Bullies, My Kung-Fu is Stronger
The Associated Press had a story this week titled: “Report: Bullying Is A Serious Public Health Problem.” When I read this, there were a few things that went through my mind:
- Thanks, Associated Press, for the informative reporting that we’ve learned to expect from cutting-edge journalism. Can’t wait for the next article: “Study Finds That Water Is A Necessity For Humans, Not Just a Convenience.”
- Someone please fire the editor immediately.
- Since we’re cleaning house, the intern who covered this story needs to find a new career path, while he/she is still young and impressionable.
I have to admit; I actually ended up reading the story because I wanted to find things wrong with it. The title suggested an ignorance that just made for a target I couldn’t pass up. Much to my surprise (and dismay, I love making fun of reporters), the article was more insightful than I thought. Maybe that was the editor’s strategy: Make the title SO BAD that it motivated people like me to read the article with the ultimate goal of criticizing it…. So, so clever. My kung-fu has always been strong, but I just got blindsided by an editor’s Fist of Fury that would have made Bruce Lee proud. But onward to the story, Grasshopper.
The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine released their findings on the long and short-term effects of bullying in children. The study covered how it affects both victims and aggressors. There is no debate, the findings clearly state that bullying should not be recognized as a normal part of growing up, and that the condition can result in “lasting negative consequences”.
(Stay with me here…. I know, I’m telling you something that you already know. I was thinking the same thing when I read it).
The study goes on to suggest that the programs that have the greatest failure when dealing with bullying are the zero-tolerance policies that many of our schools practice today. The study states that students who are suspended for bullying do not change their methodologies. The committee also concluded that such policies could lead to an underreporting of bullying — because the consequence of suspension is a punishment that is considered too harsh for the “crime”. Ultimately, the report recommends that schools stop these zero-tolerance practices immediately.
The report is grim for the victims as well. The Department of Education acknowledged that children who are bullied in any capacity show a higher rate of suicide. Those who are not taking their own lives have a higher likelihood of poor grades, anxiety and depression.
Suicide? Depression? The story is suddenly much more real, much more important than its title suggests (Somebody promote that intern, well done kid).
The committee recommended, “schools should refocus resources on preventative intervention policies and programs”…. How about that? Preventative intervention policies and programs. That sounds vaguely familiar…. It’s almost like this team of world-renowned experts advised the entire Department of Education and every single school in America to find someone who can help train them in proactive safety methods.
I wonder who could do that….
Maybe that guy even has a book coming out on the topic (August 2016)……
Maybe he would even come speak to our school, our PTA or our community on the topic…..
Who has the Fist of Fury now, Grasshopper?
Jason Wells is the President and Founder of the National Advancements for Proactive Safety, an educational non-profit organization committed to providing a safe community through intervention processes. He is a former Special Agent with the United States Secret Service, and holds a Masters of Science with highest honors in Strategic Security and Protection Management. Mr. Wells is currently pursuing his doctorate in Strategic Security with a focus on proactive interventions to stop threat-related behavior. Additionally, he is a weekly contributing writer to the online publication Robious Corridor and has been featured in the Huffington Post. Jason can be contacted at email@example.com.