Although a lion’s share of teasing came from their peers; some of the perpetrators were parents, teachers and coaches. As these young people indicated they were being bullied or teased at school and at home; they were left with limited resources for support or allies.
Although bullying of children and teens has reached new proportions due to access to the Internet, there are no clear separations of what justifies bullying among peers. Are those that are extremely thin suffering from the same teasing and bullying as their overweight peers? And how overweight does a child or teen have to be to justify the teasing or bullying that is often going on? These are all questions that need to be asked and responded to by parents, teachers and child-development experts.
After researchers gave online surveys to 1,425 teens aged 14-18 who attended two weight-loss camps, only 361 completed the surveys. Out of those that responded, 71 percent were white. Forty percent were clinically obese, 24 percent were overweight and the rest were of normal weight. The answers to the questions posed brought interesting results.
Sixty-four percent of those that participated in the survey indicated that they had been bullied or teased at school because of their weight. However, only 20 percent said it happened often or very often. Those that perpetrated the bullying included teachers (27 percent said they had been bullied or teased at least once by a teacher), physical education teachers or coaches (42 percent) and parents (37 percent). However, only three percent said they’d been bullied often or very often by a teacher. The number was 11 percent for parents and six percent for physical education teachers or coaches.
When comparing how overweight children and teens are teased, compared to kids in general; the overweight kids were teased and bullied three to six times more often than others – depending on the age group.
What can we do?
There’s a greater recognition that bullying can have significant short- and long-term consequences on kids, both physical and emotional. Kids can be emotionally scarred for a long time, carrying this into adulthood. Sometimes school administrators and teachers share an idea that teasing and bullying are normal and “kids will be kids.” However, with the rate of bullying sky-rocketing and the numbers of teen suicides rising, we as adults can either look the other way, or we can say that it is wrong and take an active role in helping the bullied kids and those that are the perpetrators.
Distributed by Client Initiatives
Company Name: Phoenix Weight Loss
Contact Person: Debra
Address:202 E. Earll St, #160
Country: United States