Despite being the number one attributing factor to school shootings according to the FBI, schools continue to spend far more on other security measures that do not address this cause.
While bullying is not the sole reason for violent acts such as active shooter, it is cited as the motive in 75% of school shooting incidents. This issue must be addressed through identification, prevention, mitigation and response. School administrators and faculty must be trained properly with established policies and procedures in place.
An All Day Every Day Threat
Bullying is no longer confined to the classroom, playground or school campus. With the advent of social media, bullying has become a 24 x 7 threat. Cyber bullying can be among the cruelest forms of public humiliation and has led to teen suicide. There are three types of bullying: physical, relational (or social) and verbal. Research shows that students who are bullied are more likely to struggle in school and skip class. They are more likely to abuse drugs and alcohol, be depressed, and are at higher risk of suicide.
Since 2010, the Department of Education along with the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice, have acted to combat bullying and cyber bullying through work such as StopBullying.gov.
However, it is the work of educators, bus drivers, parents, and students, that that will prevent bullying.
Stop Bullying on the Spot
When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior they send the message that it is not acceptable. Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time. There are simple steps adults can take to stop bullying on the spot and keep kids safe.
- Intervene immediately. It is OK to get another adult to help.
- Separate the kids involved.
- Make sure everyone is safe.
- Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
- Stay calm. Reassure the kids involved, including bystanders.
- Model respectful behavior when you intervene.
Avoid these common mistakes:
- Don’t ignore it. Don’t think kids can work it out without adult help.
- Don’t immediately try to sort out the facts.
- Don’t force other kids to say publicly what they saw.
- Don’t question the children involved in front of other kids.
- Don’t talk to the kids involved together, only separately.
- Don’t make the kids involved apologize or patch up relations on the spot.
Get police help or medical attention immediately if:
- A weapon is involved.
- There are threats of serious physical injury.
- There are threats of hate-motivated violence, such as racism or homophobia.
- There is serious bodily harm.
- There is sexual abuse.
- Anyone is accused of an illegal act, such as robbery or extortion—using force to get money, property, or services.
Source: Stop Bullying On The Spot, StopBullying.gov