Shake a stick at a newspaper, TV set, website or just about any other device that produces news and you’ll hit a story about bullying. Whether it’s in the NFL, at the office or on a school playground, it’s all around. No matter where it happens, it’s never good. But when it happens to a kid, it’s that much more heartbreaking.
The effects of bullying are wide, although sometimes you don’t need to go any farther than a glance in the eyes of the victims to know just how deep it goes. Benoit Paillé, a French-Canadian photographer, took a series of photos (that we first saw on My Modern Met) focusing on the reflection in the eyes of kids who have either witnessed bullying or been bullied themselves. The haunting stares of the kids give a glimpse into innocence lost and damage done.
The photos were first shown at a school-bullying themed art exhibition Japan, with the pieces standing nearly 7-feet wide and 3-feet high, which likely evoked a haunting sense of how overwhelming it was for the kids who had to endure or watch the crimes themselves.
There’s something about the photos — and the recent batch of bullying stories — that can just affect you in the gut if you’re a parent. You project your own children in the role of the target and it eats away at your insides to imagine them having those kind of emotional and physical scars. And for the parents of the actual bullies? Hopefully seeing photos like these will prompt them to do everything in their power to stop it from happening before more kids corrupted too young an age at the hands or words of their peers.
Take a look:
From the Perspective of the Bullied 1 of 9
All photos used with permission from Benoit PaillÃ©
1 in 3 Kids are Bullied 2 of 9
Thirty percent of students in grades in sixth through 10th grades are "involved in moderate or frequent bullying - as bullies, as victims, or as both," — that's according to Ambassadors for Kids and the results of the first national school bullying statistics and cyberbullying statistics survey on the topic.
Bullying = Abuse 3 of 9
According to Ambassadors for Kids, "bullying is a form of child abuse and 4 out of 10 children will drop out of high school this year because they are being bullied at school or abused at home."
The Statistics are Shocking 4 of 9
Ambassadors for Kids states that:
- 77% of students are bullied mentally, verbally, & physically. Cyberbullying statistics are rapidly approaching similar numbers, with 43% experiencing cyberbullying.
- Of the 77% of students that said they had been bullied, 14% of those who were bullied said they experienced severe (bad) reactions to the abuse.
- 1 in 5 students admit to being a bully, or doing some "Bullying."
- Each day 160,000 students miss school for fear of being bullied.
- 43% of kids fear harassment in the bathroom at school.
- 100,000 students carry a gun to school.
- 28% of youths who carry weapons have witnessed violence at home.
- 282,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month.
- More youth violence occurs on school grounds as opposed to on the way to school.
- Playground school bullying statistics - Every 7 minutes a child is bullied. Adult intervention - 4%. Peer intervention - 11%. No intervention - 85%.
The Targets are Not Discriminated Against Based on their Age 5 of 9
A Bureau Of Justice School Bullying and Cyberbullying statistics study found that:
- 20% of high schools report bullying problems
- 44% of middle schools report bullying problems
Risk Factors 6 of 9
According to StopBullying.gov, these five risk factors have been identified in bullied children:
- Are perceived as different from their peers, such as being overweight or underweight, wearing glasses or different clothing, being new to a school, or being unable to afford what kids consider "cool"
- Are perceived as weak or unable to defend themselves
- Are depressed, anxious, or have low self esteem
- Are less popular than others and have few friends
- Do not get along well with others, seen as annoying or provoking, or antagonize others for attention
However, even if a child has these risk factors, it doesn't mean that they will be bullied.
Warning Signs 7 of 9
If bullying is a problem, a child might exhibit the following warning signs, according to StopBullying.gov:
- Unexplainable injuries
- Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry
- Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness
- Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch.
- Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares
- Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school
- Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations
- Feelings of helplessness or decreased self esteem
- Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide
Bullying Effects 8 of 9
The effects of bullying can be long-lasting and severe, as StopBullying.gov cites 12 of 15 shooting cases from the 1990s in which the shooter had a history of being bullied. Other long-term effects include:
- Depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. These issues may persist into adulthood.
- Health complaints
- Decreased academic achievement—GPA and standardized test scores—and school participation. They are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.
Help is Available 9 of 9
Stop Bullying, a government anti-bullying group, warns targets that "bullying can affect you in many ways. You may lose sleep or feel sick. You may want to skip school. You may even be thinking about suicide. If you are feeling hopeless or helpless or know someone that is, please call the LIFELINE at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
All photos used with permission from Benoit Paillé
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