Today, bullying is seen as a stigmatized, overused word that no one wants to address and can happen to anyone, at anytime. With the increase in technology, Internet accessibility, and lack of supervision, kids are exposed to more channels to bully and to be bullied.
In other words, it happens less face-to-face and more behind the scenes. As an educator, you might get caught in the cross fire of a bullying situation and can’t seem to figure out who started what. Bullying is now more complex and happens frequently.
External Variables that are Impacting Bullying:
- Larger classrooms and budgetary cuts in school. Teachers are overworked and under appreciated; they are juggling so many things and have less time to connect with students.
- Parents are not willing to take responsibility for their children’s actions. Giving consequences to kids helps them learn to treat people with respect and dignity. Denying the behavior will send the message that aggression, conflict, and bullying is acceptable.
- Kids have less stable home environments and lack of supervision. Teens turn to the computer to interact and use it as a social outlet to find comfort in interacting with strangers online.
- Students are not learning to develop certain social skills such as empathy, teamwork, leadership, and communication as they spend their free time online.
- Youth are overexposed to social media. Students are using Facebook, Twitter, and You Tube to share information that they might not share otherwise.
- Media overuses the word bullying: Now people are afraid to use it and be targeted as a villain. It is ignored and overlooked until a child takes action and ends his/her life.
We need to invest in programs, workshops, and trainings to help address bullying before it is too late. Everything around us evolves and changes. It is time to see how bullying has evolved and changed too.