Bullying in public schools is out of control. Consider these scenarios:
It’s 8 am, and a nine-year-old is scrambling through the halls trying to avoid losing his lunch money. He’s already been slammed into a wall twice by boys bigger and stronger than he is – just trying to walk to class, and if he’s not fast enough he won’t get to eat lunch today.
It’s 9 pm, and a 17-year-old girl just got barricaded from an exit and herded into a school hallway after choir practice by a group of boys who proceeded to sexually harass and bully her.
Bullying in Public Schools — My Experience
Fifteen years ago – parents were still saying “that stuff doesn’t really happen”. Except – I was that girl, and I am now 44. Bullying in public schools was real then, and it is real now. In fact, these days it is so bad the U.S. government has actually created a website about bullying in public schools, and the suicide rate is unreal – showing a 24% increase between 1999 and 2014.
Several years ago when we were all in our late twenties, a family member said to me something like “I don’t think bullying is nearly as big a deal as people are saying. Everyone needs to learn what their social pecking order is. It’s a natural process. Being bullied makes you stronger.” I looked him straight in the eye and said “That’s because you were always one of the cool kids, you didn’t get picked on, and you never got locked inside your locker every single day while teachers shrugged their shoulders and did nothing about it. It doesn’t always make people stronger.”
Unless you’ve been bullied yourself and know exactly how it feels – don’t ever say it’s not a big deal. You don’t know.
It doesn’t always make you stronger; sometimes it breaks you. Permanently.
I’m not just talking about suicide either. I’m also talking about a lifetime of dealing with panic attacks, PTSD, and other mental and emotional scars.
So yes. Being bullied as children in the public school system — where, by the way, both of us had parents who taught — my husband and I definitely factored that into our decision to homeschool. It’s not the only reason we homeschool. but I can definitely say with certainty I homeschool because bullying in public schools is out of control. Very few people are still laughing about it.
You can read some of the statistics about the increase of bullying and the effects of bullying in public schools here.
I know that homeschooling my kids does not prevent them from being bullied. My children have been bullied occasionally at church, at a homeschool co-op, by neighbor children, and even by so-called friends. Bullying can happen anywhere. However, the largest percentage of bullying happens in public schools. Protecting my children from that toxic environment is one of the benefits of homeschooling.
Having the occasional incident of bullying occur is much more manageable and less scarring than a lifetime of daily bullying. We can learn about what bullying is, how to manage a situation where you’re are being bullied, and help hearts heal from these occasional instances of bullying because we are not isolated from our children for six to eight awake hours each day. This is why we homeschool.
Amy Blevins lives with her husband and six beautiful children in the state of Virginia. She loves to help moms with the tips, tricks, ideas and tools they need to win at this mom thing! You can find Amy writing about homeschooling, essential oils, Instant Pot recipes, getting outside, mom wins and serving Jesus above all at Encouraging Moms at Home.
This article is part of the I Homeschool Because . . . series. Click here to read other articles in this series, download the free eBook, You Can Do It, Too: 25 homeschool families share their stories, and enter a giveaway from Kiwi Crate valued at more than $200.