bullying prevention needs to be a constant discussion among families, schools, and your community.
Over the past year, South Florida has make national headlines in the ugliest ways when it comes to bullying and school violence. From 16 year-old Michael Brewer, who was viciously doused in alcohol and set on fire by other teens, to Josie Lou Ratley who was savagely stomped nearly to death by yet another teenager, these stories are true and South Florida based.
To compound these stories, we look in Central Florida to Chatari Jones, 12 years-old with cerebral palsy, who was taunted, harassed and physically bullied by other kids on a school bus. Since when do children throw open condoms on others? They also took a thrill in twisting her ears and verballying teasing her.
Now reach up to New York and hear about the tragic suicide of Tyler Clementi. A freshman in college who was pushed to the limit when his classmate videotaped him with a webcam having sex with another boy. Having sex is not a crime and neither is being gay, however the humiliation of your private life going viral can be difficult to emotional handle.
Now go over to Texas and you will hear about 13 year-old Asher Brown (he shot himself) that recently told his parents he was gay, it is time that our society takes action. Asher Brown came to a breaking point after another boy kicked Asher down a flight of stairs twice while at school and kicked all of his books out of his hands.
This is only a small fraction of the results of bullying. According to experts, bullying can have negative lifelong consequences both for students who bully and for their victims.
This week the Los Angeles-based Josephson Institute of Ethics, bullying is widespread in American schools, with more than 50% of high schoolers admitting to have been either victims or initiators of bullying behavior during the past year. The study also found that one-third of all high school students say that violence is a big problem at their school, and nearly one in four say they do not feel very safe there. The problem is much less pronounced at private schools, where the figures drop to less than 10 percent in those two categories.
The survey found that at least 50 percent had "bullied, teased or taunted someone at least once," and 47 percent had been physically abused, harassed or threatened in a way that seriously upset them.
Back to the headline, bullying, haven't we heard enough? Yes, we have heard enough about the tragedies, but until there bullying becomes extinct, we will never hear enough about bullying prevention.
The Children’s Movement of Florida is spearheading the newest political movement making waves in the United States, calling themselves, endearingly “The Milk Party.” They are working toward educating and informing communities in Florida about bullying and school violence prevention.