This year, Florida became the 35th state to enact anti-bullying legislation. The law dictates that school districts must submit policies to address bullying by December 1. One board’s proposed policy includes consequences for perpetrators of both real-world and cyber-bullying – repercussions that include counselling for both the perpetrators and the victims. Schools without approved programs will lose funding.
At Family Anatomy, we believe that bullying is a complex issue. Bullies need to be given consequences for their behaviour – and counselling is required. In fact, I think Doctors Giuseppe and Richard would agree that, if possible, family therapy would be especially recommended. Although we do not blame the victims for bullying, we believe that some characteristics make certain students more likely to be a target for bullies. Counselling for victims should include both assertiveness training and strategies to improve self-esteem.
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