According to the last report of the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, bullying should no more be considered as a kid’s problem. It constitutes a serious public health problem that must have everybody’s attention and be prevented.
Under the title of Preventing Bullying Through Science, Policy and Practice, the report exposes the health effects on those who have been bullied and on those who have bullied others. The report proposes different ways of facing bullying, such as social participation and emotional techniques, instead of ancient methods that have not so far shown solutions.
The report, released on Tuesday, proves the ineffectiveness of “zero-tolerance policies”, which consists of suspending students for bullying others. Regarding this, Catherine Bradshaw, a member of the staff that wrote the report, said: “There’s no evidence that they are impactful in a positive way.”
So far, this kind of technique to prevent or, in an ideal scenario, to eradicate bullying lacks of efficacy and might have even negative effects on children. “They can actually do more harm than good and in fact don’t provide the skill training or replacement behaviors for youth that is suspended or expelled.”, added Bradshaw.
Also, the report brought to light the negative consequences bullying can cause in victims and perpetrators. The unhealthy effects reach short and long term psychological damages. As those kids who bully and the ones who are victims of it can develop psychological and social problems, including depression, vandalism, anxiety, etc.
Bullying, as a social phenomenon, has been easily allowed by society and if it remains this way, it might be seen as a “normal” behavior and considering the harmful consequences showed by the report, that is exactly what must be prevented.
The report reflects on the effect that an emotional solution could have in those children or adolescents who are involved in this kind of situation. The intervention must become from parents, school, and society as a whole in order to prevent the perpetuation of a practice that should no more be overlooked.
Source: Medical Express