Summer is over, school is back in session, and with the annual return to the classroom comes the return of a chronic issue in our schools and among our children. That issue is bullying.
In new surroundings, kids will struggle to establish their reputation and persona. It is a time when bullies will emerge and students will be harassed and threatened. Some will be injured, some seriously, and we may never see the scars of that abuse. Parents and educators have to be aggressive and know who is communicating with our kids and who our kids are communicating with. There are some hard questions that must asked and answers we may not like. Because for every victim of a bully there is also a bully to be dealt with.
Bullying creates a distracted learning environment and takes away the quality of life from the students affected. I have seen estimates that one in seven children are victims of bullying. Many of the victims lash out and become bullies themselves as a method of retaliation. It is a cycle that can only be stopped with parental and teacher invention. And it really leans more towards parents than teachers. So get with your children, talk to them. Stay keenly aware of what they are into and how they interact with others. Help break the cycle of bullying and make the Heartland better for our kids to grow up in.
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