Bullying is an action among school-aged children that is aggressive and unwanted which encompasses a power imbalance that could either be real or perceived. It can be a repeated behaviour or has the probability of reoccurring over time. Children who are perpetrators or victims of bullying can have difficulties that can last for the rest of their lives. Learn about Fighting Bullying now!
Bullying can also involve adults which include bullying teachers. Teachers can either be the victims or the bully themselves.
Bullying is a person’s act of the use of his strength or status by infringing another person through physical harm, insults, threats, and other acts excluding sexual harassment. The usual occurrence of bullying happens among peers but it can also happen to an older person harassing a younger person or vice versa.
Fighting Bullying 101: Kinds of Bullying
There are three kinds of bullying which include verbal bullying, social bullying, and physical bullying.
Verbal bullying involves oral or written things that are meant to defame another. These include taunting, name-calling, teasing, threatening to cause harm, or inappropriate sexual comments.
Social bullying involves defaming the reputation or relationships of others and is also commonly known as relational bullying. Examples include telling others not to be friends with someone, leaving someone out on purpose, embarrassing someone in public, and spreading rumours about someone.
Physical bullying involves the act of harming the body or possession of another person. This includes spitting, tripping/pushing, kicking/hitting/pinching, making rude or mean hand gestures, and taking or breaking the things of another person.
Fighting Bullying 101: The Where and the When
Bullying can occur any-time of the day. The building of the school is where most bullying occurs but a large percentage also involves in places such as on the playground or on the bus. Other places involve the neighbourhood. It can also happen while travelling to and from school. The World Wide Web is also a place where bullying can happen.
Fighting Bullying 101: What is Cyber bullying?
Cyber bullying uses electronic media to bully others. Cyber bullying includes rumours posted on social networking sites or sent by email, use of fake profiles and websites, and humiliating videos.
Fighting Bullying 101: What Makes Cyber bullying Different?
Children who experience cyber bullying are often bullied in person as well. It is more difficult for bullied children to get away from the behavior. The reasons behind this involve cyber bullying that can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can reach child even when he or she is alone. Messages that involve cyber bullying can be distributed quickly as they can be posted anonymously. It is almost impossible to trace the source of these messages. It is also difficult to delete inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures after being posted or sent.
Fighting Bullying 101: Effects of Cyber Bullying
Technology should not be blamed for cyber bullying as these can also be used for positive activities. However, as much as these tools can be used for good outputs like social media sites for connecting children with friends and family and helping students with school, these can also be used to hurt people. Bullying whether done in person or through technology has profound effects.
Children who are cyber bullied are prone to skip school, use alcohol and drugs, be unwilling to attend school, receive poor grades, have lower self-esteem, and have more health problems.
Fighting Bullying 101: Who is at Risk
Children at Risk of Being Bullied
Children are more prone to be bullied because various risk factors. These include children perceived to be different from their peers such as wearing glasses or different clothing, being overweight or underweight, being new to school, or being unable to purchase “cool” things. Another one includes children perceived to be unable to defend themselves or weak and who are anxious, depressed, or have low self-esteem. Children who are less popular than others and have few friends are also perceived to have high risk factors. Children who seem to be annoying or provoking or who antagonize others for attention have the possibility of being bullied. However, a child who does have these risk factors, does not mean that they will be bullied.
Children More Likely to Bully Others
There are two kinds of children who are prone to bully others. These include children who have good peer connections, have social power, over conscious about their popularity, and who like to dominate others. The second group include those who are more isolated from their peers and have low self-esteem and are less involved in school.
In addition to the factors aforementioned above, children who have the following have the possibility of bullying others. Children who have less parental involvement, think badly of others, are aggressive or easily frustrated, view violence in a positive way, and have friends who bully others also have the possibility of bullying others.
Children who are stronger and bigger do not necessarily mean that they will be the bullies.
Fighting Bullying 101: Warning Signs
Different indicators show that someone is affected by bullying whether they are the perpetrators or the victims. It is an important step in recognizing the warning sign as this is crucial in taking action against bullying. The sad thing is that not all children who bully or are being bullied ask for help.
Fighting Bullying 101: Indicators a Child is Being Bullied
A child who is being bullied may exhibit the following warning signs. These can involve sleeping difficulties or frequent nightmares, properties lost or destroyed, eating habit changes, school-work interest loss, behaviours that are destructive, and talk about suicide.
Indicators a Child is Bullying Others
Children bully others if they are increasingly aggressive, have unexplained money or new belongings, get into physical or verbal fights, are competitive and worry about popularity or reputation, blame others for problems, don’t accept responsibility for their actions, have friends who bully others, and get into physical or verbal fights.
Fighting Bullying 101: Preventing Bullying
Bullying is not only one person’s social responsibility. Adults have a role to play in preventing bullying.
Principals can prevent bullying by doing the following tips:
- Be the Model for Change. Leading a school to prevent and stop bullying requires that a principal should lead the way. It is not enough to use one’s position as principal to be the agent for change. The staff should feel that they are valued.
- Quantify the Scope of the Problem. Prevention efforts should start with assessing the extent of the problem. Children, parents, and staff can be surveyed to search for the kind of bullying that happens in school.
- Conduct Activities that Prevent Bullying. These can include communications campaigns, creative arts contests, and all-school assemblies that emphasize school values to unite the community together and reinforce that bullying is erroneous.
- Increase Supervision by Adults. The absence of adults can sometimes be the stimulant for bullying to occur. It is best to put adults in locker rooms and cafeterias, hallways, stairways, and pathways where children go to and from school.
- Develop a Code of Ethics. Principals should reinforce school values and clearly define unacceptable behaviour and consequences.