James Myles was a 9 year old little boy who had just started the fourth grade, he had been made fun of way too much at school and when he then decided to take his own life. Just at the age of 9 years old, James had felt so hopeless from being picked on that he considered suicide to be the answer. Suicide is heard of way too often, mainly in teens, and is now being spread to even elementary school children. Statistics show that over 160,000 kids stay home from school from being bullied. (Kidshealth, “helping kids…)We need a change in our schools, starting from young ages such as elementary school children in order to prevent bullying from the start. Elementary schools contain assemblies talking about prevention of bullying however, it is simply not enough. Teachers and administrators need to be more cautious with this subject and need to find other ways to explain why bullying is wrong to young kids.

In order to prevent bullying it is important to understand the causes of bullying.  The definition of bullying is “using superior strength or influence to intimidate someone to force him or her to do what one wants.” Students are feeling in control and feel power when they bully others. According to various articles, researchers seemed to gather information by tying bullying into fitting in with the other students. It is said in one article, “Bullying behaviors are instrumental, that is, they serve to achieve a goal.” (Carson). Students always want to fit in, they want to be viewed as  “cool” and “popular”. When students bully, they gain attention from others who join and laugh at their jokes. The student who is bullying does not think of what others are feeling, they are simply thinking about how they are being liked in that moment. In a report called People, Daniel Harrison talks about when he used to bully during elementary school, “It felt cool to not be made fun of and to be the one making the fun.” (Hazen). It is hard for kids to fit in and they will find all the ways the can to do so.

What schools can do to prevent bullying is to simply talk about it more often, starting from young ages such as kindergarten. If teachers were to constantly bring up the subject and let them know how wrong it is, the students would feel sympathy to the students who are being picked on. Teachers in elementary schools need to learn how to explain bullying, such as explaining it is wrong when “he meant to do it”, and “They did that on purpose.” (Newman).  From the book, “Bullying in American Schools”, the author states an acronym for teachers to use to teach the students; PIC which stands for, Purposeful, Imbalances and Continual. Purposeful meaning that the students meant to pick on another student, it was on purpose to make fun of another. Imbalanced is explained such as students who claim a situation to be “unfair” because one student is bigger or taller than the other; imbalanced shows how the bully has more power than others.  Continual simply means that the bullying is occuring more than once. Teaching this acronym to elementary students will help them understand bullying a little bit more than just having one assembly a year on why bullying is wrong. Children learn differently and it is important to explain important things such as bullying more than one way.

It is hard to make kids not be mean to others, kids will tease and be hurtful towards others, however, it is the job of the teachers to try and prevent it when it is happening.  It needs to start with as little as teasing. Starting from a young age, kids need to learn when to apologize when they know that they did something wrong, and realize when they hurt another person’s feelings. Teaching these kids from a young age will help them grow up and understand that it is better to be nice to someone rather than fitting in with others.Not only is it the teacher’s responsibility to teach this concept, but it is also the parent’s job to teach them at a young age that bullying is wrong. Parents and teachers need to teach by example. Teachers and parents can work together on how to show that bullying is wrong by setting up parent teacher conferences just on this matter. By working together, this will help prevent suicides in the future for teenagers and young adults.

 

Works Cited

Google Search, Google, http://www.google.com/search?q=bringing%2Bawareness%2Bto%2Bbullying&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS720US721&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjsqKvh0czdAhUi0IMKHXfqBfIQ_AUIDigB&biw=1309&bih=751#imgrc=D6LbM-9gKp4QbM:

Google Search, Google,  www.google.com/search?q=bullying%2Bin%2Belementary%2Bschool&rlz=1C5CHFA_enUS720US721&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwii-YC40czdAhVj4oMKHS6YAswQ_AUIDygC&biw=1309&bih=751#imgrc=u57YRBHMPp5NiM:

“Bullying in American Schools.” Google Books, books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=fqmPAgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA297&dq=why%2Bdo%2Bkids%2Bbully&ots=CQ4zAvXr8n&sig=fHjSR4Bwp-5tBoMpvrLBnlfSCq0#v=onepage&q=why%20do%20kids%20bully&f=false.

“Bullying and Suicide.” Bullying Statistics, 7 July 2015, http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/bullying-and-suicide.html.

http://wwwdev.bergen.edu/Portals/0/Docs/Honors/SchJournal0613.pdf#page=18

https://abcnews.go.com/US/year-boy-commits-suicide-bullied-coming-mother/story?id=57427176

https://www.stopbullying.gov/