Talking about the tough issues

School has kicked into full gear and kids are back into their routines. Classes, homework, sports, and after school activities fill schedules. However, along with the return of school also comes the return of increased bullying for kids. Statistics show that 1 in 5 students is being bullied at any given time. While most would assume that this is from being around classmates again, there is another source that often gets overlooked. It saddens me that it is even a problem, but there are many kids who feel bullied by teachers. I myself had a terrible time in middle school dealing with a teacher that bullied me and left me crying each night when I got home.

The role of a teacher is so important not only for educational purposes but they also have a responsibility for the emotional aspects of their students. It is not okay for a teacher to be the source of bullying. Teachers should be standing up for and building up their students, not tearing them down. Teachers need to get a sense of each student’s personality, because what they might view as their teaching style may be destroying the confidence of a student.

I was curious before writing this blog if perhaps I was just a sensitive child. Maybe kids don’t actually feel bullied by adults or teachers. I put out a survey to see if others had felt the same way growing up and the response was heart wrenching — Stories of adults who still feel the sting of a teacher or coach or adult in their lives that were the bullies in their childhoods. While I was glad to hear that the experiences have shaped those individuals in positive ways and made them diligent to never treat a child that way, it should never be learned that way.

So how can we as adults, teachers, coaches, mentors create a safe environment for the kids in our lives? Are we standing up for the value of each person? Is the example we are setting one that kids will want to grow up to be like or will we be bad examples kids shouldn’t follow?
WRITTEN BY: Emily Roofner

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