Anti-Bullying Programs Being Antiproductive
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Over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year. Though that isn’t many, in comparison to the world’s population of 7.4 billion, but that is still a lot of people. A lot of children and teenagers. That’s 77% of students who are bullied mentally, physically and emotionally. In the U.S. alone, Approximately, 160,000 kids will skip school so as not to experience the continuous violence, reports dosomething.org. And those are just the kids we know about. There are so many children who are silent in their suffering, who don’t say anything.
But how many kids on average within schools are being subjected to some such violence and abuse? “Ten kids a school, maybe less,” suggests Jonathan Horn, freshmen.
“I’m not sure, but I think a lot more are actually bullied than people think.” Ethan Belanger says.
In actuality, about twenty-one percent of students reported being bullied throughout their educational lives.
Anti-bullying programs have been created across the country in an effort to lower these statistics, but how effective are they in all actuality? “I think that the programs are trying to help, but they’re a bit too tacky now, and have become a bit of a joke.” Admits freshmen Joseph Gewelber-Williams.
In addition, senior Ethan Belanger says “in my experience, anti-bullying programs don’t do much to aid the problem.”
In all truth, these programs actually aren’t as effective as teachers and parents would like to believe, for a few reasons. Mostly, the educational videos and speeches tend to put the idea inside the minds of students. “In the study of 7,000 students ages 12 to 18 who completed a survey in the 2005-06 school year, researchers found that a higher percentage of students who attended schools with anti-bullying programs had reported experiencing bullying than in schools without programs.” says oneworldeducation.org, which is a very strong case into the theory that anti-bullying programs do more harm than they do good.
Of course, students may be bullied for many different reasons, whether it be discrimination against a gender, a transgender, sexuality, physical features, academic reasons, or for countless other reasons.
Bullying can hurt a kid, a lot, regardless of age. It’s the kind of thing that can leave a scar on someone, due to the added stress upon them. A person suffering from bullying may have anxiety, depression, and may abuse drugs, which goes on well later in life, says brainfacts.org. Thus, hundreds of anti-bullying programs have been suggested and attempted in an effort to eradicate bullying, but what effect do these programs actually have?
But that does not mean that people who believing are stupid or ignorant. “The programs are used to raise awareness,” Horn says, “and that’s what they’re doing.” These programs of course do bring more awareness of bullying to schools, students and parents alike. With it, they become aware of the effects bullying could have, and what to do in the case of yourself being bullied, but the concern is that these programs are putting the idea into students head, rather than discouraging it.
The same argument could be said about the suicide prevention videos we’re taught about in school, but those have completely different statistics.
“Anti-bullying programs aren’t effective.” Concludes freshmen Shaine Simone. “The most that’s really ever done by it is a parent conference, and usually that is deemed as ‘change’.”
But, what are we to do about this? If they aren’t effective, and are causing more harm than good, those most logical choice would be to eradicate the programs all together. But that would most likely just result in backwards progress. Rather, teachers, faculty and parents alike should be told how to monitor their kids and students, parents especially should be educated on ways to interact and talk to their children, more than anything.
So, it’s fine if the programs continue. But parents themselves should be taught more on how to watch out for signs of abuse, whether their child be the victim or the antagonizer.