According to the Center for Disease Control, in 2014, 6% of high school students reported that they were being bullied during the school year. The CDC also reported that 14.8% of high school students also reported being bullied online as well. With that said, NTD News has reported that a young Australian girl, who was the face of Akubra, a brand of Australian hats, took her own life because of bullying.
The family of Amy Everett is devastated after their 14-year-old daughter decided to take her own life. The family lives in the Katherine region of the Northern Territory, and four days after his daughter’s death, Tick Everett wrote a message on his Facebook page.
He thanked everyone for their support and also pointed out that this is how social media should be used. He also added that if everyone can help save other precious lives from bullying, then his daughter’s life would not be wasted.
When it comes to suicide, Tick knows that many consider it a cowardly act. But when it came to his daughter, he guarantees that his daughter, the face of Akubra, “had the strength to do what she thought she had to do to escape the evil in this world.”
Tick was not done there; in his post, he also challenged the bullies who caused his little girl to take her life. He invited them to come to Amy’s service and witness the devastation that they created with their cowardly acts.
The Everett family received a lot of support from people leaving messages on Tick’s Facebook page. Not only was their support shown, but they also shared stories about how their children were bullied as well.
The reason why people were calling Amy the face of Akubra was because she was one of the faces used in a Christmas campaign eight years ago by the Australian hat maker. The company released a statement of condolences to the entire family and also added that they were shocked and distressed by the news.
Effects of Bullying: As you have read in this article, bullying can result in a fatality, which is the worst consequence. But there are also other effects that can be long-lasting as well. According to the Center for Disease Control, students who are bullied increase their risk for poor school adjustment, anxiety, and sleeping difficulties.
Mental Health and Behavior Problems: The Center for Disease Control reports that students who are targets of bullying have a greater risk of developing mental health issues down the road.
Affects How People Feel About Themselves: The National Center for Educational Statistics reports that 14% of bullied students said that it affected their relationships with their family, friends and school work. They also reported that 19% of bullied students admitted that bullying negatively affected how they felt about themselves.
Ways to Reduce Bullying In Schools: The statement “kids will be kids” can no longer be said when it comes to teasing and harassment. Bullying has become a dangerous and life-threatening epidemic. So schools need to do everything in their power to prevent it from happening. According to the US Department of Health and Human Service (HHS), the first thing that all school staff need is to have a clear definition of what bullying is. The Crisis Prevention Institute defines bullying as intentionally aggressive behaviour that involves an imbalance of power and strength. Once the staff knows how to properly define bullying, they also need to know what the school’s policies are regarding it and know how to enforce them, says the HHS.
Do Not Label, But Address Behaviors: When a teacher calls a child a bully or a victim, they are placing judgment on that child, which can cause issues in the near future. In order to fix that problem, the HHS said that the first thing teachers need to do is find out if what occurred is actually bullying. If it is, teachers need to ensure that the person who is doing the bullying knows that their behaviour is wrong. The reason why this needs to occur is that many families have reported that their child is a victim because they have been labelled a bully. But when teachers address specific behavioural incidents, parents realize that this behaviour needs to stop.
Open Communication: In order to build a proper rapport, communication is key. The HHS explains that classroom meetings are a good way to help students feel more comfortable talking about their problems. They provide a way for students to talk about school-related problems that go beyond academics. These meetings will help teachers stay informed so they can help the parents stay informed as well.
Work With the Parents: To prevent bullying from occurring, both parents and teachers need to be on the same page. When parents and teachers work together, they can provide a consistent approach that allows for more productive and appropriate replacement behaviours. By doing this, the message is more likely to sink in with the child who is bullying, says the HHS.
Keep An Eye on Warning Signs: When a child is being bullied, there can be warning signs. Teachers should ask themselves certain questions: Are you constantly breaking up a fight between the same people? Have you noticed certain changes in the children’s attitudes who are involved in these altercations? The HHS state that looking for signs such as declining grades, loss of interest in school, loss of friends, destroyed personal items, avoiding social situations and talk of harming themselves. These can be an indication that a child is being bullied.