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Bullying Myths and Facts
It’s bully-mythbusting time!
Here are a few of the top bullying myths and facts surrounding bullying:
- Bullying occurs between a bully and victim. WRONG. As mentioned above, this bully myth is wrong. Youth move in and out of the bully and victim roles depending on conditions in their homes, school and community.
- Bullying is normal part of growing up. WRONG. Bullying doesn’t just end when one reaches adulthood as the incidence of bullying the workplace clearly shows. Contrary to this bullying myth, Bullying is not a normal part of growing up, extends beyond childhood, and can have legal and psychological ramifications for the youth and community involved.
- Bullying Is Impossible to Stop. WRONG. There are in fact many schools where bullying/victimization is rare. Tackling with bullying requires dealing with bullying at several levels including in the home, at school and in the community. Specifically, tackling bullying requires positive adult leadership in schools, positive student leadership and healthy relationships between everyone involved.
- Physical Bullying Is More Damaging (aka “Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones But Words Will Never Hurt Me”). WRONG. This is a dangerous bullying myth, especially for those living in some states in the US (e.g., Georgia) that have limited the definition of bullying to only physical acts. A definition of Physical Bullying that omits the fact that much of bullying is not overt, physical actions. Relational Bullying, excluding victims from group activities, can be even more damaging and unlike a physical definition of bullying is often undetectable and so can go on for years without being noticed. Like Verbal Bullying, this makes Relational Bullying even more insidious than physical bullying.
- Figuring out how to evaluate anti-bullying efforts is too complicated. WRONG. What it does require is your school to begin keeping records of bullying incidents and then observing any change in the number of incidents after the implementation of your anti-bullying programs. Anti-bullying software like BRIM that makes it easy to view changes in bullying rates at your school can help.