Essay on Bullying in Schools
Number of words: 1829
School bullying can be defined as the situation in which one or more students (The Bullies) single out a child (victim) and intend in behavior intended to cause discomfort or harm the child. A bully will repeatedly target the same victim several times. Under all circumstances, bullies have an advantage over the victim as they possess more power. Compared to the victim, bullies usually have physically stronger with a large circle of friends or higher social standing. Bullying can inflict emotional distress, humiliation, and physical harm. More than 95% of learning institutions experience bullying globally. Bullying must be meet a specific rationale to be considered bullying. Such requirements include repetitiveness, recurrent imbalance of power, and provocation. Bullying can occur in schools, on campus, or the outskirts of school, but its setting must have been created within the school. Regardless of the position, all the stakeholders in a school context, such as parents, educators, children, and community members, are required to contribute to the prevention of bullying in schools. School bullying is increasingly becoming a social problem in modern society. Ideally, there are several types of school bullying attached to different causes. The effects of school bullying can be classified in psychological, economical, and academic dimensions.
Types of Bullying in Schools
The common types of bullying in a school setting include verbal, sexual, cyber, psychological, physical, and higher education bullying. Notably, victims in a learning context can experience bullying regardless of age. The aforementioned types of bullying are further classified as either direct or indirect bullying. Direct bullying is defined as an attack that is openly targeted to a victim. Direct bullying is either verbal or physical. Contrary, indirect bullying involves different forms of relational aggression that leads to social isolation through defaming one’s reputation and manipulating the conscience of others into falsehood. Indirect bullying is usually hard and subtle to detect in a school setting (Goodwin et al. 330). If undertaken by a group of bullies, direct and indirect bullying can be referred to as pack bullying. The different types of bullying can be defined either directly or indirectly relative to the implication to the victim.
Physical bullying occurs when there is unwanted physical contact between the victim and the bully. Physical contact can be hand to hand or tripping and throwing items at others that can cause physical harm. The second is emotional bullying. Emotional bullying can be defined as hurting others emotionally by negatively influencing their moods and psyche. The primary examples of emotional bullying include; belittling, spreading false information, and defamation. Verbal bullying can be defined as the usage of slanderous language or statements causing emotional distress to other people. Examples of verbal bullying include harassing, mocking, teasing, and threatening to cause harm. Finally, Cyberbullying is attached to the evolution of the internet and computers. The use of computers in bullying at schoolyards is on the surge. In most instances, schools experience difficulties in controlling cyberbullying as experiences are beyond the school fraternity.
The other common types of school bullying are sexual bullying and higher education bullying. Sexual bullying is either non-physical or physical, grounded on the gender or sexuality of the victim. In most instances, sexual bullying is undertaken by the male gender. The United States department of education reports an average of 60% of expulsions and suspensions from learning institutions attached to sexual bullying (Goodwin et al. 328). In most instances, the young ones are frames into tricks to share their nudes, after which there are forced to fulfill specific sexual demands at the expense of exposure. Higher education bullying occurs at the campus or college level. Around 95% of students have reported having been bullied at the college level. Higher education bullying results in depression and suicide in most cases.
Measures to Control Bullying
The main approaches in controlling bullying in school settings include the implementation of educative programs, creating a positive school climate, engaging parents, encouraging open communication and punishments. These techniques, however, vary depending on the learning level and the prevalence of bullying in the particular period. Education programs involve creating awareness to parents, students, and teachers regarding what constitutes bullying. Educative programs are instrumental in creating insight into the harmful nature of whichever kind of bullying. All the stakeholders within the school fraternity are enrolled in sessions of creating awareness on the signs of bullying and the most appropriate intervention criteria. The most common ways in educating on bullying include role-play, identification and reporting discussions, and other approaches to decline being involved in bullying. Nickerson(19) argued that educative programs are 62% effective in curbing the prevalence of bullying in learning institutions.
Secondly, schools can help in the prevention of bullying by promoting a positive school climate. Schools with a positive climate are presumed to have a healthy development, while the negative school climate results in a surge in bullying cases, unsafe feelings, victimization, and aggression. While the elements of positive school culture vary from norms relative to power, relationships, and feelings, it’s evident that a positive climate is a product of a conscious process that becomes self-reinforcing (Goodwin et al. 330). The main determinants of a positive climate include leadership and integrity in learning institutions. Therefore, the ability to have cognitive leaders is an advantage of coping with bullying in schools.
Third, schools should engage parents. Parents spend most of their time with children at the primary level. While there are many stakeholders involved in the lives of the children, parents play an essential role in understanding their behavior. Engaging parents in bullying scenarios means initiating communication on the progress of the children in terms of behavior and performance. Integration between parents and teachers is essential in providing consistent approaches that help yield a more productive and appropriate behavior (Nickerson 22). Parents can help their children recognize while being bullied by others. However, the approach is not viable in urban schools as parents experience difficulties establishing trust with schools.
Finally, schools should initiate open communication techniques. Open communication is essential in building rapport. Having open communication means that students can disclose their problems to teachers. Open communication helps the teachers gain more insight into existing bullies in the school (Nickerson 20). For instance, classroom meetings in grade 4 will enable teachers to obtain crucial information in enacting more controls to curb bullying in schools. Teachers are expected to listen carefully during the class meetings to avoid inflicting fear on the learners. Students should be assured of confidentiality and privacy of the information obtained as any disclosure might attract further bullying.
Effects of School Bullying
The effect of school bullying can be categorized in psychological and academic dimensions. Bullying results in poor performance in school. More than 70% of learners subjected to bullying ends up recording a decline in academic performance. The results are more severe at a young age. Bullying would result in fading of interest and participation of learners in school activities as it results in unexplained injuries linked to affecting concentration (Menesini and Christina 246). The impact of bullying on educational performance is increasingly becoming imminent. Bullying installs fear in learners from attending school regularly, thus affecting their consistency and concentration in class. Based on this explanation, it’s evident that bullied students will experience difficulties in achieving their academic goals. Moreover, bullying is linked with an unsafe learning environment that creates a negative climate of fear and insecurities and the perception that teachers do not care about the welfare of learners, thus decline in quality of education.
Secondly, bullying is associated with psychological problems. While bullying to individuals helps them enhance their personality and perceptions as they grow, it’s presumed that bullying can risk an individual developing an antisocial personality disorder linked to committing crimes. Bullying leads to depression, anxiety, and psychosomatic symptoms, which often leads to alcohol and substance abuse by the victims at a later stage in their lives. It’s argued that victims of depression feel free and open to share their experience with others, unlike in bullying, where the victims would choose to shy talking about the feeling in fear of being bullied again. In the short run, bystanders of the bullying experience may develop the fear, guiltiness, and sadness, and if the experience persists, they might get psychologically drained (Sampson). Therefore, the victims of bullying experiences struggle with insomnia, suicidal thoughts, health problems, and depression. Bullying does affect not only the students but also their classmates and family. Feeling powerless, parents and immediate family members might fall victim to depression and emotional distress. Some parents would invest more time in protecting their children, thus affecting them psychologically and economically.
Causes of Bullying
There are numerous causes of school bullying attached to religion, socioeconomic status, race, and gender. Understanding the reasons why students chose to bully their classmates is significant to teachers in combating bullying. The National Center for Educational Statistics report established that 25% of Blacks, 22% of Caucasians, 17% of Hispanics, and 9% of Asian students were bullied in 2017 (Divecha). Some of the students that bully others have higher levels of courage and confidence and can respond aggressively if threatened by the behavior. Students at the college level get bullied on sexual matters. For instance, the subscribers to LGBTQA sexual orientation get bullied based on their decision as gay or lesbians. Moreover, bullying in schools is caused by other factors attached to families. Students from abuse and divorced families are likely to bully others due to jealousy, anger, and despair.
From the above discussion, it’s evident that school bullying in whichever capacity is detrimental to human dignity. School bullying is increasingly becoming a social problem in modern society. Ideally, there are several types of school bullying attached to different causes. The effects of school bullying can be classified in psychological, economical, and academic dimensions. The primary forms of school form such as verbal, sexual, cyber, psychological, physical, and higher education bullying are categorized into direct and indirect bullying. The intervention strategies to curb bullying should involve all the stakeholders, such as parents, teachers, and students. The main approaches in controlling bullying in school settings include implementing educative programs, creating a positive school climate, engaging parents, and encouraging open communication and punishments.
Divecha, Diana. “What Are the Best Ways to Prevent Bullying in Schools?” Greater Good, https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/what_are_the_best_ways_to_prevent_bullyi ng_in_schools
Sampson, Rana. “Center for Problem-Oriented Policing.” Arizona State University, https://popcenter.asu.edu/content/bullying-schools-0
Menesini, Ersilia, and Christina Salmivalli. “Bullying in schools: the state of knowledge and effective interventions.” Psychology, health & medicine 22.sup1 (2017): 240-253.
Goodwin, John, et al. “Bullying in schools: an evaluation of the use of drama in bullying prevention.” Journal of Creativity in Mental Health 14.3 (2019): 329-342.
Nickerson, Amanda B. “Preventing and intervening with bullying in schools: A framework for evidence- based practice.” School Mental Health 11.1 (2019): 15-28.