Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Federal Government gets tough on Bullying!

Courtesy of the Department of Justice

There are an abundance of websites on the Internet addressing  issues concerning bullying and cyberbullying. All you have to do is pull up your favorite search engine, GOOGLE,  Yahoo or Bing and type in the keyword, "bullying" and a plethora of well meaning sites will pop up arming you with a wealth of  excellent information. If you are searching for "the signs my child is being bullied",  what constitutes bullying, health issues concerning bullying, or help and resources regarding bullying, these sites offer more than enough information.  In my last few posts I have discussed  Florida law regarding bullying in the school relating to the elements of what constitutes bullying, harassment and cyberbullying.
 We know that Florida public schools are mandated to institute some code or policy addressing and handling bullying type cases. Although I have yet to delve into the reporting and procedure requirements stated in the law it is comforting to know that the State of Florida does take bullying issues seriously. But what happens if in a particular case, the bullying does not stop and goes so far to harm a child or teen either physically or mentally?

Let's take a look at a website called This website is a federal government website. The website states emphatically that "it provides information from various government agencies on how kids, teens young adults ,parents,educators and others in the community can prevent or stop bullying." Like many websites that address bullying, the site addresses  signs and symptoms of bullying and cyberbullying.  The site also addresses signs of the "bully". The sites discusses signs that your child or teen may be a bully and future behaviors of those who bully, as a child/teen, "are more likely to be abusive toward their romantic partner [domestic violence], spouse or children as adults.[child abuse]." It is  interesting to note the increased reported incidences of workplace bullying where co-workers, bosses and supervisors have been instrumental in bullying people in the workplace.  The site relates workplace bullying victims to those who are like victims of domestic violence. The site suggests those who have been victimized my workplace bullies seek counseling by domestic violence counselors due to the power and control issues and lasting physical and psychological effects. also states that some research has shown that 60% of boys who bullied others in middle school had a criminal conviction by age 24. The site also makes a point to address those who witness bullying, where witnesses to bullying may be prone to tobacco, alcohol and substance abuse, depression, anxiety and skipping school.

What is bullying:  Bullying is not a one time act.  It is usually   ongoing systematic actions either verbal or physical against another person by either one person or a group of people [some call it mobbing]. Here are some examples
Verbal Bullying
  • Teasing
  • Passing Rumors
  • Name calling
  • Leaving out of groups and discussions

Physical Bullying
  • Hitting
  • Punching
  • Slapping
  • Hair Pulling
  • Biting
  • Kicking
  • Pinching
  • Shoving
  • Unwanted Touching in Private areas

  • Using the Internet using various forms of Social Mediums such as My Space, Facebook, Chat rooms and Message Boards
  • Mobile Phones
  • Other Digital Technologies to harm people

There are also issues when bullying is used to attack its victims because of race, religion, gender,disability and sexual orientation. The website addresses these issues.

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