Even with all the recent awareness campaigns and public service announcements, bullying is still a big problem in Utah schools. Parents of victims and alleged bullies alike are wondering what can be done.
Recent Bullying News Goes Viral
While certainly not the first news story about bullying, a recent incident at Rock Cut Elementary in Loves Park, Illinois, has gone viral as the result of one mother’s actions.
According to Carmen Divan, her nine-year-old son Payten has been experiencing bullying all year long and has the physical reminders to prove it, including bite marks, bruises and scratches.
Like many similar stories, Divan claims that multiple meetings with school leaders have done nothing to remedy the problem. At the last meeting, Divan stated that the principal told her that the kids were “just antsy” as a result of the school year ending.
Unhappy with these results, Divan posted photos on Facebook of her son’s injuries. This post has been linked with another Facebook page called ‘Bullying at Rock Cut Elementary and Harlem School District,” which already has multiple comments of similar incidents. Divan hopes this will get the attention of the school district.
The Bullying Statistics are Startling
When it comes to the numbers, it’s understandable why there has been such a surge in awareness campaigns. Almost eighty percent of students have admitted to being a victim of bullying at some point. Two out of every three students claim to be physically or verbally harassed every year, and every thirty minutes a teenager attempts suicide as a result of being bullied.
While the statistics in Utah aren’t as high as the national numbers, they still are startling. Approximately one out of every five students in Utah is affected by bullying, and more than half of Utah students witness some form of bullying every day.
Helping Victims and Bullies
If you believe your child has been bullied, several resources exist to help you figure out what to do next. The important thing is to make sure you keep lines of communication between you and your child open enough so they feel comfortable talking to you about any inappropriate behavior they are experiencing or witnessing. For bullying resources from the Utah Parent Center, click here.
The Utah Parent Center also has resources to help parents who find out it is their child who is the bully. Attempt to address the problem before it becomes a major issue. It is important that parents realize that victims of bullying can seek resolution through criminal or civil law. If you have any questions about these laws, or if your child is being accused of these acts, it is important to seek legal advice from a juvenile defense attorney.