Each day, 160,000 students miss school due to bullying.
The number one reason for suicide in children ages 11-16 is bullying. 43% of middle school children avoid the bathroom and locker rooms at all costs due to certainty of being bullied.
In my neighborhood a local high school is mourning the loss of a second student in a year to suicide.
Bullying was a contributing factor. Students and parents appealed to the Board of Education saying bullying needs to be addressed more effectively and that the suicides must stop. They said they don’t want help after something happens, they want them to do something now.
Too many kids are bullied and feel suicidal. It is truly heartbreaking.
Bullying is defined as exposing a person to abusive actions repeatedly over time. It is typically unprovoked, intentional and is a form of violence involving real or perceived imbalance of power.
Bullies share common traits. They are often afraid, jealous, envious, cruel, angry, insecure and unhappy. They are crying out for help in a way they feel they will get attention…by lashing out at others.
School districts report that bullying is reduced by 50% in schools where there are bullying programs. Even with this intervention, bullying was a factor in 2/3 of the 37 school shootings reviewed by the US Secret Service. And what about the students that are in the 50% of students still being subject to bullying? How are they changing because they live in fear?
Who does bullying effect?
The impact of bullying is not exclusive to the person engaging in the bullying and their target. It seeps throughout the entire school creating an intimidating and/or hostile environment.
All are effected, the person engaging in bullying, the person subjected to bullying as well as those not directly involved. They typically experience fear, anger, frustration, anxiety, mood swings, an inability to concentrate, a loss of interest in school and feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Some may engage in substance abuse.
More than 25 million families are currently traumatized by bullying in the U.S. today.
What are schools doing to address bullying?
Most, if not all school systems in the U.S. have implemented a plan to address bullying. There are lots of policies, required reporting, training, record keeping, pledges, awareness raising, increased supervision and other components of the anti-bullying campaign.
The person being bullied is advised to change their behavior.
In many cases, the responsibility of staying safe is put on the person being bullied. They are advised to buddy up with a friend while in school, change their typical route, avoid bathrooms or to stand tall and be brave.
Does this work for you? How would you feel if your child came home telling you how terrified they are of a bully and it was suggested that they should be more careful or that they should stand tall and be brave?
So why, when schools are addressing bullying, does it persist?
The anti-bullying campaign may not include a determination of the root cause of the abuse. The bully themselves are crying out for help with their actions. Often the only direct intervention is counseling when needed. More common interventions include the person engaging in bullying signing a pledge stating they will not bully anymore, or a suspension from school. Clearly these attempts at intervention are not working when students are so terrorized that they see no solution but to take their precious life.
What if PTSD was a factor in bullying?
There is a correlation between people who engage in bullying and the effects of PTSD. A bully may be experiencing the repercussions of traumatic events in their lives or families. By taking the approach of addressing the possibility of PTSD we may be able to help the bully heal and remove the need to inflict abuse on those seen as less powerful.
EFT/tapping for PTSD
The application of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) or tapping is proven to relieve PTSD in combat veterans. If you google Gary Craig at the VA Centers you will witness the amazing results Gary got with the veterans he worked with. It works well with veterans. It will work well with students engaging in bullying.
What if we gave bullies a chance to heal and reclaim their voice?
Doesn’t it make sense to help the bully release the anxiety and fears that keeps them needing to bully those they perceive as weaker? Isn’t this the time to really help them by redirecting them into different roles?
We can let them know they matter and that they can channel their energy into productive roles without hurting others.
EFT will provide a way to discover, address and release the root cause of the bullying behavior. It will give the person engaging in bullying a tool to relieve stress and anxiety whenever they need it. It will give them the opportunity to stop the violence and see themselves as people who are worthy of a good life. They will be free to create the life they want.
EFT will also provide the people being targeted and those witnessing the trauma of bullying with a way to release their fear and anxiety so they can feel safe in school. The trauma of bullying will no longer live in their body. They will be free.
A call for Action!
I’m challenging all students, parents and educators to take their schools back from bullies. To demand of the Board of Education that this be addressed in the only way it will work, by helping the bullies heal their lives so there is no longer a desire to bully anyone. Inform them that EFT works quickly and effectively. Demand proactive solutions that work.
Unfortunately, as is the case with large, complicated institutions such as a school system, change occurs at an excruciatingly slow pace. Your voice may be heard at some point, but if your child is doing the bullying or being terrorized by bullying it may be necessary to take matters into your own hands.
How to help your child
There are many wonderful EFT practitioners around the U.S. You can find one online through alternative medicine directories such as www.alternativemedicinenow.com. A trained practitioner will be able to free your child of the fear and anxiety they experience from the bullying they are subject to or witnessing in school.
Getting help to the bully may be more complicated. It is common for a parent of a bully to be in denial of the activity. They need compassion and a gentle suggestion to seek the help of an EFT practitioner.
It’s time to address bullying with EFT, a compassionate, effective healing solution.
Your child deserves a stress free, caring, supportive, safe environment of learning and growing. Let’s relieve each child of anxiety and fear associated with bullying so they may thrive and succeed.