WASHINGTON (AP) — A panel of experts says bullying is a “serious public health problem” that cannot be ignored.
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine says bullying is not a normal part of childhood and shouldn’t be dismissed as merely kids being kids.
The researchers say bullying behavior can be seen as early as preschool, and that it peaks in the middle school years. And they say the problem has morphed from the traditional bully-in-the-schoolyard scenario to newer forms of electronic aggression such as cyberbullying.
The report says bullies and their victims alike can suffer short- and long-term consequences, including poor grades, anxiety and depression.
It also says zero-tolerance policies, with automatic suspensions for bullies, don’t actually help reduce bullying and should be scrapped.