Kids are heading back to school. While this may be a relief to many parents, we know that you always worry about your child’s safety. One thing you should never have to worry about is your child being bullied in school. At the SMA Law Group, we know that this happens regularly, despite public information campaigns to stop it. Today, our Pittsburgh personal injury attorneys want to discuss the varying aspects of bullying and how it can affect you.
What are the statistics behind bullying?
Bullying has been in the news a lot lately, with the most recent story about a young boy who was bullied for his handmade T-shirt. He made a shirt for his favorite football team, the University of Tennessee and was teased because he had to tie a piece of paper with a hand-drawn logo onto an orange shirt. The University of Tennessee stepped in and decided to make his design one of their official T-shirts, which have since sold more than 16,000 units.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the US Department of Education say that the core elements of bullying include:
- Unwanted aggressive behavior
- The observed or perceived power imbalance
- Repetition of behaviors or high likelihood of repetition
They say that there are two types of bullying:
- Direct bullying – this occurs in the presence of the person targeted.
- Indirect bullying – this is bullying not directly communicated to the targeted youth. Rather, it happens through things like spreading rumors.
Bullying categories generally fall into physical, verbal, and relational bullying as well as damage to property.
Studies have shown that between 1 in 4 and 1 in 3 US students say they have been bullied at school. Most bullying happens in middle school, and the most common types are verbal and social bullying. Social bullying includes things like intentional efforts to harm the social relationships of the target.
The rise of the Internet and social media, particularly places where things can be sent anonymously, has increased the chances of a child being bullied even when they are not at school.
How does bullying affect someone?
Kids who are bullied can experience a range of negative consequences to their physical and mental health. Bullied kids are more likely to experience depression and anxiety, feelings of sadness and loneliness. They will likely have changes to their eating and sleeping patterns. Many mental health effects of bullying manifest themselves in physical symptoms.
Students who are bullied also tend to see their grades decline. They have lower GPAs and standardized testing scores.
Bullying can even lead to suicide.
Let us help you through a hard time
If your child has been the victim of bullying at school or has been injured due to the careless or negligent actions of another person or entity, please seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At the SMA Law Group, we are ready to sit down and discuss the incident and whether or not you are eligible for compensation. When you need a Pittsburgh personal injury attorney, you can contact us for a free consultation by calling at 1-888-976-2529.