Consider these facts: Over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year. Approximately 160,000 teens skip school every day because of bullying, and one in four teachers see nothing wrong with bullying and will only intervene 4 percent of the time.
These are real statistics, reported by DoSomething.Org, an organization that has mobilized youth in not only America, but in 131 other nations to get together and campaign for things they are passionate about.
It may not seem like big numbers in theory, but know that one of those 3.2 million may one day be your child, your sibling, your friend, your neighbor's kid, your co-worker's nephew, and so forth.
They're the ones that dread school, that have their guards up and won't engage in any conversation that pertains to friends or school events. They may even be one of the 3.2 million whose families have informed the school with what's been happening and still not seen a change. It might just be your child that – God forbid – contemplates suicide because the bullies have made life unbearable.
Fat shaming, cyber stalking, cat calling, rumor spreading and physical violence – this can all happen behind teachers' and school regulators' backs – and if one in four teachers think it's not a big deal and will only intervene 4 percent of the time, who's standing up for these defenseless kids?
Other kids, according to Dubai Police.
As part of an initiative to up the level of security and safety in schools and on campuses, the incredibly intuitive Dubai Police force have launched a program called Safety Ambassadors, that trains students how to spot and report any illegal activity, violence, negligence, abuse and bullying, reports Gulf News.
It's quite clever, really. Students are far more likely to know about such incidents than administrators, who are unlikely to see any worrying behavior, as perpetrators bully and harass students behind their backs, and victims tend to hide it for fear of reprisal.
For some, this Police program is the lifeline these kids have been hoping for. Since the program first launched in 2016, 72 students selected from private and public schools have been trained by the force to detect any incidents. And in those two years, 42 cases have been reported.
Again, that's not a big number when you consider the amount of abuse that must be going on in schools in the UAE. But that's still 42 children that can finally breathe easy and start enjoying their childhood knowing there isn't someone (or a group) of brutes intent on making their lives hell.
We're sure parents talk to their kids at home about bullying, but maybe you can talk to them about others in their class or in the school's recess area that are being bullied? Perhaps even reach out to the parents of bullied or harassed children? Stand with them as they push for the school to take drastic measures? Or call the Police and report it? We know they, at least, won't dismiss the matter.