There is something that all parents can agree on – being a child in today’s world is vastly different than when you were growing up. Bullying in schools is on the rise and it’s taking on different forms thanks to smart phones and online messaging applications. Parents breathe a deep sigh of relief seeing their child get off the bus at the end of the day with no tears, bruises, or torn clothes. It’s a sad, sad world where every corner in school could be one that your child is backed into.
According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, close to half of all children will experience school bullying at some point while they are at primary or secondary school. At least ten percent of children are bullied regularly.
Bullying on Buses
The bus ride home after a long day of school should be a safe haven for children. It’s a place to relax and kick back with your neighborhood friends. That dream of a peaceful bus ride home has been shattered as sexual abuse and violence is now prevalent on bus rides home.
National story of bullying on buses
Two 10-year-old boys could face up to 40 years in jail (or no jail time, depending how the judge rules) for forcing an 8-year-boy to perform sex acts on them while riding on a school bus. Authorities became aware of the incident after receiving a tip from a parent, who was not related to the case, to review footage from Aug. 30. The three students involved in the case are special needs students.
Gainesville story of bullying on buses
In Marion County, deputies arrest seven girls between the ages of 13 to 15 for allegedly beating a 13-year-old girl unconscious on a school bus.
What you can do as a parent
The best thing you can do as a parent is to speak to your child. Sit down with your child, discuss anything that’s going on in school and make it an open-minded, safe environment so you he or she can feel open to talk to you about any issues without any judgment. Also, be aware of the signs of bullying (provided by BullyingStatistics.org)
- Becoming withdrawn
- Showing fear when it is time to go to school
- Increasing signs of depression
- Decline in school performance
- Speaking of another child with fear
- Noticeable decline in how the child sees him or herself
- Signs of physical altercations, such as bruises, scrapes and other marks
If you can’t get a straight answer from the child, then turn to the school administration. Your child’s parent will provide more insight and feedback than your child normally will.