Earlier this week, a report, “Preventing Bullying Through Science, Policy, and Practice,” was released. The report linked bullying, the commonly thought of rite of passage, to the cause of myriad health issues facing children today. Bullying is defined as the aggressive, targeted behavior of one child against another.
It is estimated that nearly a third of all school-aged children, ages 5 to 18, are victims of bullying. Equally alarming is that bystanders also can experience anxiety, depression and delinquent behavior as a result of witnessing bullying. Bullying in the past had been restricted to face-to-face interactions. However, as technology has become more prevalent in the daily lives of our children, the avenues for bullying significantly increases. Roughly 7 to 15 percent of bullying occurs in cyberspace.
The health issues from bullying are also becoming more apparent. “Abdominal pain, sleep problems or damage to a child’s academic career — these are things we can’t ignore anymore. Kids have the right to go to school and get an education. If bullying interferes with that, it is interfering with one of their essential rights,” said Frederick Rivara, a professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s hospital. Dr. Rivara led a national group of scientists, educators and crime experts who studied the existing research on the subject.
Kenneth Selander, Jr. is a child injury attorney and advocate for children’s rights. He practices in the Columbia City neighborhood of South Seattle. He works to hold responsible parties accountable for your child’s injuries and to prevent harm to other children from similar conduct. If you know or suspect that your child is being bullied, please feel free to reach out to our office with your questions and concerns.