Pink Shirt Day is coming! February 25th
Bullying is a major problem in our schools, workplaces, homes, and online. It is a serious issue that can have negative, long lasting impacts.
So just how bad is it out there for our kids? A study on bullying was conducted by UBC, based on 490 students (half male, half female), in grades 8-10, who lived in a BC city, back in 1999. Here’s what their study showed:
- 64% of kids had been bullied at school (12% of those were bullied once or more per week)
- 13% of kids were the bully and bullied others at school, once or more each week
- 72% of kids observed bullying in their school (40% of those, tried to intervene)
Here’s the really sad statistics:
- 20-50% said bullying can be a good thing as it can make people tougher or is a good way to solve problems
- 25-33% said bullying is sometimes OK and/or that it is OK to pick on losers
- 61-80% said bullies are often popular and enjoy high status among their peers.
Source: Centre For Youth Social Development, UBC Faculty of Education, taken from www.stopabully.ca
Keep in mind, these numbers are from 16 years ago, long before Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat, and certainly long before almost all tweens and teens had a cell phone in their pockets. Here are some nationwide statistics on cyberbulling.
- 1 in 5 Canadian Teens have witnessed online bullying
- 25% of kids between 12-15 have witnessed cyberbullying
- 25% of girls and 17% of boys have witnessed online harassment
- 51% of all teens have had negative experience with social networking
- 16% said someone posted an embarrassing photo of them
- 12% said someone hacked their account
Source: Ipsos Reid 2011 Survey of 416 Canadian Teenagers, taken from www.stopabully.ca
- 90% of parents are familiar with cyber bullying; 73% are either very or somewhat concerned about it
- 2 in 5 parents report their child has been involved in a cyberbullying incident; 1 in 4 educators have been cyber-harassment victims
- 73% of educators are familiar with the issue and 76% believe cyberbullying is a very or somewhat serious problem at their school
- Educators consider cyberbullying (76%) as big an issue as smoking (75%) and drugs (75%)
The study adds that "the most commonly experienced form of cyberbullying is when someone takes a private email, IM, or text message and forwards it to someone else or posts the communication publicly"
- 38% of girls online report being bullied, compared with 26% of online boys
- Nearly 4 in 10 social network users (39%) have been cyberbullied, compared with 22% of online teens who do not use social networks
Source: Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing division, taken from www.stopabully.ca
Clearly bullying is a major problem and has been for a long time. So here’s how you can help. February 25 is Pink Shirt Day, a day where we can all work together to stop bullying by celebrating people's differences and promoting positive relationships.
Pink Shirt Day began in Nova Scotia, Canada in 2007, where a group of students decided to defend a kid who was bullied for wearing a pink shirt. In a show of solidarity, many of his peers turned up to school the next day wearing pink shirts. For more information on Pink Shirt Day, visit www.pinkshirtday.ca
In the spirit of bullying prevention, we wanted to share an interesting information handout that describes the differences between bullying, mean behaviour, and interpersonal conflict. This handout, Peer Conflict, Mean Behaoviour and Bullying…What’s the Difference? was created by the Social Responsibility and Diversity Team in Vancouver School District #39. Hopefully it will help you better understand the behaviours you are seeing, so that you can help the children who look to you for support.