Blog by Jade Isom
October is Bullying Prevention Month and while we all know that bullying is often an issue in schools, we continue to struggle with both prevention and intervention. We see extreme consequences of bullying covered in the media but this leads many people to believe that bullying is not harmful unless it is severe. This could not be further from the truth. Bullying, at any level, often results in short and long-term effects, both psychological and physical. Bullied children are more likely to suffer from psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety. They are also likely to experience headaches, sleep loss and stomach pain due to stress.
Prevention programs are implemented in many schools and students are told that there is a zero-tolerance policy in regards to bullying. However, not all cases of bullying are reported. In fact, most are not. Spreading awareness is not the most important factor in bullying prevention. Something is missing.
Administrators, teachers and school staff are trained in how to recognize bullying and report it to their supervisors. While this is necessary and very important, a student is much less likely to commit an act of bullying in front of a teacher than in front of other students. The missing piece to bullying prevention is an anonymous reporting system. Let’s be honest; sometimes it can be difficult to stand up to someone that is doing something wrong. This is especially hard for a child or adolescent. Anonymous reporting allows a person to report a wrongdoing without putting themselves at risk. Students are much more likely to report acts of bullying if they can do so without revealing their identity. To make reporting even more discreet, students and staff can send anonymous tips from their smartphones directly to Administrators.
An effective reporting system is important in acknowledging bullying as an issue and reducing the number of occurrences. Many parents might look at a high number of bully reports as a deterrent in determining which school their child attends. However, a high number of reported bullying is evidence that the administrators in that school are working toward recording and reducing the problem.
School districts have addressed the bullying epidemic and created programs to spread awareness. However, many of them are lacking a significant aspect to bullying prevention and response – an anonymous reporting system that can be used by staff, students and parents. In order to proactively reduce bullying, it needs to be acknowledged. A reporting system will give everyone a voice in reducing the number of bullying occurrences.
For more information on sending anonymous tips using your mobile device, contact CrisisGo at 314-669-9022 or email firstname.lastname@example.org