It seems a straightforward task. Simply create a no-tolerance policy and, Voila', problem solved. However, this psychologically complex and emotionally charged issue is not that easily thwarted. The social dynamic of young people are such that the majority of the time bullying is silent, under the table, and the victims are unlikely to report incidents, feeling there is no safety net.
In a recent nationwide study, almost 90% of students aged 12-16 reported having been bullied at least once, and of those less than 25% reported the incident. When students are asked why they fail to report a common response is that they fear the bullying will only get worse. They don’t believe adults in schools can protect them.
While all actions that work to stop bullying in schools are welcome, it seems getting to the core of the issue with sensitivity training and a full-time, year-round program for students that creates an atmosphere of real change is the only solution. What is your school doing to stop the bullying? If you think your school does not have a problem, we respectfully suggest you may want to dig deeper. With digital mediums allowing much bullying to move to cyber space, it allows the problem to slide beneath the surface. The fact that most victims are too fearful to report, means schools and parents need to be even more vigilant.