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How Should Schools Address Bullying

The Department of Education along with other government agencies have made curbing violence in schools a priority. Schools now have the information, as well as the public support to make sweeping improvements in the quality of experience and level of safety that children have in the school systems.
The act of bullying threatens the effectiveness of the education process. Students are not able to learn as well when they are dealing with a both physical and emotional threat and trauma throughout the day. Abuse can create emotional scars that run deep and affect a student’s general outlook on life. This can lead to detrimental patterns of behavior that last long after a student has left school and graduated onto the next phase of their life. A study was done by the Center for Disease Control in 2010 involved middle and high school students and looked at the topic of verbal shaming. The study found that more than one-fifth of their participant group had been verbally shamed in the past year and most were experiencing it on a weekly basis. One in ten of the students surveyed had been lightly assaulted or threatened with physical violence (Understanding School Violence). In a national survey reported by the American Institutes for Research, teachers were asked if they believed bullying to be a moderate or major issue. Of those who responded, 40% said they witnessed bullying on a regular basis at a rate of at least once per week (Understanding and Intervening).
Intervening for victims so that bullying behaviors are ended is both rational and an act that proactively protects the educational environment. The human costs associated with bullying are too high for school authorities to be ambiguous. Prevention programs have shown effectiveness in reducing instances of aggressive behaviors in schools.