In almost every school, there are posters and there are assemblies that address a problem that 20% of kids face every day, bullying. Kids who are bullied “are at increased risk for depression, anxiety, sleep difficulties, lower academic achievement, and dropping out of school.” (Pacer.org) It is these effects that make bullying an important issue that should be discussed more. The problem is not that bullying is not being addressed, it is that there is a more efficient way of addressing it. Although a school’s approach to stopping bullying does have its upsides, a psycho-educational approach could be more effective.
What is the current day approach to stopping bullying? It is called the Law-enforcement approach and it paints bullying as a crime which is not always the case. “By holding education institutions legally responsible for the bullying among students, it pressures them to morph into totalitarian police systems, stripping children of their freedom.”(Kalman) A study from The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program showed that the current approach, when implemented for two years, is only 12% effective. McMaster University held a focus group for kids grade five to eight where “students also report problems with negatively worded anti-bullying messages which flatly told them what not to do.”(Vitelli) Bullying is inevitable but schools are telling kids that they are entitled to a bully-free life which is not reasonable. The current approach endorses a victim-mindset, so why put time and money into a program to stop something inevitable? That is where the government comes into play.
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