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December 2011

Bullying

Table of Contents Introduction  Who is being bullied and is it a problem?  History of bullying  What effects does bullying have on the victim?

Solution 1  Educator Involvement

Solution 2  Parent Awareness

Solution 3  Parent Involvement


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December 2011 Children are precious and should be treated as such. There are tons of laws, agencies and people out there to protect these little ones from adults who may not treat them as they ought to be. But our group is here to bring into light that quite often it is the little ones that are hurting each other through bullying. Bullying often is dismissed with phrases such as, “tough love” or “boys being boys”. But the truth is that bullying is not innocent and does not have innocent effects on children. 1


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“Being bullied is not just an unpleasant rite of passage through childhood, it’s a public health problem that merits attention. People who were bullied as children are more likely to suffer from depression and low self-esteem, well into adulthood, and the bullies themselves are more likely to engage in criminal behavior later in life.”

Who is being bullied and is it a problem? A national study of students grades 6-10 showed that11 percent of students are being bullied, 13 percent said that they do bully and 6 percent said they have been involved in both. The same study showed that that bullying begins in elementary school and peaks in the sixth through eighth and can persist through high school. We can add another study done in 2004 by Implications for Physicians that showed that “American children eight to 15 years of age rate bullying as a greater problem than racism or pressure to have sex or use alcohol and other drugs.” The US Department of Education estimated in 1999 that almost a million students said that they were or had been afraid in the last 6 months of being attacked, or harmed at school. Also 13 percent reported being targets of hate-related language. In a 2009 nationwide survey, about 20% of

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high school students reported being bullied on school property in the 12 months preceding the survey. It is also good to understand that a higher percentage of middle schools reported daily or weekly occurrences of bullying compared to primary and high schools. Although bullying among children and adolescents can occur in any setting, it typically occurs at school or on the way to and from school. So what does this all mean? It means that this is a real problem. This is no longer the age where bullying is looked on as tough love, or a good learning experience for children. Just as we defend children against domestic abuse, there is a need to help our children overcome being the victims of bullying.


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The History of Bullying In the past, bullying was seen as a harmless rite of passage, a normal, unavoidable part of growing up. Taunts, social isolation, rejection, gossip, pushing, shoving, and tripping were often dismissed as child's play or simply kids being kids. Bullied children were told, “Don't let it get to you,” “You're too sensitive … toughen up,” or that bullying builds character. The problem with this approach is that while some children have the confidence and social skills to stop bullying when it happens, most kids don‟t. Bullying is a form of abuse, and expecting a victim of abuse to handle it by themselves is unrealistic. After all, we don't tell victims of traditional child abuse or domestic violence to toughen up or just not let it get to them. If your child is being bullied (or is bullying), he's not alone. A recent national survey of students in grades 6 through 10 reported that 13 percent of students bullied others, 11 percent had been bullied, and 6 percent reported both being bullied and bullying others. Bullying generally begins in the elementary grades, peaks in the sixth through eighth grades, and persists into high school. In 2001, The Journal of the American Medical Association reported that more than 160,000 students skip school every day because they are anxious and fearful of being bullied by other students.

Some Parents don‟t see bullying as a problem for their children According to a 2001 national survey of parents and kids by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Nickelodeon, 74 percent of eight- to 11-year-old students said teasing and bullying regularly occur at their schools, while only about half of parents in this survey saw bullying as a problem for their children.

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What effects does bullying have on the victim? Physical harm does not necessary to have lasting effects on the victims. There is a saying that, “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me,” this is nearly completely backwards. It is much easier to heal the wounds of physical injuries than it is to mend the psychological damage that bullying causes.

“It is much more difficult to heal the wounds of physical injuries than… psychological damage.”

One of the ugly outcomes is that it becomes more likely that a child will become increasingly susceptible to depression, anger, and bitterness. Bullying is an attempt to instill fear and self-loathing. Being the repetitive target of bullying damages your ability to view yourself as a desirable, capable and effective individual. Having a wounded self-concept makes it harder for you to believe in yourself, and when you have difficulty believing in yourself, you will tend to have a harder time persevering through difficult situations and challenging circumstances.

Long-Term Effects        

Reduced occupational opportunities Lingering feelings of anger and bitterness, desire for revenge. Difficulty trusting people Interpersonal difficulties, including fear and avoidance of new social situations Increased tendency to be a loner Perception of self as easy to victimize, overly sensitive, and thin-skinned Self-esteem problems (don't think well of self) Increased incidence of continued bullying and victimization

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Short-Term Effects      

Anger Depression Anxious avoidance of settings in which bullying may occur. Greater incidence of illness Lower grades than non-bullied peers Suicidal thoughts and feelings (In one British retrospective bullying experiences survey I came across (of unknown scientific value), 20% of the sample attempted suicide secondary to having been bullied, whereas only 3% of participants who were not bullied attempted suicide).


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SO WHAT CAN WE DO? Solution #1- Zane Manhart Educators need to become more involved in preventing and stopping bullying at an early stage by putting a program into place and following through with it. How educators can be more involved:        

 

Educators need to know that bullying is an intentional act. They need to know that children who bully are intending to harm the victim. Educators need to know that bullying is not a one time act, but rather it is an ongoing series of incidents by one child or a group of children targeting a child. Educators need to be informed on what the victim experiences. They need to know that it causes anxiety and apprehension to the victim. Educators need to realize that bullying is a power difference between the victim and the bully. It is an abuse of power. Educators need to know how to intervene. Intervention is the interfering with the outcome or course especially of a condition or process. Educators need to know how to assist in prevention of bullying. Preventing is the act or practice of stopping something bad from happening. Educators need to be pro-active which is acting in anticipation of future problems, needs, or changes. Educators should have an anti-bullying program in place. These programs have been found to reduce bullying among children, improve social climate of classrooms, and reduce related antisocial behaviors, such as vandalism and truancy. Educators need to set plans and goals with students and establish lesson plans that address bullying. Educators need to teach kids about empathy, anger management, and effective conflict resolution. Educators need to teach children about warning signs of bullying and the consequences of bullying.

Advantages  

Educators will be able to know more about bullying in the school and how to recognize and prevent it from occurring. Educators will be more knowledgeable about bullying so that they can recognize it a lot quicker when it does occur.

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Disadvantages  

Educators may feel like parents are not involved and that it is their sole responsibility to control, prevent, and stop all bullying going on. Educators may feel discouraged when bullying still occurs in the school and they may get to the point where they don't feel like they make much of a difference in the prevention of bullying.

What the experts say: Mrs. Zook, a principle of a 28-student elementary school, in a rural part of North Dakota answered the following questions about bullying in her school.

“Is bullying going on in your school?” Mrs. Zook said that there isn‟t much bullying going on between the 28 children, and that the children there get along quite well. However, when the school used to hold grades K-12 there was a lot more bullying.

“What kind of bullying took place?” She said that when her father went to school there when all grades attended and that all of the new kids were picked on. There were fights, hitting, and yelling. Mrs. Zook said that the biggest form of bullying now is teasing. “It doesn‟t happen very often and in bigger schools around, like in Dickinson, ND, it occurs more frequently.” She said that teasing now occurs mostly on the school bus. There are students who belong to "rough" families that like to pick on the little kids. They try to bribe them out of things and then pick on them. The advantage of being a small school and having a smaller school bus, is that people knows what happens there and it gets resolved quickly. Most people in the area are related or are good friends,and if there are problems, they get resolved quickly.

“What kind of anti-bullying procedures do you have in your school?” She said they have a no-bullying tolerance. When bullying occurs, parents are notified, and the parents and the kids are given a written warning that if it happens again, they will be suspended. Mrs. Zook said that the kids that are the "potential bullies" are those that came from a school where they may have been a "bully victim" themselves and this is their way to shine or get revenge or finally have power. Mrs. Zook holds programs once or twice a year on issues such as violence and bullying. She mentioned that they address the issue with the students explaining what it is, how to prevent it, and what to do if it occurs. Also, at the first of the year, the parents and children are given a handbook, which talks about the no-bullying policy, and both parent and student have to sign the form. Mrs. Zook said, "Bullying at this point is not a huge issue, but with growth and increased crime in the area, I foresee this becoming more of an issue in our schools."

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Examples: “For two years, Johnny, a quiet 13-year-old, was a human plaything for some of his classmates. The teenagers badgered Johnny for money, forced him to swallow weeds and drink milk mixed with detergent, beat him up in the restroom and tied a string around his neck, leading him around as a „pet‟. When Johnny‟s torturers were interrogated about the bullying, they said they pursued their victim because it was fun.” -Dan Olweus

Quotes: “I know how scary bullying can be, and how overwhelming, upsetting, angering and frustrating it is to see your child tormented by other kids. I know how miserable it feels to see your kid suffering and the pain it causes. You don‟t have to fight this battle on your own.” Dr. Joel Haber (http://www.respectu.com/) “Bullying is a large problem in schools, but with a suitable intervention program, it is possible to considerably reduce it. An effective anti-bullying program can be implemented relatively easily and without major cost; it is primarily a question of changing attitudes, knowledge, behavior and routines in school life.” -Dan Olweus, Research Centre for Health Promotion, University of Bergen, Norway (http://www.oecdobserver.org/news/fullstory.php/aid/434/Bullying_at_school:_tackling _the_problem.html

Statistics: 

Only 25% of students report that teachers intervene in bullying situations, while 71% of teachers believe they always intervene (www.bullybeware.com.)

282,000 students are physically attacked in secondary schools each month (www.bullybeware.com)

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Solution #2 – Scott Bollar

Parents need to become more aware of the signs of bullying and the effect it has on their children so they can be involved in helping the child through the crisis.

Below is a list of behaviors parents can watch for in their children.         

Anger Depression Anxious avoidance of settings in which bullying may occur. Greater incidence of illness Lower grades Suicidal thoughts and feelings A quick change in friends A desire to be alone Personality change around the family

Parents need to be continually building their child up and making every effort to reinforce their self-confidence. Parents need to be in touch with their child‟s educators, daycare provider, and others that are in constant contact with the child to make sure that there are no sudden changes in behavior or grades.

Bullying defined Bullying is an attack or intimidation with the intention to cause fear, distress, or harm that is either physical (hitting, punching), verbal (name calling, teasing), or psychological/relational (rumors, social exclusion) It is a real or perceived imbalance of power between the bully and the victim.

Parents need to be aware that there are different types of Bullying Bullying is generally divided up into three main categories, physical, emotional, and verbal.

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Signs your child may be being bullied at school Quiet Cautious Sensitive Insecure Difficulty asserting themselves; Poor academic performance Cynical May be perceived as being “different” or weak May experience psychosomatic symptoms (e.g., sleep disturbances, enuresis, unexplained abdominal discomfort, or headaches) May accept that they deserve to be taunted, teased, and harassed (similar to victims of domestic violence and other forms of abuse) In rare cases, may harm themselves or others, or even consider suicide rather than endure continual harassment and humiliation At risk for depression and poor self-esteem later in life


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Hitting, kicking, shoving, slapping, sexual grabbing, destruction or theft of property, are all characteristics of physical abuse. This is the most common form of bullying among boys. Threatening or obscene gestures, exclusion from a group, manipulation of friendships, threatening notes or e-mails are examples of emotional bullying. And taunting, teasing, racist remarks, sexual harassment, name-calling, insults are examples of verbal bullying.

What the experts say: Dr. Kevin Galbraith, a member of the BYU-Idaho faculty in the Home and Family department, and a part-time marriage and family counselor answered the following questions about bullying.

“How does bullying effect teenagers?” There are four main types of bullying that children of all ages face in the world today. They are physical, mental, emotional, and sexual. They all are types of abuse that confuse who they are and how they fit into the world around them. This kind of confusion only compounds as they continue to have these feelings of low self worth. Some of the common things that are seen in these bullied children are; 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Depression Discouragement Poor grades Emotional problems A lack of desire to go to school A lack of desire to be involved in any extracurricular activity.

“Why does bullying happen?” One of the main reasons that come to mind is that most children that have been bullied go onto bully others. They have a social distortion of how they should interact with their peers. Children that have been raised in homes that the parents us an authoritative style to parent are more likely to bully because they are more accustomed to it in their home life. It can be exhilarated by parents that are very passive, letting their children run them over and not being taught boundaries that would be a natural guide to them.

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“What kind of things lead to children to bully?” 1. Low Self-esteem 2. Wanting to fit into a peer group 3. Being bullied themselves at some point “What are some ways we can stop bullying?” 1. We need to be more informed, so we can monitor it more educated. 2. Schools need to take it more seriously, and have more aggressive punishment for those that are being the perpetrators. 3. Education children on what bullying is and ways they can make themselves less vulnerable. 4. We need to recognize those children that are naturally more at risk and work to protect them. 5. Parents need to teach their children how to report it.

Quotes: Olweus documented a connection between bullying and later criminality showing that 60% of those who bullied in grades 6 and/or 9 had at least one criminal conviction by age 24; 35-40% had three or more convictions (as compared to a group of non-bullying boys). http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_What_Happens_Over

Another research group in England asked boys about whether they were bullies at age 14, then 18, and then again at age 32 (18 year span) (25). The findings showed that about one in every five boys (18%) who saw himself as “a bit of a bully” at age 14 continued to report being a bully at age 32. A noticeable proportion of these adult bullies at 32 years of age was highly aggressive (61%) and had been convicted of violence (20%). http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_What_Happens_Over

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Solution #3 Angela Mortensen Parents need to be more involved when signs of bullying show up.

“We've been getting lots of information talking about what bullying is. Bullying has been starting very early in schools. Bullying may start innocently, but it can escalate into something stronger.” ~ Julie Bell

Bullying has been around for a long time and will be around for even longer if we don‟t take a stand against it. Bullying used to occur only at school and on the schoolyard, but because of the internet, bullying can take place 24/7. When parents step up, the harassment and bullying is more likely to stop. Parents need to team up to help their children deal with this. Anyone who observes a child being bullied has a duty to inform school officials, parents/guardians of the victim, and the parents/guardians of the bully. A group can be created to inform others about bullying, kind of like the Neighborhood Watch program, but about kids being bullied. It can also be a support group for kids to help them overcome being bullied. Statistics show that over 15% of students get bullied. Half of their parents don‟t even know it is happening to them. Similar to the Neighborhood Watch program, an anti-bullying group can be created to inform others about bullying. It can also be a support group for kids to help them overcome being bullied. Statistics show that over 15% of students get bullied.

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5 Things Parents can do if their child is being bullied. 1. Talk to the childâ€&#x;s teacher or principal to see if they have noticed anything. 2. Make sure other teachers, aids, and adult staff are notified of the problem so that they can watch out for the child. They can protect the child if needed. 3. Make sure your child has a chance to do activities with friends outside of school. This will help your child maintain friends and have a support system. 4. Encourage your child to stay with their friends throughout the day. If they stay in a group, they are less likely to be singled out. 5. If cyberbulling is happening to your child, make sure they know not to respond to any messages and that they need to show an adult what is happening.

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What the experts say: Brittany Smith, a fourth grade student-teacher at Henry‟s Fork Elementary School in Idaho was interviewed about Bullying in her school.

“Is bullying going on in your school?” “Yes, it is a huge problem, and it isn‟t just students.” She said kids call each other names, tease, make fun of one another, and occasionally hit and kick each other. Ms. Smith said that the student‟s teacher is no better. “She is very degrading and condescending to the students. If a student does something she doesn‟t like, she makes them come in front of the classroom and work on problems without any help. If they do the problem wrong she makes fun of them for the rest of the day.” Ms. Smith says that she tries to uplift the students and let them know all their good qualities. “One of the hardest things about this is seeing the students suffer because of the teacher. On the days she is being a big bully, the kids just act out more.” I asked Brittney if race, gender, or size came into play with the bullying in her classroom, but her response was no. “Almost all the kids bully everyone. It doesn‟t matter who they are. The teacher is the same way, but when the students are gone, she tends to make more fun of the lower class children.” Parents also need to make sure to talk to their children about it. Let your children know what bullying is, and if it is happening to tell them. Also they need to teach them not to be bullies themselves. Bullying isn‟t simply physical. Kids often use words to humiliate a vulnerable child or encourage the group to isolate or reject other kids. Bullying happens when someone repeatedly targets another child who does not have the ability to defend him or herself. Bullying and harassment thrive on silence. Parents can break the silence by listening and talking with their children about strategies for dealing with bullies. Kids can be encouraged to practice looking assertive and confident, to speak firmly and to practice comeback lines that are short and funny. With their parents' help, kids can develop alternate routes to the bus stop or school, avoid places where bullies hang out, sit near the bus driver or walk with friends. Kids should also be encouraged not to give up; but to join clubs and other social groups, to widen their safe social circle.

Quotes: “Fighting isn't the right response to bullying-for adults. Adults have to find out what makes the bully the way he is and look for reasons and answers and understanding. That's an adult's responsibility.” ~ Philip Pullman (October 19, 1946) “We've been getting lots of information talking about what bullying is. Bullying has been starting very early in schools. Bullying may start innocently, but it can escalate into something stronger.” ~ Julie Bell

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Zane Manhart Writer 2 My name is Zane Manhart. I grew up in Thatcher, Idaho. I served an LDS mission to Johannesburg, South Africa. After I returned, I married Gina Spackman from Cache Valley (Preston, ID & Richmond, UT). We were married in the Logan LDS temple. I got my law enforcement technical certificate from the College of Southern Idaho and then shortly went to work after, as a deputy and school resource officer. I now have four sons, ages 7 ½, 6, 3 ½, and 1 ½. They are very busy and keep my wife and I on our toes. We recently moved to Golva, ND where I am a sergeant for the Sheriff’s department and my wife is the community health nurse for two counties. We raise sheep, chickens, dogs, a couple cats, a lama, and horses. We enjoy driving and riding our horses. We also enjoy hunting, fishing, camping, and spending any time we get as a family. We chose the topic on bullying and how bullying can be lessened. We chose this topic because like many parents, we want the best for our children. Bullying is a common problem with children which has some very severe, and sometimes life long effects. Researching this topic will hopefully make more individuals aware that it does occur and what we can do as parents, educators, peers, or citizens of the community, to help stop this from happening. I chose to be writer 2 in this project. I was able to come up with a solution to the problem, find resources about the problem, discover the scope of the issue, and find different programs that would assist educators, parents, and peers, in stopping bullying. What I have learned from this project is that team work is a must, in almost everything you do with other people. Whether it be completing an assignment like this, or stepping in when bullying is an issue, it takes teamwork to make something a success. I have found that issues like bullying can be prevented and can be stopped. It just takes effort and education for everyone involved. Bullying can be a very devastating and harmful thing for children and teenagers which could put a negative impact on individual’s life permanently. Involvement of family members, educators, and peers is essential in keeping bullying out of the picture. I have also learned that you cannot do things alone. If it weren’t for the help and communication of my peers with this assignment, it would not have been a success. I feel that we have all worked hard to make it complete. Bullying relates. If we all have a determination, it can be non-existent and banning it would be a success.

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Angela Mortensen Writer 1 My name is Angela Mortensen and I am from Sugar City, Idaho. I was born and raised in a small town, where everyone seems to know everyone else. I am 22 years old and I work at a Credit Union while finishing my Bachelor’s Degree in Communications. I am very involved in non-profit organizations and helping those who can’t help themselves. We picked this topic because we felt like bullying is a big problem in schools today and we want to make people aware of it. Bullying is not okay, and we need to take a stand against it. I was in charge of the history of bullying. I also found some great quotes and statistics about it. This experience hit close to home for me. I was one of the children that was bullied all through school. Recently while talking to my mom about it, she asked me what they could have done differently to stop it. I told her there really was nothing they could do. They made contact with other parents, but they refused to acknowledge that their kids were bullies. They didn’t even acknowledge it when I was in high school. I had to get a restraining order for their children because they would kick and hit me any time I was near them. I think kids who are bullied really need a good support system. I know my parents tried to help me, but they really couldn’t stop it. I think the only think they could have done was pull me out of school and home-school me. The problem with that was all the kids who bullied me at school were in my ward, so I would see them at church. They really couldn’t pull me out of church, and they decided running wasn’t an option. Looking back at my experiences, I know I couldn’t have made it through without the support of my family and my older brother trying to protect me. I want to make others aware that they don’t have to be pushed around and that we can make a difference if we stand together.

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Scott Bollar Writer 3 My name is Scott Bollar. I am a small town boy from Shoshone, Idaho. I currently live in Sugar City, Idaho with my beautiful wife and five wonderfully active children. I am finishing up my Bachelor’s degree, working full time, and being a full time father and husband. My part of the assignment is to focus on the effects of bullying. It was very informative to find a lot of research in this area and how there can be a lot of negative effects for them that are bullies and those that are bullied. Being the father of five children involved in public schools, this is something that our children see at school frequently. We have found in our family that it is very important to continuously ask our children who their friends are and what activities they are doing. We have discussed with our children the importance of standing up for those that are being teased and bullied. To make sure that the kids at school have friends and are not being pushed around. We have tried to teach our children to stand up for what they think is right and not be ashamed. We teach our children that they are important no matter what anyone else says or thinks. If someone says something about him or her to them, that it does not really mean the truth. They know what they are truly like on the inside. If we can teach them to be strong on the inside, the effects of bullying we hope will be far less. It is important to believe in who you are. That is what really matters. If you have a child with a low self-esteem and they are bullied at school, the effects of that bullying are going to be far greater than children who believe in themselves.

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Rebecca Jasper Editor I grew up in Rexburg, Idaho, which is also where I met my husband. We have one little boy who keeps us on our toes. We love fishing, camping, and good barbeque. I expect to have my Bachelorâ€&#x;s degree next July, after which I will go back to my favorite job as mom. This topic is naturally personal. My son isnâ€&#x;t in school yet but it is always good to know what you can do about an issue that can have such a negative impact. Kids are so vulnerable and impressionable. It is a shame that they are ever told that they are worth nothing, and then made to believe it. I was the editor of the group. My assignment was to format and put together the pieces of this book. I also collected pictures and tried to enforce due dates. My experience while putting this together was definitely educational. We decided, midproject to change our topic. Doing so really made everyone push to try and find valuable and important information amongst all of the information out there. The assignment for the group was to make an issue book that persuaded people to think the same as we do on this topic. I found this really challenging. I didnâ€&#x;t want it read like a research paper. After studying the example issue books I came to realize that the way their information was set up felt very interactive. The different sizes, colors, graphs, pictures, and fonts kept my attention. I easily came to understand that the more professional the book looked, the more credibility I gave it. Not that a nice look meant that more research was done. I think the look of the issue books meant that someone thought the information they had was worth presenting well. I am not professional by any means at formatting, but I did try to display professionalism through uniformity in this book. Communicating within our group was the key to anything being able to be submitted. I learned that in order to have a smoothly functioning group all members involved need to want the same result.

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Credit http://www.aafp.org/afp/2004/1101/p1723.html http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bullying/MH00126 http://www.bullyonline.org/workbully/quotes.htm http://www.familyfirstaid.org/bullying.html http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_What_Happens_Over http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_What_Happens_Over

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Bullying