Frankly, some of those names were truly hurtful.
October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, and it’s time everyone — from parents and educators to law enforcement and clergy — takes notice and gets involved to stop this from continuing to harm so many individuals.
Bullying is real and it comes in many forms — verbal, physical and even over the Internet. It can severely affect the victim’s self-image, social interactions and performance at school.
Bullying does not discriminate. It poses a significant problem for schools and parents. Kids should enjoy school — but for those that fall victim to this tragedy, it can become a time of torment and anguish.
Here are some eye-opening facts from an anti-bullying website, tehachapiabc.org:
— Most bully victims will not report it to parents or teachers for fear of retaliation from their tormentors.
— According to the National Education Association, there are 160,000 children every day who miss school as a result of bullying.
— Studies show that both victims and their bullies are at risk for low grades, poor attitudes about school and poor functioning levels.
— There are approximately 2.1 million bullies and 2.7 million victims in U.S. schools.
— On any given playground, bullying takes place an average of every seven minutes. In the classroom, it’s every 25 minutes.
Several studies conducted at major universities across the country link bullying at a young age with criminal records later in life.
Ottawa County is not immune to this problem. According to the 2011 Ottawa County
Youth Assessment Survey, 24.6 percent of the kids surveyed in grades 8, 10 and 12 had been bullied in the past 12 months. Fifteen percent of those cases took place on school property.
This is not a school issue — it’s a community issue that we all must address. Our children are suffering and it needs to stop.
Talk to your kids, lend a watchful eye and do your part to put an end to bullying.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.