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Bullying Awareness Month: Live the Golden Rule


Your brother might be bullied by other boys at school. He’s pretty good at ignoring the verbal barbs thrown at him, but you always go to his defense when it becomes physical because he’s your brother, and because you would want someone to help you out if a bully picked a fight with you. You know that bullying is wrong. Your mother taught you to respect others, to live by the Golden Rule: Treat others the way you want to be treated. She also taught you to love one another.

Bullying is a public health problem, widespread across the country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It happens to children at school, adults in the workplace, in neighborhoods. If a person is “different” they may become a target for threats, intimidation, physical, mental and/or emotional abuse. Call bullying what it is. It’s not “just a kid thing” or “something a boy does to get a girl’s attention.” If you spend any time at all at Facebook, you are aware of the huge amount of bullying going on there when you don’t agree with someone’s opinion. How easily bullying is unleashed online from people you would never have thought might be so cruel with words. Most of the time bullying is associated with school and students.

The CDC explains exactly what bullying is: “Bullying is unwanted aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated over time. Bullying includes … making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically, emotionally and academically.”

It can – and does – happen anywhere. And it affects everyone. Bullies are more likely to have poor impulse control, harsh parenting, and are influenced by people who find violence acceptable. Victims are more likely to have difficulties with relationships, poor self-esteem and being perceived as different or quiet … weak.

Here are a few statistics about bullying:

One out of 4 students say they are bullied at school.

About 64 percent of students who are bullied do not tell anyone.

More than half of bullying situations stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied.

Reasons for being bullied reported most often: looks (55 percent), body shape (37 percent) and race (16 percent).

Students who bully are at increased risk for academic problems, substance use and violent behavior later in adolescence and adulthood.

90 percent of teen who report being cyberbullied have also been bullied offline.

“Suicide is not a natural response to being bullied,” advises Depression and other factors are related.

How could someone who is bullied repeatedly, constantly reminded of his or her imperfections that make them socially unacceptable, to feel alone with no one at your back to help you stand fast and strong against a bully, not be depressed?

What can you do about bullying? Treat everyone with respect. There is that Golden Rule. Everyone wants to be respected and accepted. No one should be mean to someone else. Why would they? Who really has the problem?

Family Recovery Center promotes the well being of individuals, families and communities with education, prevention and treatment programs for substance abuse and related behavioral issues. For more information contact the agency at 964 N. Market St., Lisbon; phone, 330-424-1468; or e-mail,

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