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How to spot bullying and what you can do to prevent it

Children being bullied can suffer from lower grades
Posted at 3:49 PM, Mar 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 16:49:03-05

WACO, TX — Back in 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Department of Education released the first-ever federal definition of bullying. It defines bullying as ‘any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths, who are not siblings or current dating partners, that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance, and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated.’

Experts say this definition helped differentiate bullying from isolated incidents, like one-time fights, online arguments or disagreements between adults.

With the definition came research that found that about 20% of students ages 12-18 experience some type of bullying across the nation.

With that, 19% of students in grades 9-12 report being bullied on school property in the year prior to the research survey.

Now that many students study online because of COVID-19, bullying through a computer screen is also prevalent. In fact, among students ages 12-18 who say they were bullied in school, 15% say they were bullied online or through text messages.

So, how can you spot if your child is a victim of a bully? There’s a few ways.

If your child starts to have unexplained injuries, lost or destroyed belongings, sudden loss of friends, declining grades or lack of social interest, chances are he or she is being bullied.

Stopbullying.gov has a full list of warning signs you can look out for if you think your child is being bullied.

Now, what can you do in an effort to end the bullying?

Experts suggest that you become familiar with your state and federal laws on bullying.

Many states have both laws and policies to prevent the matter, here in Texas we only have laws.

For more information and resources on bullying, head over to stopbullying.gov. There you will find more warning signs, facts about bullying, research and even videos to show your children who may be bullies or are getting bullied.