Bullying and the Effort To Prevent It
“Bullying” is defined as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.” Statistics show that 1 out of 4 teens have been bullied and as many as 160,000 students stay home at a given day because of fear of being bullied. The victim may be targeted because of appearance, their nationality, or even their sexual orientation. Bullying can also take a psychological toll on anyone involved. Short-term effects of bullying include a feeling of isolation and the inability to make friends. Long-term effects include the development of depression and suicidal thoughts. The bullies themselves are more likely to drink or smoke than others and long-term studies show that 60 percent of former bullies have been convicted of at least one criminal charge. During the 2012 Louisiana Legislative Session, Act 861 was enacted, requiring that all school districts must adopt an official policy prohibiting bullying of students while on any school property.