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Bullying: Establishing a Safe and Nurturing School Climate

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“Bullying” is a destructive factor in the lives of many. It happens at school, at the workplace, at a social gathering—any place where one person is successful at intimidating another.

Some see bullying as a normal part of childhood. Others think if they ignore it, it will go away. Experts in the field, however, realize that this is a growing problem not only in the United States but elsewhere throughout the world. Unless it is researched, studied, and understood, nothing will be done and the problem will continue to escalate.

No one deserves to be bullied. School bullying statistics show that the worst years for being bullied and for bullying happen in middle school. Teachers should watch for signs such as low self esteem, difficulty controlling anger, lack of assertiveness, isolation, and depression. These students often do not talk about bullying to anyone in the school setting.

Bullying can have long reaching, harmful effects, sometimes even leading to suicide. Fortunately, we live in an age where technology meets neuroscience, which is and will continue to provide some answers about what bullying specifically does to the brain. This, in turn, will direct prevention strategies and provide tools to empower the bullied.

It is crucial to be able to identify both the bullied and the bullies, to form prevention plans, to examine and update anti-bullying policies, and to keep our schools and students safe.

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