Bullying has been getting some more attention lately — it was apparently a factor in the Antigo school prom shooting, as assailant Jakob Wagner was reportedly a victim. And a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine terms bullying as a “serious public health problem.”
“This problem is killing our kids. ‘Bullycide’ or suicide as a direct result of bullying is one of the leading causes of death in our kids 10-to-14 years of age,” said James Dean, director of media relations with Milwaukee-based Generations Against Bullying. “This has to stop.”
“Generations Against Bullying” works with young people in Wisconsin schools, to empower them on how to stop bullying their schools.
The goal is to help students become “upstanders” — who will know how to shut down bullying when they see it. “We give training to these kids, about how you get involved in a non-threatening way. Our programs are designed to create upstanders in the schools and the communities, to put the power to stop bullying back into the hands of the kids.”
“Its prevalence perpetuates its normalization. But bullying is not a normal part of childhood,” said the report issued Tuesday. “The programs that appear most effective are those that promote a positive school environment and combine social and emotional skill-building for all students, with targeted interventions for those at greatest risk for being involved in bullying.”