Halstrom Blog Post
Eliminating Bullying Concerns for Parents
Bullying can have a lasting effect on an adolescent’s life. People who were bullied during their childhood or adolescence often report carrying the effects with them into their adulthood. Because bullying is so prevalent in schools, and the social pressures of growing up are often overwhelming, the faculty and staff at Halstrom Academy have made creating the school as a bully-free zone a priority. Students at Halstrom can focus on their growth and academic success instead of worrying about the many damaging effects of bullying.
According to the Center for Disease Control, bullying is defined as “unwanted aggressive behavior; observed or perceived power imbalance; and repetition of behaviors or high likelihood of repetition.” This unwanted behavior can take many forms, but what is commonly seen in traditional schools is: teasing or name-calling; threats of physical harm or violence; making the victim feel alone and isolated from the group; hiding or stealing personal belongings; peer pressure to engage in sexual behaviors and/or experimenting with drugs or alcohol; and, coercing the victim to engage in other dangerous behaviors to fit in.
In addition, cyber-bullying has also become a major concern for students and parents alike because it often happens outside of school when teachers cannot intervene. Because cyber-bullying increases in the middle and high school years, schools are showing greater awareness of the issue and implementing strict no-bullying policies. This is true for Halstrom Academy. In addition to these policies, the relationships built between students and their teachers at Halstrom Academy give students the confidence to speak up about these issues rather than letting the bullying continue and worsen.
Because of the large ratio of students to teachers in traditional schools, many incidents of bullying go undetected and, therefore, unresolved. Students can find themselves in hallways, lunchrooms, and other common areas with little to no support from adults due to teachers who are overburdened with the volume of issues plaguing a large student population. And when this happens, students who are bullied suffer needlessly.
Students who are bullied often suffer from low self-esteem; anxiety and panic attacks; attention problems; and, depression. Their grades suffer as a result because they are often focusing their energy and attention on avoiding bullying situations rather than on their academics. They lose sleep from fear and stress, which in turn can affect their moods, personal relationships, and ability to pay attention in class. Therefore, bullying is not just a health issue, but it’s a threat to students’ future academic and professional futures.
These concerns are well-known to the teachers and administrators at Halstrom Academy. Halstrom Academy has implemented a strict no-bullying policy with procedures in place to mediate and eliminate any bullying that may occur. In addition, Halstrom Academy's unique 1:1 student to teacher ratio fosters strong personal relationships between students and adults creating a “safe space” for each student to alert someone if they are being bullied. Social pressures of middle and high school students don't have to be something that all students face in school. All students deserve and need to feel safe and confident to achieve success.
At Halstrom Academy, we take our students’ success seriously and strive to create an environment where students will feel connected to their teachers as well as other students. Parents can feel confident that their child is in a place of respect, and know that their child will be an integral member of a caring community where bullying will no longer be an issue.