School Bullying is Nothing New
Bullying has probably been around since the days of the cave man. It is a human condition that has evolved along with the human brain and psyche. The need for dominance to compete for food may be the root of bullying. As the homo sapiens species evolved and learned to grow food and stay in one place, human relations arose. Social skills and empathy for others would have to be worked out over eons. Social problems, along with certain personality disorders, would help give rise to the bully. No state of utopia in which bullying doesn’t exist is likely to grow. However, with awareness and strategies, bullying in school can be controlled.
What is bullying?
What sets bullying apart from normal childhood teasing and taunting? The severity and duration of bullying can be used as indicators. By nature, kids can sometimes appear to be cruel. Not necessarily because they are mean by nature, but more so that they can be brutally honest. Young children don’t have the social and empathy skills that adults have. We have to rely on positive role-modeling to influence them and teaching strategies to inform them.
It is important that adults not think of bullying as a normal part of childhood. They should not have the attitude that kids need to “toughen up.” Instead,adults should teach kids assertiveness and how to stand up for themselves. Both adult and child bullies tend to target those with low self esteem. Fearfulness and helplessness greatly reinforces bullying.
What is Bullying in School? What Causes Bullying?
The bullying personality will develop in childhood and is related to factors in the family, peer relations and in response to school and community situations. Lack of warmth at home, too much or too little discipline and physical punishment may contribute to bullying. An imbalance of power can occur if children are raised in non-accepting homes where the way others look, their customs or socioeconomic status are either inferior or superior to their own.
The child who bullies does so to gain attention and secure friends. A stronger person may sense the weaker one. Because of the negativity the bully is surrounded with, he will be compelled to gain power over the weaker. Fear by the victim reinforces the bullies sense of domination.
Bullies feel a need to be affiliated with negative peer groups. They tend to think bullying behavior will gain them acceptance. They are at a great risk for increase in criminal activity. Because bullying is a form of violence, so will be the crimes committed. It is estimated that one in four school bullies will have a criminal record by age 30.
Some people may bully because of poor social skills that can be traced to emotional or personality disorders. They may lack empathy as the sociopath does. They may bully in a very subtle way.
What is Bullying in School?
Bullying in school is when any one student or group of students abuses another student. This abuse can be physical, psychological, or emotional in nature. In fact, emotional bullying is one of the most common forms of bullying in schools, and one of the least recognized by parents. The reasons for bullying vary almost as much as the types of bullying. The bully (or bullies) may have self-esteem issues and can feel better about themselves by picking on someone they see as weaker than them. Students may develop a herd mentality and pick on a child that does not conform to the rest of them. Students may also bully other students so as to be seen as “cool” and avoid being bullied themselves. In some cases, bullies are being abused at home and they take out their anger on one or more students they deem most likely to “take it” and not stand up for themselves.
What is Bullying in School? Different Kinds Of Bullying
- Verbal. excessive and malicious teasing, insulting remarks, making fun of differences, embarrassing remarks and revealing information, cursing at someone because of something they did that the bully doesn’t approve of.
- Physical. hitting, tripping, kicking, pushing and shoving.
- Social. ignoring a certain person and out casting them from a group. making them feel left out, causing them low self-esteem.
- Cyber bullying. threats and put downs via electronic media, texting, emailing and social media sites.
- work place bullying. spreading lies, rumors, setting people up for failure, using authority to intimidate, playing “gotcha.”
- Bullying can occur between peers at school or in the community, between adults at work or in social groups. There are even cases of teachers bullying students.
Researchers note that there are differences in bullying in school between boys and girls. Boys tend to be more overt while girls use more verbal and social bullying-hurting others feelings, making them feel left out. This passive-aggressive type of bullying may be harder for adults to detect.
Pack bullying is when a group, usually older children, target one or more victims. It can be physical or emotional. It is often done by cyber bullying. It lasts longer and can be the most damaging because it is the type of bullying that can lead to long- term depression or suicide.
What is Bullying in School? Physical Bullying
This is when a group of children ostracize another child, or sometimes even another group of children. It’s like pitting the “cool” kids against those kids they consider “un-cool.” It’s easier if the victim is one single child, but it can easily be a group being bullied, too. The purpose of the bullying is to make the victims feel unworthy to join in with what the “cooler” kids are doing. It beats down the victims’ sense of self-worth, and can lead to depression. Sometimes, it leads to such desperation to be accepted by the bullying group that unnecessary risks are taken by the victim to impress the bullies.
The behavior of the bullied student or group of students can change entirely in their quest to be accepted by their peers. Any change of behavior by your child that is drastic should be followed up on with an investigation in conjunction with school officials to see if bullying of this nature is going on with your child and other children at the school.
What is Bullying in School? Name Calling
The old saying about “sticks and stones” is not really true. Words DO hurt. Some kids think up the worse possible names to call someone, sometimes based on their weight, such as “FATTY,” or “PIG,” which can be extremely hurtful to someone who is already conscientious about their weight. Name calling should never be allowed and should be reported to someone on the first incidence, since it tends to get worse if no action is taken and kids need to understand that it’s not funny. It’s what is bullying in school is all about.
What is Bullying in School? Spreading Rumors
While rumors and gossip are not against the law, they can carry legal consequences and are considered one of the worst types of bullying in schools. Girls resort to this type of behavior more than boys do, as boys tend to choose more physical aggression as they mode of aggressive behavior toward others. While rumors and gossip are not against the law, the result of gossip can result in a loss of integrity and respect from others, jobs, community status, and money. When this happens, gossip can be considered, “slander” or “libel” if it occurs in print or on the internet through cyber bullying
What to consider for prevention of School Bullying?
- Form an awareness campaign that involves the entire community.
- Have strong school-wide rules and consequences for bullying.
- Give positive attention to acceptance and respect.
- Include anti-bullying messages and information in newsletters, websites and other communications.
- Form ways to better supervise hallways, bathrooms, playgrounds or any area that is less supervised.
- Integrate the campaign into the community.
- Implement a random acts of kindness program which rewards kindness.
How Can School Bullying be Prevented?
It is important for schools to address bullying because it both threatens a student’s safety and impacts learning. It will be more prevalent if it is not addressed. States provide guidelines as to when bullying requires intervention by law enforcement. Schools have an obligation to define bullying and properly report it. It is a safety issue.
A team can be formed to assess school bullying and to launch an awareness campaign. This should begin by assessing school bullying. Where does it occur, and how often? What are the kinds of bullying that is occurring? Establish a climate in which school bullying is not accepted.
What Can Parents Do If Kids Are facing school bullying?
Proactive involvement in the child’s life is the first step in preventing school bullying. Talk with them and listen when they talk. Ask open-ended questions about their relationships. Ask how they spend time between classes. Most importantly, recognize the signs of being bullied.
Signs That A Child May Be A Victim Of School Bullying
- Personal items often missing
- Asking for extra money
- Frequently “losing” lunch and other monies
- Frequent head aches or stomach aches
- Avoiding after-school activities
- Consistently going to school early or late
What to Consider in Preventing Your Child From Being Bullied or becoming a Bully
- Teach children anti-bullying habits early. Address hitting and teasing.
- Be a role model. Avoid things like road rage.
- Teach children to be assertive.
- Build trust between yourself and child.
- Teach children to report bullying in a way that keeps them safe.
- Try to find ways to report bullying anonymously.
- Teach children about cyber-bullying.
- Have the computer in a location that is open, such as a den.
- Advocate for the school to have an anti-bullying campaign.
- Provide an environment that is accepting and nonjudgmental.
- Seek counseling for the child that is a bully.
- Enroll the child in a martial art to build confidence
School Bullying Statistics
In 2012 the Tennessee General Assembly, in the USA adapted legislation requiring the department of education to report the number of bullying cases reported during the year and publically state how they are being dealt with. This open approach gives an insight into what is happening in schools around the world when it comes to bullying. The Tennessee district has over 950,000 students across its school districts. It is very interesting to see how many students actually reported being bullied and harassed within schools – but also those who felt they were being harassed, but after investigation – found it was not true bullying. This leads to many questions around how we actually define bullying and if we (parents, media and anti-bullying promoters) are blowing bullying way out of proportion?
Here are the actual reported bullying cases in the schools in Tennessee:
Tennessee School Bullying Statistics for the School Year 2012-2013
7,555 harassment and bullying cases are filed within the school year
5,478 of these cases were confirmed after a strict investigation
695 bullying cases were reported involving gender or sex discrimination
564 reports is related to “cyber-bullying”
321 cases involve race, skin-color and nation of origin
168 reports involve bullying due to a person’s disability
One of the most important statistics to know is how many children are impacted by bullying on a regular basis. While the various studies show different numbers of students who claim to have been the victim of bullying, the general consensus is that about one quarter of students are victimized by bullies at school. Of those children who are victimized, about 77 percent of them are bullied verbally and physically, while about 43 percent have been bullied online. The number of children who are cyberbullied has been on the rise with the increased use of social media, online role playing games and other websites.
The most serious potential outcome from continued bullying is the prospect of victim suicide. Perhaps most noteworthy is the fact that suicide is the third leading cause of death for individuals aged 15 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This is all the more striking since the prevalence of suicide among adolescents is the only demographic showing a substantial, continuing growth in the suicide rate.
Furthermore, 4,700 youths die by suicide annually, and one in six high school students actively consider taking their own lives. It cannot be overly stressed that the increasing prevalence of bullying correlates positively with the increasing suicide rate among our country’s youth.
What may be easily overlooked is the fact that the most physical or violent forms of bullying are not necessarily those most productive of student suicides. The least physical form, cyber bullying, is the fastest growing and perhaps the most seriously threatening form resulting in suicides. A personal, physical threat is decidedly ugly, but a threat to one’s social well-being in the context of a school-age peer group demographic may be even more threatening.
Suicide may be the most serious of the statistics on bullying in schools, but is certainly not the only concern. Bullying can take many forms, and the effects of bullying can be pervasive for years after the fact. The National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES) reports that bullying victims can display a broad range of responses over an extended period of time. These responses may include low self-esteem, lack of assertiveness, isolation, and a difficulty trusting others. But they may also include difficulty controlling anger and expression of overt aggression.
According to a recent SAFE survey (2010) in regards to school bullying statistics , the most likely group to be affected is teens in grades 6-10. Around 30% of US students were either involved in bullying as a victim, or as the bully or both. Around 77% of all students reported being verbally abuse in some way. This kind of bullying is especially hurtful, as it involves gossip, ridicule, and ostracizing on the part of the bullies, spreading lies about the person, and verbal abuse tactics like yelling obscenities within ear shot of the person or others listening in. Some of these incidents involve targeting individuals because of their race, or other specific group they are associated with, such as students with special needs, gender, or other specific category.
When searching for school bullying statistics, it was found that out of the 77% who were bullied in these ways, 14% reported having a severe or traumatic reaction to the bullying, according to recent statistics. The damage done to a student’s reputation with peers, and the resulting inability to carry on their life as normal is staggering. School counselors and private therapists report often hearing about bullying situations from young people who come to them, or have their parents or others refer them for help due to behavior or emotional issues.
In a separate study related to school bullying statistics, 1 out of 5 kids admitted to being the bully in such instances, including gossiping, ridiculing, making fun of someone who is different, and other tactics. Some incidents of suicide have been attributed to bullying, such as the young man who jumped off a New York bridge after a college roommate posted videos on social media of the victim.
Primary School Bullying
Most schools have an anti-bullying strategy outlining what to do when bullying takes place on school property. Unfortunately, not all schools follow through with their campaign due to lack of time, interest or resources. As a parent, you can do your part to encourage school officials to uphold their anti-bullying standard by becoming involved in what’s happening in your kids’ lives. At the first sign of suspecting your child may be a victim of bullying, you can approach his teacher to talk about what’s going on. As more parents take interest in their children’s welfare and education, schools are more apt to respond by taking problems with bullying in primary schools more seriously.
Another way that primary schools can combat bullying is by making it difficult for these activities to happen. Adult supervision can be a great deterrent to bullying, especially in such areas as the school cafeteria and playground. By keeping a more diligent watch over their students in these key locations, teachers may be able to nip bullying incidents in the bud before they have a chance to flare up. Teachers also have a moral responsibility to their students to teach them right from wrong. Their moral input could be a tremendous help in curtailing abusive behaviour. Through encouragement and praise, teachers can help boost their student’s confidence and sense of worth so they don’t feel they have to resort to bullying to get the attention they need.
How Parents can Combat Primary School Bullying
As a parent, you can combat Primary School Bullying by spending time with your children and building a close relationship of trust and love. When troubles arise such as bullying, your kids will be more apt to confide in you to get the help they need. Children need caring adults in their lives who can help them resolve difficulties that may arise. Kids also crave personal affirmation from those they love to grow in confidence and self esteem. As your children grow older, you can teach them communication and problem solving skills that can help them deal with bullying and other situations they may face in their lives.
Statistics show that 30% of children ages 6 through 10 years, have been bullied, or have bullied someone. The definition of bullying is defined as exhibiting aggressive behavior, or inflicting intentional bodily harm to another individual or a group of individual over a repetitive time period. Bullying is an imbalance of power that is afflicted by any means necessary. Bullying takes on many different forms such as physical abuse, verbal abuse, and even emotional abuse.
Both boys and girls are bullied, and they are so bullies themselves. However, studies show that boys are 5 times more likely become severely depressed. Girls on the other hand are 3 times more likely to become severely depressed, after being bullied over a period of time. Studies also show that students in middle school are 8 times more likely to commit suicide than students in other higher and lower grades. Children who were bullies in school are also more likely to be convicted of bullying, or some other violent offense, by the time they reach 24 years of age.
Public School Bullying Statistics
Numbers do not lie, and statistics show that 160,000 students avoid attending school each day for fear of being bullied. Bullying is the cause of so many students not graduating from high school. The seriousness of bullying is reaching state legislature, and changes are being put into place to alleviate, eliminate, and greatly reduce the number of bullying incidents that take place in public schools. Cyber bullying in schools is another form of bullying that takes place in public school settings and other types of settings as well.
Along with the above guidelines on school bullying, stress that they are never to be bullies and that they must report bullying. Making this a major household rule will go a long way in avoiding bullying all around. Ending childhood school bullying may in turn end adult bullying and bullying in the workplace.
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