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Students & Employees Don’t See Leaders Stopping Bullying – by Rodger Dinwiddie


A Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) survey indicates that in 62% of cases, when made aware of bullying, employers worsen the problem or do nothing.  It seems a student survey came up with a similar conclusion. Students in one school who participated in the Olweus Bullying Questionnaire in the Middle Tennessee area responded to the question, “How often do other students try to put a stop to it when a student is being bullied? A total of 20% of students reported that they “often” or “almost always try to help.” Yet 57% of these same students reported that they “try to help the bullied student.” 

Here lies the significant disconnect.  In this same survey, 25% of students responded that their teachers did “little or nothing” or “fairly little” to stop bullying in the classroom. Maybe the young people and adults aren’t so far off in how they see bullying in their worlds.

Whether the bullying is done by adults or young people, the impact is the same. As the bullied adults report, the stresses and shame associated with bullying affects their health.  The Girls Scouts of the USA surveyed 2,341 girls ages 8 to 17 and found that 38% said they worry about their emotional safety when they’re with their peers.  And the study’s lead researcher says the fallout from feeling emotionally unsafe includes depression, diminished self-esteem, loneliness, difficulty paying attention and poor grades in school. In “Bullying at School,” Dan Olweus found that the lasting effects of being bullied include lower self-esteem, results in higher rates of depression and higher rates of Post Traumatic Stress.

Growing up doesn’t mean that bullying will disappear like adolescence. However, at STARS, we work with young people to help them stand up and put a stop to bullying. We are truly hoping our important work in the early years with our youth will help prevent bullying in the future.