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Eliminating bullying and violence from schools

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Nationwide incidents of youth violence, stress and bullying are growing alarmingly common. Studies estimate that about 30 percent of children are either being bullied, are bullies, or both. Thirty-two states across the United States have already instituted laws to reduce or eliminate bullying in schools. Tragic events resulting from acts of bullying are becoming frequent fixtures in our news.

The discussion of bullies has brought attention to other topics, such as the nature of high school cliques, mean girls, increased use of anti-depressants by teens, violence, and the importance of juvenile mental health. Bullying not only affects mental health, but it also has adverse effects on emotional and physical health of its victims. It provokes feelings of intense fear, which gives rise to frustration, intense anger and violence.

How can we defeat these problems and shift the paradigm toward compassion, viable health education, ethics and tolerance? First, we identify who are the most probable targets for bullying. While there is no definitive reason why a bully chooses a target, the most common tendencies are overachievers, overweight children, kids who are part of a minority, newcomers, gay and lesbian youth, and immigrants.

Can we explore the practice of yoga, focus more on fitness in schools and promote non-violent music as powerful tools for conflict resolution and better communication? It is a fact that an increase in sports and fitness activities improves a student’s self-image and self-esteem. Yoga contributes to the growth of compassion and tolerance. It also helps in controlling stress and anger. Medical practitioners are finding that listening to instrumental music has a positive and calming effect on the mind and spirit.

Initiatives should be implemented on all levels, large and small, to bring awareness to bullying and educate the public on how to identify and remedy this problem. Parents, educators, politicians, fitness professionals, and entertainers should unite and take part in programs to bring attention to bullying. Everyone has a role to play in reducing this crisis.

As violence and bullying continue to escalate, adults should take responsibility and make changes. We should transform the adversities that vulnerable students face into favorable conditions, to ensure that they have a place in the community to grow and learn.

Elena Shlychkov has a master’s degree in education, and she advocates for juvenile health and wellness. Her mission is to promote, teach and encourage the practice of good and complete health. Her complete educational model consists of good physical health, mental health and emotional health in children. Through research, Shlychkov has discovered three main reoccurring issues that have a negative impact on juvenile wellness; they are childhood obesity, bullying and the increase in sexually transmitted disease rates in teens. It is Shlychkov’s belief that these issues can be resolved through education, nutrition and exercise.

Updated 11:55 am, December 12, 2016
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