Bullying Is a Public Health Crisis

Increased awareness of the issue that is bullying has opened up a dialogue about the effects bullying has on its victims and the importance of protecting youth from its harmful sting. Movement of students from public school systems to private boarding schools is indicative that parents are weary of bullying as a public health issue, and that bullying is far from being resolved in our school system.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified “physical injury, social and emotional distress and even death” as potential results of bullying. These effects can last well into adulthood causing a variety of further physical and mental health issues.

It is also important to note that bullying not only affects its victims, but also the perpetrators. Victims and bullies alike have reported similar physical, emotional and mental health issues, such as headaches and stomach pain associated with bullying.

Students in private boarding schools are not immune to bullying. In order to fully protect youth from bullying society must recognize bullying as a real public health issue, and take the required steps to prevent and treat it.

The CDC has identified harsh parenting, and other external influences such as accepting attitudes toward violence as factors that may cause youth to engage in bullying activities. Violent video games, movies and content on social media may encourage acceptance of violent attitudes.

Youth that have low self-esteem or are seen as different by peers are more likely to become victims of bullying.

Improved recognition of the factors that encourage bullying by parents, teachers and other forms of caregivers is the first step in preventing bullying behavior before it starts. Policies in public and private boarding schools and in the home need to be adjusted to discourage the factors that cause bullying.

Parents should be actively involved in fostering positive self esteem in children and youth. This can be accomplished by encouraging involvement in peer groups such as clubs and other organizations that fit a child’s personality and interests.

As further research is conducted, organizations including public and private boarding schools, health professionals and families must all cooperate to successfully identify and bring to bear adjustments to policy that will prevent bullying.

Research reported by the CDC indicates that at least 20 percent of student report being bullied on school property. Knowing the effects that bullying has youth, a coordinated effort is required to discourage and prevent bullying in youth.

Drew Scholl is an academic writer for Fusion 360, an SEO and content marketing agency. Information provided by Wasatch Academy. Follow on Twitter.

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