With the media attention that has followed a frightening trend of bullying-related suicides in the United States and other countries, it has become nearly impossible to accept the schoolyard bully’s actions as him or her “simply being a kid”.
Childhood bullying has been linked to school absenteeism with approximately 160,000 kids citing a fear of being bullied as their reason for missing school each day. Additionally, bullying has been found to strongly correlate with mental and physical stress, poor school performance, low self-esteem, and occasionally, school violence. A study released by Yale University reports that children who are bullied are between 2 to 9 times more likely to attempt self-harm or suicide than their non-bullied peers.
A major criticism that has been voiced by the parents of bullied Virginian students is that many school administrators appear indifferent towards interfering in bullying until an actual physical assault has occurred. This reactive method of dealing with the issue forces victims to endure what may be years of torment before they have recourse against their emotional and psychological attacker.
Fortunately, a bill to mandate training for Virginia public school personnel on how to handle bullying has passed the House, 98-2, and is on its way for review by the Senate. House Bill 504 would amend the current code and mandate safety training for public school employees to include “evidence-based antibullying tactics”. It is the hope of lawmakers that the passage of this bill will help to extend bullying prevention beyond January, the month designated to promoting bullying awareness in Virginia, and throughout the entire year.
Bullying is a serious issue and if your child has been harmed by the actions and behavior of a classmate it is important that the matter is swiftly addressed. If your son or daughter has been harassed, hazed, threatened, assaulted, or robbed, you may wish to learn more about the legal options you have in protecting your child. The lawyers at Parrish Law Firm, PLLC are here to answer your questions and are prepared to fight for your children’s rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.