Why bullying is so much worse today — Forever 39 Podcast
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While this isn't an easy thing to measure, it seems bullying at schools across the country is more violent and aggressive than it was when we were going to school in the late '80s and early '90s.
Perhaps part of this can be blamed on technology. When we were high-schoolers, no one had a cell phone, and social media platforms like Facebook and SnapChat were still several years away. Nowadays, kids aren't just being bullied in the classroom, they're also being cyberbullied.
And while New Jersey has some of the best anti-bullying laws in the country, that doesn't mean kids in the Garden State are spared. According to the most recent Violence, Vandalism and Substance Abuse in New Jersey Public Schools Report from the New Jersey Department of Education, there were 5,995 confirmed cases of harassment, intimidation and bullying during the 2015-16 school year. The number represents a drop in cases from the 2014-15 school year.
Despite the polices that many schools have in place, and the lessons parents teach their kids about the harm bullying can inflict on others, kids are still bullied. And for some that bullying results in tragedy of the worst kind.
In June, 12-year-old Roxbury resident Mallory Grossman committed suicide after her parents said she was cyberbullied mercilessly by text, Snapchat, and Instagram. Grossman's parents are suing the school district, claiming they did nothing to stop it, despite being informed about it.
So what can schools and parents do to make sure bullying and cyberbullying aren't happening in their schools, or to their kids? For starters, it's important to recognize that bullying is happening in the first place. Here are seven signs from Everyday Health that can help parents recognize there might be a problem.
The New Jersey Department of Education can also be a resource for both parents and school officials. On their website, there are a number of sections discussing how schools can handle bullying. The website also contains information about New Jersey's Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights.
If you have a personal story you would like to share about bullying, email us at email@example.com.
— Annette and Megan, Forever 39
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