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Bullying awareness

Diane Gallagher
Assoc. Features Editor

The new buzz word that seems to be flying around is bullying. You cannot go anywhere without hearing about children verbally tearing into one another, or worse, physically attacking one another. With the number of studies being dedicated to the topic, you may think schools are facing a new epidemic; but do we fully understand this trending topic?
Bullying is unwanted aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
The following are just a few of the scary facts about bullying:
• Over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year.
• One in four teachers see nothing wrong with bullying and will only intervene four percent of the time.
• Approximately 160,000 teens skip school every day because of bullying.
• One in seven students in grades K-12 is either a bully or a victim of bullying.
• 56 percent of students have personally witnessed some type of bullying at school.
• Over two-thirds of students believe that schools respond poorly to bullying, with a high percentage of students believing that adult help is infrequent and ineffective.
• 71 percent of students report incidents of bullying as a problem at their school.
• One out of ten students drop out of school because of repeated bullying.
• Harassment and bullying have been linked to 75 percent of school-shooting incidents.
• Physical bullying increases in elementary school, peaks in middle school and declines in high school while verbal abuse remains constant.

One in four teachers see nothing wrong with bulllying and will only intervene four percent of the time.
One in four teachers see nothing wrong with bulllying and will only intervene four percent of the time.

There are countless studies and facts easily found about bullying; however, most of them pertain to grade school through high school aged students. So what happens once the bullies graduate from high school? Do they decide it is time to stop bullying?
Sadly, bullying does not magically stop the summer between high school and college, according to a study conducted by Indiana State University. The study found that 15 percent of college students reported being bullied and nearly 22 percent reported being cyber bullied.
Cyber bulling is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets, as well as communication tools, as in social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.
Of the 22 percent who said they had been cyber bullied, 25 percent said it was through a social networking site, 21 percent through text message, 16 percent through email and 13 percent through instant messages. While 38 percent of students knew someone who had been cyber bullied and almost 9 percent said they had cyber bullied someone else.
The study also found that 42 percent of students said they had seen someone being bullied by another student, 8 percent reported bullying another student; close to 15 percent had seen a professor bully a student and 4 percent said they had been bullied by a professor.
Millersville University’s student code of conduct states in no uncertain terms that all forms of harassment are prohibited, including bullying and cyber bullying. Any member of the University community may report alleged violations of the student code of conduct to the Office of Judicial Affairs. The Judicial Affairs Director will then review the incident report(s) and will determine whether there are sufficient grounds to initiate the judicial process for violations of the student code of conduct. If you or someone you know is being bullied and looking for someone to talk to, contact the Counseling Center at (717) 872-3122, you can find out more about the center at http://www.millersville.edu/counsel/.