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The Affects Of Bullying Today By Royston Jordan

EDC. 472- Foundations of Educational Administration

Abstract Bullying today is potentially leading students to commit suicide. This research paper looks at the growing trend of bullying occurring in schools. By investigating two cases in Massachusetts it brought in to question the policies and procedures that are in place by school systems to combat bullying. It also looked at teachers and administration, and how effective their role is in preventing incidents of bullying and in some cases suicide. Researching bullying I discovered many authors felt that educators should also be held accountable for negligence and ignoring certain incidents. Overall I find that more awareness is needed about bullying, and the affects it may have on school climate or community as whole. Without question bullying has changed, so new strategies and interventions are needed for the bullies of today.


Bullying, the trademark of angst-filled teenage years, has always been viewed as a rite of passage or just simply an unpleasant part of growing up. However, what began as harmless taunting has transformed into shocking acts of hatred, verbal harassment and physical abuse. Unfortunately, the systems in place to protect the children entrusted to the public and private schools in this country have not evolved with the times. However, some school systems continue to ignore and disregard bullying, leaving children to fend for themselves (Brooke Leonard, 2010). Casey Haynes has become an internet icon. He is now seen as a hero to many around the world for standing up to his bullies. Casey is an Australian student that was video taped while being bullied by another student. He was punched in the face and received several other punches in this ordeal. Then, Casey snapped and grabbed his attacker and slammed him to the ground. This incident has become world wide phenomenon. Instantly Casey gained support from his family and countless new friends by way of the internet. However in a follow up interview with Casey, a deeper more troubling revelation was found. Casey, a fifteen year old student, was being bullied for most of his young life. He was poked and made fun of because of weight and size. Prior to this event, he was being bullied for two weeks. In that time Casey confessed that he considered committing suicide a year ago. As I watched this report I wondered if there was a It was also troubling correlation between bullying and suicide.

to see that both students in the case received suspensions for their deeds. The true question is what steps were taken after

the incident? How do schools in general deal with these situations?

Data about Bullying and Suicide In recent years, a series of bullying-related suicides in the US and across the globe have drawn attention to the connection between bullying and suicide. Though too many adults still see bullying as "just part of being a kid," it is a serious problem that leads to many negative effects for victims, including suicide. Many people may not realize that there is also a link between being a bully and committing suicide. Bullyrelated suicide can be connected to any type of bullying, including physical bullying, emotional bullying, cyber bullying, and sexting, or circulating suggestive or nude photos or messages about a person. Some schools or regions have more serious problems with bullying and suicide related to bullying. This may be due to an excessive problem with bullying at the school. It could also be related to the tendency of students who are exposed to suicide to consider suicide themselves (Dan Olweus, 2009). Some key statistics that I found were very alarming: Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the Center for Disease Control. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it.

Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims, according to studies by Yale University A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying 10 to 14 year old girls may be at even higher risk for suicide, according to the study above According to statistics reported by ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying, and 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying Bullying in Schools Today In the last decade, our nation has witnessed a new phenomenon among the youth in America. A spike in bully-related suicides among teens and preteens has caused school administrators and legislators to rethink the current course of action when dealing with bullying in the school system. Currently, what often happens in response to bullying cases is something close to nothing (Brooke Leonard, 2010). is a pandemic in this country. now become synonymous. Teen suicide Bullying and teen suicide have

In researching bullying and suicide, Its called bullycide,

there seems to be a new catchword that has become part of the growing trend of bullying in schools. -Clark, 2010). which is suicide caused by bullying and depression (Mandy Jane The Department of Education reports that 25 percent of American students say they were bullied at least once a day. States have tried to address the issue by mandating their school districts adopt anti-bullying initiatives. But can these

policies really stop school bullying and possibly save lives (Bianca Solorzano, 2010)? Learning more about this growing trend embedded in our school systems, I became concerned as a future educational leader. In my research I found there was a large amount of young teens committing suicide because of being bullied. When the latest case of bully-related suicides hit the press and airwaves in January, many were shocked. After all, Phoebe Prince, a transfer student from Ireland, was only 15 when she hung herself at her Massachusetts home after another high school day of relentless tormenting. Her younger sister discovered her body hanging in a closet (Brooke Leonard, 2010). In this case, as in many others, an important question was asked, other than the nine students that are being charged for the role that played in bullying this young woman, should the teachers and administration be also held accountable for not doing an effective job of handling the bullying issue? drawn for educators in situations like this? towards bullying. Where is the line This made me

realize that my school district has been taking the right steps For example, students are not only disciplined but referred to the SRO, who then explains to them the criminal consequences of their actions. However, there is no assurance that all students will take heed to the message and warnings. In another documented case, eleven-year-old Carl WalkerHoover had a beaming smile the author described in her article. But soon after Carl began sixth grade at the New Leadership Charter School in Springfield, Mass., he became the target of school bullies who taunted him - even threatened to beat and kill him. His mother immediately contacted the school to address

the issues. But she couldn't prevent what followed. shy of his 12th birthday (Bianca Solorzano, 2010).

On April 6,

2009, Carl hanged himself with an extension cord - just 10 days

Solorzano further reported that the administrators at the New Leadership Charter School ignored CBS News' request for an interview or comment on Carl Walker's death. But CBS News has learned the school has had an anti bullying policy since 2006, and a reported intervention happened the day Carl Walker died leaving some advocates to question whether these initiatives fix the problem or make it worse (Bianca Solorzano, 2010). Final Thoughts In researching bullying, I became more aware of a grossly growing trend. The correlation between bullying and suicide in schools systems today is very much a reality. It also made me aware of the numerous cases of teen suicide out there. Still as a educational leader, it clear to see in the two cases discussed, that there is a need for changes and adaptations to current school polices and procedures. A greater emphasis on awareness of bullying also needs to take place for all stakeholders. Bullying is no longer just a kiddy fad, not with all the different methods of technology that are made available to students today. Teachers and administrators should have a greater focus on this matter, as educators we do have an obligation to protect all students. It is very disheartening learn of the many cases and families that have been affected by bullying. It is only with collective effort from all stakeholders will we find a new solution. My hope is that it does not take a number of years to do so.

Olweus, D. (2009,Unknown). Bullying and Suicide[online]. Available Leonard, B. (2010,April). Suicide rate increases in teens as an effect of bullying[online]. Available Crary, D. (2010,October). Suicide surge: Schools confront antigay bullying[online]. Available Solorzano, B. (2010,April). Bullying: Do Schools Need a New Approach?[online]. Available 5.shtml