The Consequences of Bullying in School
Has school bullying always been such a dire crisis, or is it just more public nowadays? Either way, the fact of the matter is that bullying occurs seemingly everywhere these days, among adults at the office and among kids at school, online, and anywhere else you could imagine.
What is Bullying?
Bullying can occur in many different ways, and includes all of these and more:
- Name calling;
- Spreading rumors;
- Teasing or mocking;
- Insulting or humiliating;
- Being pushed or tripped;
- Being threatened;
- Being physically attacked.
The number of people, especially young people, who have experienced some sort of bullying is alarming:
- Nearly half of all teens report that they have experienced bullying.
- Six in ten school shooters say they have experienced online or in-person bullying.
- A quarter of LGBTQ+ students report having been bullied during the school day.
- The majority of bullying among teens is verbal, and over 80 percent occurs through phones or laptops.
- Nearly half of school-aged kids say they would not intervene if they witnessed bullying.
Impacts of Bullying
There’s no question that bullying can leave deep and long-term scars. Victims are at greater risk of suffering anxiety, sleep disorders, and depression, and often experience low academic growth and wind up dropping out of school. Relationships with friends, teachers, and family may suffer as a result of bullying. Substance abuse is more likely among bullied youth, and these kids are at a greater risk of suicide than the rest of the school population.
The tragic fact is that victims of bullying are more than twice as likely to attempt suicide than their peers. One recent suicide case involves a New Jersey sixth grader named Mallory, who took her own life after enduring cruel behavior and bullying at school. Her parents sued the school district for over $9 million and won. Here in Florida, a 16-year-old named McKenna died by suicide recently, leading her parents to go public with the circumstances of her death. In the week preceding the suicide, a group of girls sent out humiliating text messages to a number of her peers and excluded her from their activities. Another young girl who died after hanging herself had suffered cyberbullying, as well, including the spread of vicious rumors and name-calling. At one point she told a friend she might take her own life, and was encouraged to just “do it.”
Florida law makes it difficult to pursue criminal charges against child bullies, but that doesn’t mean civil charges are out of the realm of possibility. Who should ultimately be held responsible for malicious bullying by children? Their parents? The school? If you have lost a child due to bullying, this is a conversation worth having. Contact the compassionate, yet aggressive Kissimmee personal injury lawyers at Salazar & Kelly Law Group to discuss your situation today.