When a child is bullied at school, it can have devastating effects. He or she can suffer from social, emotional and physical isolation and damage that can last long after the child leaves school.
Signs of bullying and school responsibility
Bullying can be physical, verbal and emotional and there are signs parents can watch out for. These include a loss of interest in school or other activities, physical signs like cuts, bruises and scratches, few social connections with other children their age, anxiety and low self-esteem.
Parents may find it helpful to schedule a meeting with their child’s teacher or school administrator to discuss their concerns. Bullying can interfere with a child’s ability to learn and the school should take steps to stop the bullying behavior. Some schools require their teachers to attend anti-bullying training and have reporting requirements when a child is targeted.
Studies suggest that even after a child becomes an adult, he or she can carry the negative emotional effects of bullying with them. It also increases the likelihood that they can suffer from depression, feelings of lack of control and worthlessness.
Adults who were the victims of bullying also may have difficulty trusting others, a tendency to be socially isolated and may have fewer occupational opportunities.
One of the most effective ways to prevent these effects is to address bullying immediately with the child’s school, who has a responsibility to keep its students safe. Also, it’s helpful to encourage the child to talk about what he or she is experiencing.
If a child is being bullied and the school has not adequately responded, an experienced bullying and abuse attorney can help.