According to 2014 statistics gathered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 83 percent of girls and 79 percent of boys have reported being bullied, either online or in school. Attendance and graduation rates suffer as a result, as violent and dangerous conditions are not conducive to learning. Roughly 160,000 teens reportedly skip school every day because of bullying, while 1 in 10 teens drop out of school strictly because of repeated bullying.
Bullying prevention programs, (and church attendance is considered one of them) have been known to decrease bullying in schools by up to 25 percent, yet bullying is still at an all-time high. The church that you are a part of has the potential to change the landscape of bullying prevention and education. Instead of teaching children how to just recognize the signs of bullying and report it properly, Christian education is intended to facilitate positive relationships through empathy, team building activities and character values.
We are living in an age where tragedies like school shootings and student suicides have become something we’re used to hearing about. Perhaps the most disturbing part is that it no longer surprises us when we hear about these occurrences. Our reactive approaches and strategies haven’t worked, and the societal change will only be found when we can cultivate the hearts and minds of our children from a young age. Church matters!