Bullying is a problem that needs to be stopped

Published 9:52 am Sunday, April 17, 2022

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It’s uncomfortable to hear, but bullying is on all of us.

More prevalent now than ever before due to social media, students from elementary school all the way through high school, and possibly even beyond, deal with it daily.

And the number one mistake we make is to think, “Well, there is no way my baby would ever bully anyone;” or the opposite, “My baby is so sweet, there is no way he could be bullying someone at school.”

The reality is, if you have kids, one of the two is a very real possibility.

So, before you shut down the chance of either happening, the best thing you can do is open your ears and listen to those trying to prevent it.

Teachers and counselors tend to get a bad rap for not paying close enough attention and allowing bullying to proceed in school, playing it off as just messing around or teasing, but nothing could be further from the truth, especially if your child goes to a school in this county.

Shelby County Schools, Alabaster City Schools and Pelham City Schools all have strict no-bullying policies that follow several steps to quickly get the students and parents involved.

And that’s where it goes back to the statement of listening to what they say, rather than shrugging it off and thinking the information couldn’t possibly be about your child.

Most students aren’t going to sit in class and constantly tease someone directly in front of the teacher. They’re going to wait to do so until they have that student isolated or have them around a group of peers that will add fire to the fuel.

But how do we prevent any of it from happening if we don’t see any bullying happening?

It starts with setting the right example.

Students absorb what is happening at home and how we, as adults, handle situations.

Our kids and students don’t understand the ramifications of their actions, but we do.

We can take the time to sit them down and talk to them about how serious of an issue it is and put an emphasis on them showing respect to their peers.

Bullying numbers and suicide numbers have both increased drastically in recent years, with suicides for those between the ages of 10 and 24 increasing by close to 60 percent in a 10-year span, according to the CDC.

It is something that has left many families, locally and beyond, in a state of grief.

The least we can do is talk with our children, educate them on something they may think is harmless and have them step up and change what is an alarming trend.

Otherwise, we’ll continue down a dark path, and that’s a path filled with guilt that we did nothing to prevent the grief of others.