There are many types of bullying in Brazil that has the government and residents deeply concerned. Bullying information and how to handle bullying are two major issues the people of Brazil are currently facing. This problem is nothing new as workplace bullying, facebook bullying, middle school bullying and high school bullying has been an issue in Brazil for many years.
Long Term Effects
Many adults who grew up in Brazil have stated that because they were bullied as children, even now they are negatively affected by it. One woman confessed that the bullying she endured growing up was so bad that she continues to experience anxiety and has even developed a sleep disorder as a result. Her childhood bullies called her rude names and poked fun at her based on her body size. They even went so far as to sneak a snack from her and told her she shouldn’t eat it because she weighed too much already. A woman who has now found success in the business world confessed that when she was in school classmates would tease her about her hair style. After enduring being compared to the American basketball team the Harlem Globetrotters, to this day the woman sorts a short haircut that is the complete opposite of the style she wore during her school years. However, many students that were bullied in Brazilian schools have grown up to overcome the negative affects. One woman confessed that in school she was made fun of for talking too much but that she convinced herself to stop letting it bother her.
Brazilian author and teacher Cleo Fante wrote a book about the phenomenon of bullying in which she stated that being bullied at a young age can suffer long term psychosomatic consequences. It can permanently damage their self esteem and even lessen their resistance to germs. Fante also stated in the book that students who are bullied show less interest in their academics and are not able to concentrate on learning. It also causes students to avoid attending school as often as possible.
According to psychologists when people bully their classmates they are affecting their academic success as well as damaging them both emotionally and physically. In a 2009 study conducted in Brazilian schools over 5,000 students participated. Their feedback showed that roughly 70% of them had seen a classmate being bullied at school. Of the participating students 1/4 of females had been bullied and 1/3 of males had been as well.
Teachers in Brazilian schools are reporting that the majority of bullying is done to those students between six and 11 years old. The general consensus is that calling classmates rude names is the most popular form of bullying at that age, quickly followed by excluding students from social situations dominated by bullies.
However, in the Center-West and Southeast regions of Brazil, it is the students between the ages off 11 and 15 that are found to be bullied the most frequently. Of the 11 to 15 year olds the sixth grade students seem to endure the most bullying. In a study of the students attending school in these regions it was determined that the line between joking and bullying is blurry to many students. The schools in Brazil are not equipped to make students see how joking and bullying are different.
In February of 2014 the world’s first international anti-bullying consultation was held in Rio de Janeiro. During the event the subject of bullying was addressed as it applies to students of all sexual persuasions. Four years prior to this event efforts were made to help Congress pass federal anti-bullying laws in Brazil.
Bullying throughout Brazil became even more of a concern following an incident that took place in the country in April of 2011. A 20-something year old man went to the Brazilian school he had been a student at and shot and killed 12 students before turning the gun on himself. This marked the worse attack that had ever taken place at a Brazilian school. After the incident took place, authorities discovered letters and videos the shooter had in his possession that mentioned bullying as one of the reasons that he did what he did.
At least one Brazilian school has taken the initiative to implement a school wide anti bullying project. The project is called Action Against Bullying. This project brings parents, teachers and students together in meetings where activities are created that shed light on bullying and come up with strategies for stopping it. Students have active parts in helping create the activities by acting out musicals and dramatized scenes that tackle the subject of bullying. Those who participate in the project identify and report bullying incidents throughout the school. The project participants also make every effort to connect with those students who are bullying their classmates and uncover the reasons why they are doing so. Part of their efforts include facilitating face to face meetings between the bullies and their victims.