Bullying is a type of hostile behavior whereby an individual intentionally and incessantly causes another individual distress and hurt. This behavior can be shown by words, understated deeds and physical contact. Bullying can impact as kid’s social and feelings growth. Usually, those affected are already emotionally and physically feeble than their bullies may be. This suggests that these actions solitary compound their already susceptible progress. Extreme bullying will prompt to a kid experiencing anxiety and hopelessness. Such a kid will have less confidence in life and will as a result not be able to interact well. This kid may become reserved from his allies and family. Targets of bullying may dodge tutorial, ask for a transfer or give up school completely. This will basically clarify that their performance in schools would be uninviting. In come incidents, such kids take their own lives.
Bullying in schools is a widespread occurrence. Generally, bullying takes place in each institution in the U.S. data indicate that 20 percent of students in elementary schools have been part and parcel of bullying, as targets, culprits or both. On top of this, 30 percent of students in grades six to ten are said to be engaged in bullying, as targets, offenders or both. From this, researchers account that 13 percent intimidate other students, 11 percent are targets whereas the remaining 6 percent are either tormentors or sufferers. As this evil is collective, it is important that all institutions come up with a harsh anti-bullying regulation. This paper will summarize this rule.
Bullying in Schools
Bullying is a form of hostile manner where an individual intentionally and repeatedly causes another individual hurt or suffering. This deed can be shown via words, physical contact or elusive undertakings. Mistreatment includes two essential elements; a disparity of authority and continual hurtful actions. It includes frequent verbal, physical or psychological assaults or intimidation towards an individual who is inept of suitably guarding him/herself because of the diversity in body mass and strength. In certain incidents, the sufferer may be outnumbered or certainly less emotionally strong. In learning institution, bullying entails deeds such as attack, seclusion, stumbling, rumor spreading, name-calling, damage of property and assignments, theft of essential things and requests for money (Lines, 2008).
In the United States, a number of unlawful institute-based conducts are known as kinds of bullying. These incorporate sexual aggravation (comprising recurrent exhibitionism, sexual prepositioning, nosiness, unwanted physical contact and sexual abuse); exclusion built on assumed sexual positioning and hazing (for instance, when older students enact hurting and distressing initiation rituals to beginners). Nevertheless, not all bantering, fighting and mocking between school going kids amounts to bullying. Whenever two kids or teenagers of almost similar size and power (psychological or physical) fight each other, argue or dispute, this is not known as bullying (Fried and Fried, 2003). Bullying takes place whenever a more authoritative person recurrently bullies a smaller potent person. In the first part, this paper will look at the extent of bullying in institutions in the U.S, causes and effects of bullying. In the second part, it will commend means through which institutions and education specialists can deal with this issue.
Section I: Analysis of Bullying in Schools
Extent of Bullying in the US
Generally, bullying takes place in each school in the U.S. every day, as many as 52 million kids abandon their places of dwelling to go to attend about 114, 000 schools in the nation. This infers that on any provided day, more than 15 percent of Americans are in danger of bullying either as victims or offenders. This is quite a big number and displays the scope of bullying if it is left unrestricted.
Local and international study displays that bullying is widespread at all schools and goes beyond basic level. Despite bullying being the most prevalent at the elementary stages, it takes place at all grade stage. Middle and high schools as well go through a number of levels of bullying. In high schools, the beginners are certainly in danger of being intimidated by their older colleagues. Figures display that 20 percent of students in elementary institutions have been intimidate at least once. In addition, 30 percent of students in grades six to ten are thought to be engaged in bullying, as targets, offenders or both. Out of this, researchers account that 13 percent bully other students, 11 percent are targets whereas the rest making 6 percent are either victims or bullies. This implied that any kid can be a bully when offered the opportunity. Meanwhile, 8 percent of students are intimidated at least once per week (Dake et al., 2003).
The most common kind of bullying is verbal abuse and harassment. This is accompanied by critical comments on physical and outlook and social seclusion. At both middle and high schools, bullying most often include social separation and mocking. Other kinds incorporate intimidations, physical ferocity, public disgrace, sexual and racial abuse and damaging of assets. Physical violence is the most prevalent deed of bullying at elementary schools. Other less common kinds of bullying incorporate intimidation, mocking and social separation. Physical violence is the most common deed of bullying at basic schools. Other less common kinds of bullying incorporate mocking, social separation and coercion. In many incidents, bullying takes place in regions where there is less or no grown-ups control. These incorporate bus stops, hallway, cafeterias, locker rooms and restrooms. When a tutor is not around, the classroom turns out to be the bullying place (Griffin and Kocsis, 2010).
Bullying is a widespread issue to both boys and girls, albeit accounts imply that boys are more probable to both targets and bullies. The rate at which girls and boys are engaged in bullying relies on how the deeds of bullying are described and recognized. Whereas some experts describe bullying in terms of open physical anger, others incorporate more elusive kinds. In boys, bullying engages more bodily hostility. In girls, bullying may follow more elusive kinds and deeds such as social separation and mocking (Voors, 2000). While girls frequently bully other girls, boys bully both boys and girls.
The nature and level of this ill makes it likely the most under accounted for protection in American schools. While many individuals that school bullying takes place more on the manner to and from the school, researches show that most of the bullying activities really take place in school fields. In the gone day, bullying was seen as a fairly harmless deed that would aid a kid build his or her personality and a formal procedure of passage into the school system. Nevertheless, many individuals these days admit that it can have enduring physical and psychological impact on any individual. Both the bully and the target may agonize from its effects. Prior to the degree of bullying was cherished, the act was invariably assumed to be a simple rebellious conduct that would fade with time. After crucial contemplation, bullying has turned out to be one of the most essential issues of discussion in the U.S.
In the gone number of years, the nation has observed a numerous upsetting incidents of school killings. During these cases, a crazy gunman has shot decisively and randomly at innocent school kids, murdering, upsetting and traumatizing many of them in the process. In two thirds of these cases for which the killer was not shot, it was shown that the attacker had earlier agonized at the hands of tormentors in school. These acts were the chief instigators for the assailants to go on a rage.
Causes of Bullying
Typically, school bullies ate intensely impulsive and aggressive, and their conduct may be fueled by their greater social position or physical strength. However, boys and girls of small stature can manipulate others if they have a higher social standing and have the right skills. Even though no single factor can determine bully behavior, several issues can explain why some students bully others. These include family dynamics, media, peer norms, technology and culture.
Family dynamics is the manner with which members of a family relate to each other. The family acts as the most important teacher to a child. Therefore, a family where members bully each other will teach the child that bullying is an appropriate way to relate to others and to obtain what one needs. Children raised in homes where members use criticism, put downs and sarcasm, or where they are constantly frustrated and rejected have higher chances of becoming bullies since it is their way of protecting themselves. Children who witness people being abused repeatedly will come to believe that the world is hostile, and will see striking back as the appropriate means of survival. They will be aggressive to their peers (Garrett, 2003).
The media can also influence the way a child perceives bullying. When humiliation, harassment, embarrassment and bullying are portrayed on television as humorous and acceptable, a child may think that bullying is not wrong. Glorification of violence in movies may also encourage vulnerable children to be aggressive to one another. Peer norms can also promote the notion that bullying is harmless. In some cases, students may stand by to watch another person being bullied, thereby encouraging him/her. Some may even conspire with the bully. For a long time, people believed that intimidation may teach a victim how they are expected to behave within the established peer norms. A school that ignores obvious signs of bullying will simply be encouraging the vice. For example, any institution that fails to deal decisively with reported cases would be passing the message that bullying is not bad. In addition, when teachers fail to recognize the importance of supervision at all times, powerful students may use the opportunity to bully others (Garrett, 2003).
Many students nowadays use information technology extensively. The popularity of social networking sites has given bullies another platform to torment their peers. Through the cyberspace, bullies can easily deliver hurtful messages and images, obscenities and threats to many people at once. Since such sites encourage sharing and commenting, such messages can reach virtually everyone at that school. A victim may be forced to skip school or transfer to another school altogether. There are many cases where students have become suicidal as a result of being bullied by their peers online. Some students have actually committed suicide.
Effects of Bullying
A victim of bullying experiences a range of emotions: anger, fear, frustration, anxiety, loneliness, helplessness, humiliation and persecution. These emotions can be manifested through mood swings, ongoing illness, loss of interest in going to school, withdrawal, argumentativeness, inability to concentrate in class, avoidance of certain places, low self-esteem, change in friends and increased participation in fights. A victim who is physically abused may have scratches or bruises on his skin (Sanders and Phye, 2004).
If the bullying is not stopped, a victim may start skipping school or engage in unlawful activities. Such a student will fail in his academics or drop out of school. Some intense cases of bullying may force a student to withdraw completely from family and friends. Such a victim may turn suicidal. Others may run away from home or begin to display violent behavior in retaliation.
Section II: Tackling Bullying in Schools
Schools can use several ways to tackle bullying within their compounds. School administrators should:
- Use a comprehensive, multifaceted anti-bullying approach. Having such an approach is more effective and more encompassing than one that focuses on some aspects of bullying. A school should:
- Create a schoolwide policy that categorically outlaws acts such as physical aggression, rumor spreading, isolation, sexual harassment, verbal abuse, social exclusion and all forms of bullying. Such a policy will give it the ground to punish bullies.
- Provide guidelines for members of staff, teachers, and students on the precise action to take whenever they witness acts of bullying or are bullied.
- Educate and involve parents in tackling the vice. For example, the school can teach them signs indicating that their children are being bullied.
- Adopt person-based strategies to discourage bullies and to protect victims. This may include meeting their parents and guardians.
- Encourage students to report any act of bullying.
- Develop a comprehensive reporting system that will tract bullying and interventions used.
- Encourage students to help victims. This includes intervening or stopping bullies in their tracks.
- Develop tailored strategies to prevent bullying in perceived hot spots. For example, they can increase teacher and staff supervision in playgrounds, restrooms, hallways and such like places. Installing technological monitors is also an option. Increased supervision will ensure that bullies are caught and reprimanded in the act. This will deter other bullies.
- Conduct post-intervention surveys to evaluate the impact of anti-bullying strategies. This will ensure that the school knows which strategies are working and which ones are not. This may enable it to make changes that will make the fight more effective.
- Enlist the school principal’s involvement and commitment. Previous studies have showed that in schools where the principal is actively involved in tackling bullying, incidents of this vice are lower than in schools where the principal is less involved. Therefore, administrators and other practitioners should encourage school principals to play the forward role in fighting bullying.
- Increase student reporting avenues. For example, a school can introduce a bully hot line where students can report anonymously. It can also establish a ‘bully box’ where students drop notes to alert the administration about incidences of bullying.
- Reduce the amount of time students spend when not supervised. Since bullying mostly occurs during recess, class changes, lunch and other times when students are not fully supervised, schools can reduce the durations of such instances. This will give bullies less time to commit their acts, thereby reducing the amount of bullying.
- Educate teachers on effective classroom management techniques. All teachers should be capable of identifying and addressing acts that will hamper the learning of students in the classroom. Teachers should also be taught on how to spot emotional and behavioral signs of bullying in the classroom. This will help them to identify victims who are too scared to report their misery.
- Post signs that prohibit bullying. When such signs are all over the school compound, they can act as a deterrent to bullies. They will be a clear indicator that the school does not condone bullying. Students should be informed of all forms that constitute bullying as well as their consequences (Rigby, 2007).
Bullying affects a child’s development negatively. A victim will develop low self-esteem, and this will influence his/her social and cognitive development. As the paper has discussed, bullying is probably the biggest safety problem in the country. Statistics show that about 30% of school going children have experienced bullying. Considering that there are more than 52 million of such children attending schools, the number of affected individuals is too high. For this reason, it is imperative that all schools develop anti-bullying policies that will deter and punish bullies. This paper has explained these policies.
Dake, J. A., Price, J. H., & Telljohann, S. K. (2003). The nature and extent of bullying at school. The Journal of School Health,73(5), 173-80.
Fried, S. E., & Fried, P. (2003). Bullies, targets & witnesses: Helping children break the pain chain. New York: M. Evans and Co.
Garrett, A. G. (2003). Bullying in American schools causes: Causes, preventions, interventions. Jefferson, N.C: McFarland & Company.
Griffith, M. E., & Kocsis, A. B. (2010). How to be successful in your first year of teaching middle school: Everything you need to know that they don’t teach you in school. Ocala, FL: Atlantic Pub. Group.
Lines, D. (2008). The bullies: Understanding bullies and bullying. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Rigby, K., & Australian Council for Educational Research. (2007). Bullying in schools and what to do about it. Melbourne, Vic: ACER.
Sanders, C. E., & Phye, G. D. (2004). Bullying: Implications for the classroom. San Diego, CA: Elsevier/Academic Press.
Voors, W. (2000). Why parents need to know more… about bullying. Center City, MN: Hazelden.