Is Bullying Getting Worse Or Are We Just Talking About It More?

Almost everyone has a story. That moment when we were bullied, or that entire school year, has stayed with us for a lifetime. Acutely memorable. Painfully timeless. Every year, the U.S. Dept. of Education estimates 13 million American kids are bullied. If you extrapolate that number, year after year, decade after decade, that means hundreds of millions of people.

The writer Lee Hirsh puts bullying in very stark terms in today’s Huff Post article and the numbers are staggering.  But is bullying getting worse or is it just that there is more of a spotlight on it now?  I’m not sure of the answer myself.  Tell me what you think.

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About joshuacohenbooks

Author of the recently published novel LEVERAGE. Trying to get it out there and get feedback and also discuss topics around writing, publishing, sports, education, bullying and whatever else interests him.
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3 Responses to Is Bullying Getting Worse Or Are We Just Talking About It More?

  1. Brian says:

    I think the answer is both, sort of. My sense is that actual face-to-face bullying is (slowly) getting better precisely because we’re increasingly conscious of it. But the fly in the ointment is that the technology (Facebook, texting, etc) makes it much easier to bully someone from a distance. In the past, kids bullied at school at least had their own home as a respite… now they don’t even have that. So there being nowhere to hide, I think makes it worse even as consciousness of the problem and efforts to combat it are getting better.

  2. I am a substitute teacher and I also have a sister-in-law and young nieces who are currently in K-12 schooling. As a child I was bullied from about fourth grade to sophomore year of high school. The thing was, I got to go home. When the school bell rang and I got back to my house I didn’t have to hear any of my classmates saying nasty things or spreading rumors about me until the next day. Those were the early days of the internet, and I could just log on and pretend to be someone else all night.

    These days, it seems like there is no escape. Cameras in every phone, texting, Facebook pages, Twitter…I see kids tormenting each other using social media and there is no escape. Bullying has just become more sophisticated, and easier, because all it takes is the click of a button to spread hatred to the whole class…or district. Some used to cling to the hope of moving away or going to college, but with Youtube and other permanent records of adolescent embarrassments, even moving across the country is no guarantee of closure for old wounds. The loss of anonymity online…some say it deters bullies but I don’t think so, I think it only eliminates refuge for the bullied.

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