It seems like every couple of weeks a new tragedy hits a family and is blasted on the news across this nation. The tragedies that we are talking about today are children and teen committing or attempting suicide as a result of bullying. Bullying is being viewed as an ever growing problem. The truth is that we can’t be sure that bullying really has become a more regular occurrence than it was 50 years ago.
What we do know, is that the bullying doesn’t end Friday afternoon when a student gets off the bus. Today, the bullying can continue nonstop, following children home and on vacations. Bullying doesn’t stop when a child stays home from school, and it doesn’t stop when a child choosing homeschooling instead. With smart phones, the internet, and social media, bullying is becoming harder and harder to control and monitor. It makes it very difficult for teachers or parents to be aware and to stop.
The internet often empowers people to feel like they can do or say whatever they want. It makes people feel powerful and allows for a form of bullying that can be completely anonymous. Since there is a sort of disconnect, people who bully this way often do not realize the damage they are causing. There have even been cases of bully that have been so severe that the bullies haven’t felt remorse or seen the error of their ways, even after they have caused another student, another person, another child to take their own life.
The rates of teen suicide in our nation is not something that should be looked at without wanting to take action and make changes. If we want to help save the lives of these teens and future teens, now is the time to act, but what can we do? Loving our children and trying to build them up at home is important, but it isn’t always enough. This is why it is important to start programs at the places that the bully between students starts, at the schools.
An anti-bully program should help students understand that their words do matter and that emotional abuse is a form of violence. A good anti-bullying program should help empower students to stand up for someone being bullied and make students aware of the resources available to get help. A good anti-bullying program should focus on teach nonviolent forms of communication so that issues that do arise can be dealt with in a healthy manor.
NVCnextgen is a great resource to get materials on anti-bulling programs and on learning more about nonviolent forms of communication. They have materials and programs available, because they want to make a difference in the next generation of students so that everyone can feel safe. They are on a mission to help youth learn how to communicate in healthy ways so no one else needs to suffer as a victim of bully or as a person who suffers the lose of a loved one to suicide.