Bullying is any aggressive behavior intended to harm, embarrass, or exclude another person. Children can experience three types of bullying — verbal, social, or physical. Bullying often begins early and can follow a child through high school.
Fortunately, if you believe your high school student is being bullied, you can do a great deal to help. Let’s explore tips on how to deal with bullying in high school and how you can help your child navigate the effects of bullying, so they can enjoy learning and grow without limits.
How Common Is Bullying in High School?
Does bullying happen in high school? Bullying seems to decline after eighth grade, according to the 2017 School Crime Supplement to the National Crime Victimization Survey. However, bullying among high school children still remains high. According to the 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, 19.5% of students in ninth through 12th grades experienced bullying on school property. That means about one in every five high school students has been the victim of bullying.
Bullying can occur online as well as in person. Cyberbullying in high school is often unseen but just as harmful as in-person bullying. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 30% of high schoolers report cyberbullying incidents, the second-highest percentage after middle schoolers.
How Can Bullying Escalate in High School?
Traditional verbal or social bullying can dramatically escalate in high school. What causes bullying in high school? Many factors cause nastier bullying in high school, including:
- A child’s differences that set them apart from classmates.
- A bully’s own stress, insecurity, or desire to be entertained.
- Social pressures.
As children get older and enter high school, all forms of bullying can become more intense and extreme. Here are a few ways the three main types of bullying can escalate in high school:
- Verbal: Verbal bullying in high school often turns into inappropriate sexual comments and threats of harm.
- Social: High schoolers can form toxic friendships that limit or hurt other relationships. A student experiencing teen pregnancy may receive harmful comments or be the victim of false rumors that harm their reputation or self-image.
- Physical: Physical bullying can become sexual harassment or vandalism.
Bullying can also escalate by occurring in different situations. Cyberbullying may seem less harmful than physical bullying, but its effects can be disastrous. Cyberbullies spread rumors online, share humiliating content, post death threats, or share mean comments online for others to see and share. In 2019, around 16% of students in grades nine through 12 experienced cyberbullying.
The effects of bullying in high school can follow a child into adulthood. Victims of bullying might avoid school, develop anxiety, and experience low self-esteem, self-isolation, and suicidal thoughts or actions. Bullying could also lead to physical violence and homicide.
How Can You Help Your Child?
As a parent, you can help your child learn how to deal with bullies in high school. Consider taking these steps if you believe your child is being bullied:
1. Help Your Child Develop Healthy Habits
Handling bullying in high school begins long before your child enters the high school doors. Encourage your child to develop these positive habits for dealing with bullying situations:
- Telling a trusted adult: Help your child understand that telling an adult about bullying helps them gain the strength to handle the situation.
- Practicing confidence: Teach your child self-confidence to hold their head high and respond to bullying with reason instead of anger.
- Finding true friends: Good friends, who like your child for who they are and help them feel secure, are invaluable. Help your child find friends who can make them feel appreciated.
These habits benefit children by helping them deflect the effects of bullying and reducing bullying.
2. Pay Attention to Your Child’s Cues
High school-aged children may not be as quick to communicate with their parents if they are being bullied. You can watch for some particular indications that your child is being bullied, including:
- Declining grades.
- Unexplained injuries.
- Faking illness to avoid school.
- Sudden loss of self-esteem or friends.
3. Provide a Listening Ear
Bullied children may feel socially isolated, especially from their parents. It’s essential to provide a non-judgmental listening ear for your child in their high school years. Start a conversation with your child seeking to understand their feelings. Ask open-ended questions that allow your high schooler to explain the situation as they see it.
4. Talk to School Administrators
Talking to those in charge of your child’s classroom is a helpful tactic for ending bullying. State laws often require schools to have and enforce anti-bullying policies. Teachers and administrators can address the issue without drawing greater attention to your child in a way that might embarrass them or lead to more bullying.
Why Is CCA Different From Other Schools?
Your child does not have to endure bullying that makes them feel unsafe. If the bullying persists or your school’s administration won’t help end the situation, consider switching to CCA, a cyber charter school that takes bullying seriously.
At CCA, we enforce our zero-tolerance policy strictly, cutting bullying off at the source and offering guidance to help the bullied child heal and regain their confidence. CCA’s resources for students help reduce bullying altogether and empower students to navigate schooling in their own way. Policies like the ones described below truly set CCA apart from how other schools handle bullying situations:
School Counseling Support
CCA school counselors teach learners about acceptable behavior from a young age. Parents and school counselors have an open communication pathway to identify and address bullying as early as possible and get children who are bullied the assistance they need.
Learning at Home
CCA works with each family to develop an individualized learning plan to help students succeed. Kids are free from the school environment that triggered their bullying, helping them gain more confidence in the virtual classroom. Cyber learning at CCA also involves greater parental involvement. Parents can be sure where and with whom their child is spending time.
Student Assistance Program
We tailor our Student Assistance Program (SAP) to each child’s needs and their unique barriers to learning, such as bullying. The teachers and school counselors on a student’s SAP team are trained to notice the warning signs of bullying, reach out to the family, and find the right solutions for the child. The SAP helps families find community resources, mentorship programs, and individual counseling, depending on their needs.
Why Should You Take Action Now?
It’s never helpful to make excuses for bullies or say that the particular type of bullying a child experiences isn’t a big deal. The effects of bullying are long-lasting and potentially dangerous to your high schooler’s emotional and physical health. Children who are bullied are more likely to experience consequences like:
- Depression, anxiety, and social isolation.
- Changes in eating patterns, like skipping meals or binge eating.
- Poor sleep.
- Loss of interest in hobbies or friends.
- Decreased academic achievement and participation.
These adverse effects can follow a child into adulthood, leading to chronic health issues, difficulty maintaining healthy relationships, and low self-esteem. Handle bullying swiftly and effectively instead of treating it like a part of life. Helping your high schooler think differently about the situation and view themselves in a positive way will help them grow as a person.
Find Safety From Bullying at CCA
Bullying has serious short- and long-term consequences. Luckily, parents can implement habits to help their children manage bullying and get the help they need.
Transferring to a cyber charter school also offers many benefits for a child who has been bullied. A fresh start for these high school students brings valuable peace of mind. If you are interested in helping your child learn in a safe and supportive environment, consider CCA. CCA empowers children with a high-quality education aligned with state standards that allows them to learn free from the stress of bullying. Students who experience bullying at CCA get a swift, supportive response.
When bullying is out of the equation, your child is free to shine. CCA provides support for learning all along the way to help children reach their fullest potential. Request more information about CCA’s resources and support for children who have been bullied. Start the enrollment process today!