So, Who is the bully? Bullies come in every shape and size. They may even be individuals you would have never thought possible of the act. Cyber bullying gives people a way of threatening or intimidating a student that prior to the internet, was not possible. The face of bullying has changed and the people who are responsible for it may surprise you.
Who is the Bully? : Students and co-workers – The most common bully takes the form of a peer. A student or co-worker who is overly aggressive and belligerent may be considered to be a bully for all intents and purposes. The way they choose to treat others shows they believe they have the power to control people near them. For teenagers, being bullied by a classmate can affect their self-image and academic performance. It can lead to depression, and in more severe, cases thoughts of suicide.
Co-workers who badger other employees may be looking to gain superiority. They may also be unhappy with their lives and choose to take it out on anyone who dares to step into their path. In some cases, victims of bullying can often become bullies themselves. Either way, it doesn’t make it right and reports of bullying should be handled accordingly by members of management and law enforcement if it gets to that extreme.
Who is the Bully? : Athletes – Athletes often make themselves out to be bullies to protect their image. Others have a misguided sense of ego that drives them to show others how good they are. Seasoned athletes will often bully newcomers to get them used to the competition and rigors of their sport. While not done intentionally, it can discourage new players from staying on the team or returning the following year.
Athletes, who are afraid of losing their spot on the team, may lash out towards their rival in an attempt to discourage them from trying to improve. Because of the ramifications of being caught bullying another student, many athletes may turn to cyber bullying to attack their competition. It is difficult to prove who is actually behind the threats because of the veil of secrecy the internet freely provides.
Who is the Bully? : Coaches – The incident with Rutgers’ basketball coach, Mike Rice, has brought the actions of many coaches back into public eye. Former IU basketball coach, Bobby Knight, was known for his sometimes violent outbursts towards his players. Much of it was overlooked. According to former players, they dealt with the verbal abuse because that was the way Coach Knight was and if you played for IU, you learned to expect it. That isn’t the case anymore.
Coach Rice was fired for his actions and schools are putting in place zero tolerance policies against anyone who bullies a student or athlete. Coaches are no longer given free space to do whatever they can to get their players to win. Bullying is no longer an option and will not be tolerated no matter how many championships they may have garnered or how much the fans respect them.
Who is the Bully? : Teachers – Teachers are not immune to bullying. After having an extremely bad day, some teachers may not display the best behaviour, but most limit their outbursts and have learned to control their tempers. There have been recent reports, however, of a teacher leaving notes on chalkboards and sending out emails where they verbally bullied and harassed their students.
Teachers who put a majority of their assignments online will often respond to their student’s questions and comments via emails. Their tone in an email may lead a student to believe they are being bullied, especially if a teachers uses words and phrases that carry a stern tone. While not all teachers are bullies, some do occasionally go overboard with comments that could be perceived as a threat.
Who is the Bully? : Other parents – In some cases, other parents may be guilty of bullying. Students often compete against each other for athletic positions, cheerleading spots or a bevy of other roles they may place in school. There have been reports of parents helping their student by engaging in cyber bullying attacks against other students in an attempt to throw the competition “off their game”. This is a rare occurrence for the most part, but it has happened.
Parents who are jealous of another student’s academic or athletic skills are sometimes found to be the perpetrators of cyber bullying attacks on other parents or of the student in question. They believe they won’t get caught because the internet protects their privacy. They are able to create fake accounts and make comments, sometimes under the guise of another student.
The first step of the process of preventing bullying is determining who the bully actually is. While the most common bully is often another teen, you may be surprised to find out who is actually behind the mask. Even individuals who are above reproach have been accused of bullying others. They may believe their position will make them immune from the consequences, but in today’s society where bullying is taboo, that is not the case. If it is proven, they were responsible; they will be treated and reprimanded like anyone else who has been accused. Parents and students who work together can prevent bullying from affecting others.