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Bullying: A Crisis in Our Schools

Bullying is any unwanted, repetitive, aggressive behavior due to a perceived power imbalance and can include verbal, physical, and/or social aspects. Unfortunately, bullying is a common problem at our schools. Whether your child is being bullied or is the bully, there are things you can do to help.

  1. Report it. Bullying should not be tolerated on any level. Let your child’s teacher and/or counselor know if you suspect bullying. If you do not receive an appropriate response, consider contacting the principal, superintendent, Department of Education, etc. Don’t stop – the bully may act like this towards other children, so they are likely to benefit from your report as well.
  2. Intervene. If you see bullying taking place, step in! Take notes and report the situation. Make sure the children involved are safe.
  3. Be involved. Make an effort to be involved in your child’s life. Ask questions. Monitor behaviors, especially on social media.
  4. Empower your child. Help them understand they don’t have to put up with it. Encourage them to stand up for others who may be being bullied.
  5. Engage your child in activities outside of school. Youth groups, athletics, and church activities are good places to start. Having a group of kids with similar interests can foster self-esteem and strong friendships.

There are many resources available, from websites to educational seminars. Below is a list of places you can refer to for more information and support:

  • StopBullying.gov
  • Cybersmile.org
  • Facebook.com/Safety
  • TheBullyProject.com
  • Apa.org/topics/bullying
  • Parenting.org/Guides/Articles/Bullying

Meet the Author

Jennifer Birkhauser, M.D., F.A.A.P.

Specialty: Pediatrics
Areas of Interest: General Child & Adolescent Care

Dr. Birkhauser is a pediatrician for Hoag Medical Group who enjoys caring for her young patients and serving as a resource to the parents of her patients. She practices at the Huntington Beach location and welcomes children of all ages. View Bio [+]