Bullying is a topic garnering much attention these days; consequently, people (parents in particular) are calling on schools to actively curtail the growing tide of bullying incidents. In addition, research on why we must focus on bully-proofing our students and our schools has provided some troubling answers. It has been noted by Cleary (2001) that a class and a school with no bullying culture will make significantly less academic progress than a comparable bully-free group. Feristein (2004) has suggested through his studies that there is a strong correlation between a student's self-concept and his/her academic achievement. The Journal of the American Medical Association (2001) has further suggested that bullies are more likely to participate in risky behaviors such as drinking, drug use, and smoking. Even our own surveys that were completed by parents, students, community members, and faculty and staff for our District Accreditation process revealed that bullying is the #1 concern for each of these stakeholders.
Therefore, it is imperative that we address this growing national ( and local) crisis of bullying. We can no longer afford to sit on the sidelines in hopes that we will not have to do anything.