child hanging lifeless in his/her closet because he/she was being bullied at school. This is not something that is easy for anyone to imagine and it shouldn’t be. For the parents of Gabbie Green, this was their reality. Bullying is no joke and it needs to stop!
My name is Brandy Gonzalez and I am here to get your help with putting an end to bullying in schools. Rita Brhel, managing editor of theattachedfamily.com, wrote that bullying impacts everyone, whether you’re the victim, the bully or just a witness or bystander.
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In March of this year, ABC News reported about a 12-year old middle school student, Gabbie Green, who became a victim of bullying. According to her father, and I quote, “she had all the love in the world when she came home, but the days that she went to school she would be isolated, manipulated and demoralized”. Her parents reached out to the school for help, but it continued. This could be your child. It is important that you watch for signs of your child being bullied. In 2017, according to stopbullying.gov, and I quote “children who are bullied are at risk of having behavioral health issues such as anxiety, depression and social withdrawal”. They also state that kids who are bullied are also at risk for alcohol/drug abuse and suicide. We as parents need to be aware of what are children are dealing with so we can do everything we can to intervene.
What about the bully? The 2 students who were charged with cyberstalking Gabbie are minors and there isn’t really a whole lot of information to be found about them. However, Rita Brhel from theattachedfamily.com, reported studies show that kids who bully others are at risk to get into fights, steal, carry weapons and drop out of school. And when these kids grow up into adulthood, they tend to be abusive towards others. Does this surprise you?
It doesn’t stop there; in 2009 The American Psychological Association said, and I quote, “students who watch as their peers endure the verbal or physical abuse of another student could become psychologically distressed, if not more, by the events.” These are our children, which are our future. The witness or bystander feels a sense of guilt for not helping the victim as well as fear of being the next victim.
So how are you all feeling? It is very clear that we need to end bullying in schools because its impacting all our children, whether they are the bully, the victim or just a witness, possibly for the rest of their lives. We can’t let this continue.
You are probably asking yourself how are we going to stop bullying? Well, first all schools need to take bullying seriously, and have a zero-tolerance policy that is strictly enforced. American Psychological Association suggests the following about how we all can take action to prevent bullying in schools.
Be knowledgeable and observant and intervene to stop it
Involve students and parents in safety teams or antibullying task forces
Teachers and administrators to set positive expectations about behavior for students and adults
Parents, let’s start today, because one child impacted is one too many.
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