Preventing Bullying Kyndall Dunn Dr. Hawkins ENC 1101 November 15th, 2012 Abstract: Bullying is becoming more of a problem here in Volusia County (“National”). The purpose of this research is to find suitable ways to help bullying in the Central Florida School Systems. A few of the schools in Volusia County are using a nonprofit organization called, “Preventing Bullying in Central Florida (“Florida”). An interview with one of the organization specialists showed that the bullying was lessened when using this program. However, many schools in Volusia County aren’t aware how big of a problem bullying can be.
With that said most schools are ignoring the problem and considering it as a part of everyday life (“Florida”). This research was conducted because children should not have to go to school every day feeling like they are going to be threatened. An interview with an organization official and surveys were handed out to students at Deland High School. The outcome of the surveys and the interview is that there needs to be more awareness on bullying because a lot of people and students in the Central Florida School Systems do not know how to deal with the problem.
The results told us that children and adults need more information about how to handle and intervene with certain situations. Introduction: Students are being verbally and physically bullied by their peers in the school systems. Children are struggling every day because of the effect bullying can have on them. Bullying is becoming a serious matter and children need to learn how to intervene and cope with the problem. The rationale behind this research is to try to understand bullying better and to find ways that the problem can be helped.
It can make many children feel very insecure about themselves and start to feel depressed, which has led to suicidal deaths here in Volusia County (“Florida”). Children should be able to go to school without having to worry what one person might do or say to them. This research helps gather more information that is needed to help decrease bullying in the Volusia County School System. Bullying is at its all-time high in the school systems today (“National”). The percentages of students between the ages of 12 through 18 that have reported being bullied in Florida have increased 27. 7 percent since 2008 (“National”).
In order to help prevent bullying, Florida has a new law that every Volusia County School System must adopt the Jeffery Johnson Stand Up for All Students Act. This is a policy that prohibits bullying on school grounds and school network computers. This also allows programs to educate students and teachers on the consequences of bullying. However despite the law, there were still 6,134 reported incidents of bullying in the 2011/2012 school year (“National”). The act is not completely effective because of being out of date and lags behind in research. Children are still afraid and feel uncomfortable to speaking up if they are being bullied.
Many Volusia County high schools aren’t doing enough to put more of a stop to bullying and to take action (“National”). There is more that can be done to let children feel more comfortable to stand up and talk to an adult about being bullied before it gets taken too far. Research shows that bullying and harassment of others can lead to poorer educational outcomes, lower future aspirations, lack of confidence and self-esteem, and even lead to depression as an adult (“Home”). Programs like the Jeffery- Johnston-Stand-Up-for-All-Students-Act and the StopBully. ov are a huge help to the Central Florida School Systems to help stop bullying (“Home”). But according to statistics there should still be more done to protect these children in the schools of Volusia County (“Florida”). Adults in the school should take bullying as a serious matter, or the bullying will continue (“Home”). Volusia County Schools are finding nonprofit organizations to further help train teachers and staff on bullying and how to handle situations of bullying in a classroom. They are giving them skills on how to appropriately intervene on bullying.
Also, there is a higher risk of bullying in settings where there is little to no adult monitoring. Deltona High School is currently finding “hot spots” for bullying on campus and has started to monitor those areas more than before. This has helped reduce bullying so far by small amounts (“Florida”). An interview with someone who is educated on bullying will be very helpful for this research. It will show us the serious impacts of how bullying can effect a child. The interview will give help us understand a different perspective on bullying and also why kids might bully on others.
Also, it will give more information on the toll it can take on a child to be bullied and why they are the target of bullies. Surveys that were handed out will give different perspectives on bullying from the high school students at Deland High School. This will allow a better understanding from the kids about bullying and how it affects them personally. Surveying the High School Students: The purpose of surveying high school students is to try to understand their thoughts on bullying and also their experiences. The survey consists of four questions to get a better understanding to gather ways to help stop bullying.
The first question on the survey is, “Would you tell an adult at the school if you are being bullied”. About seventy five percent of the students that took the survey said no, they do not feel comfortable enough to talk to an adult about being bullied. They also felt that the bullying wouldn’t change so they did not see the point in going to an adult about the problem. A few students stated that they feel bullying now is just a part of life and that we will all have to go through it. The second survey question is, “If you see someone that is being bullied, would you want to help stop the bullying? About ninety three percent of the survey takers said that they would want to try to stop the bullying but they aren’t sure how to approach the situation without possibly making it worse. One student even stated that they have tried to intervene before and it only made it worse by getting another person involved. The third survey question is, “Do you think emotional problems have a lot to do with bullying? ” About 85% of the students surveyed said they believed that emotional problems were the reason that people felt the need to bully.
One student even responded saying that the common trait with bullying is lack of empathy and not have the ability to be aware or understand other people’s feelings. So when the bully attacks someone they have the feeling of being in control and feels above the other person. So the bully feels better about themselves by the feeling of being inferior to the person they bullied on. The fourth survey questions asks, “Have you ever been bullied and how did it make you feel? ” About 70% of the students surveyed said they have been bullied either verbally or physically while in high school.
A few students said they were bullied so much it became difficult for them to make friends and had a poorer relationship with their classmates than the other students because of low self-esteem. The overall study of the survey made it clear that most of the students that were surveyed were scared to do anything about the bullying or were scared to speak up about it. They also believe that bullying is just a part of everyday life, but most students suggested that talking about bullying and letting teachers and staff be more aware of the problem would help tremendously.
Interview: An interview was conducted with Sean Ritcher who is a part of a non-profit organization called, “Preventing Bullying in Volusia County “. His part in the organization is to help train people to go to schools and talk about bullying. He helps us to inform students with his research on ways they can stop bullying and how they educate people to end bullying. During the interview, Ritcher stated that he and other people of the organization go to schools and teach the children ways to peacefully solve the problem and to stand up for themselves verbally, not violently.
He stated that most children are afraid to take action against bullying and tell an adult because they feel that the bullying will just get worse. They show students how to help others that are being bullied. Also, ways to cope with the problem and safely take action. They also stated that they stress to the students if you or you know someone is being bullied to speak up and let an adult at the school know the situation and what is going on. Ritcher continued to say that raising awareness and ways to acknowledge school administrators really does decrease bullying.
He said their program reconstructs the learning environment to create a social climate characterized by supportive adult involvement, by having positive role models and setting firm limits that there are no exceptions for bullying. In order to effectively accomplish their goals and reduce the amount of bullying and to prevent future problems, their program must lead the teachers, administrators, and staff through a series of tasks that make them aware of the bullying and stress the ways that are going to solve it.
Ritcher feels that every school in Volusia County should have their guest specialist go to the schools to let people be more aware on the bullying and how big the problem can be. He says that they have already reduced bullying at Deltona High just buy raising awareness on the problem and ways to prevent bullying. The interview indicated that more awareness needs to be raised in order to decrease bullying. Results: This project was conducted to research ways to prevent bullying in Volusia County and to find a suitable way to prevent the problem of bullying.
The studies from the interview with Ritcher showed that Preventing Bullying in Volusia County organization helped reduced the amount of bullying in the schools which they raised awareness. It helped reduce the amount of bullying by training and educating teachers and staff on bullying and the serious effects it can have on some children. Also, conclusions form the survey results show that most kids are afraid to speak up and talk about bullying or don’t know how to cope with the situation if they are around bullying.
That’s why raising awareness from the organization here in Central Florida will help lessen the bullying and help children feel more confident about speaking up if they are being harassed or bullied on. Conclusions made from this research clearly show that using the organization, Preventing Bullying in Central Florida, decreases bullying when the schools are being educated on the bullying that is going on in their school. The information from Preventing Bullying in Central Florida could help Volusia County with bullying and can help prevent bullying in multiple ways according to Richer.
The knowledge from this research will help prevent bullying in the school systems if solutions are put to use by the schools. Ritcher states children will be able to go to school in a better and safer, bullying-free environment. Works Cited: Brock, Ed. “Bully Busting. ” County Programs Target Youth Problems (2012): n. pag. MasterFILE Complete… Web. 1 Oct. 2012. “Childhood Adversities Contribute To Bullying Behaviors. ” States News Service 28 Nov. 2011. Academic OneFile. Web. 3 Oct. 2012. “Education can help stop bullying of students. ” USA Today 30 Jan. 2012: 06A.
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