Here’s an eye-opening update on bullying: 80-percent of teachers said they’ve been bullied in the past year. In fact, educational psychologists say that almost half of teachers have experienced some sort of physical threat from students! To make matters worse, experts say that bullies may be even more aggressive when dealing with janitors, bus drivers, lunchroom workers, and other school support staff.
Bill Bond is a specialist on school safety for the National Association of Secondary School Principals. And he estimates that only about half of the adults who get bullied actually report the incidents, often because they’re worried their boss will think they’re incompetent and can’t handle students. And even when a student threatens violence, teachers and staff members often stay silent because they know reporting the incident could trash a kid’s future.
Of course, that kind of tension takes a toll. One recent study found that almost a third of teachers were so unhappy that they plan on leaving the profession, and the #1 reason they want to go? Because they can’t handle the disrespect from their students.
Susan Engel and Marlene Sandstrom are psychology professors and bullying experts, and they say there's only one way to combat bullying: It has to be an essential part of the school curriculum. Teachers have to teach children how to be good to one another, how to cooperate, how to defend someone who is being picked on and stand up for what's right. And teachers can’t just preach kindness, they need to demonstrate it by being nice to all students, teachers, and parents.
If you’d like anti-bullying tips and advice, check out the website StopBullyingNow.com.