How seriously should bullying be taken?

Historically, adults have perceived bullying to be innocuous ‘child’s play’ and a normal part of life. There is increasing awareness of the short- and long-term impact on all parties. Taking bullying seriously is a precursor to real change.

I felt alone; no friends, nobody, no hope. And I blamed myself. I still live with that shame and fear.
-Student, 12th grade

Success story

At a workshop for teachers offered by COPA, the facilitator explained how to recognize the signs of bullying. At the end of the workshop, a participant approached the COPA trainer and told her how she was going to immediately change her approach with a student with whom she had had problems. This teacher explained that she had tried everything with the student, but neither she nor the support staff could find a way to help. The behaviour of this student, who had previously excelled in everything, was deteriorating day by day. It was obvious that the student was withdrawing gradually from school life. The teacher said that after watching the film presented in the workshop and hearing the discussion on the impact of bullying, she immediately understood that the student was going through a bullying situation that was making him feel vulnerable and overwhelmed. The teacher said she was looking forward to returning to school and providing appropriate support to the student.