Being bullied is one of the most unfortunate and harassing event in a child’s life. It can happen to anyone and have an adverse effect on everyone involved, including the bullied, the bully and those who witness bullying. It is linked to many disorders in a child’s behaviour. It can affect mental health, substance use and even boost the suicidal tendency in young ones. Therefore, bullying in Irish schools is not a matter that you can simply ignore, or consider as a usual thing, it have long-term effects and can influence the basic character of the person being bullied. Bullying doesn’t include the bully and the bullied, it affects the entire school community.
Bullying happens in every part of the world, regardless of the geographical or other discriminations. According to a survey conducted by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, about fifty percent of the children experience school bullying at some point of their school life. As a kid or teenager with limited support, this molestation can greatly affect the child’s morality and character for the rest of life.
Bullying in Irish Schools: Why Bullying Happens
In most cases, bullying in Irish schools happens due to the fear of being bullied or victimized. Some think it better to strike out first and give off a sense of toughness to their colleagues by doing so. Perhaps this may work for some, but in the long run, it will perpetuate the cycle of bullying.
Another common reason behind bullying is to display physical strength or to be a “macho” among others. For this reason a boy, think that he can impress a girl by bullying. Among girls, bullying is less physical but equally hurtful.
In addition, an individual with a history of abuse can become a bully. They find it as a way to deal with their own pain and find happiness in letting it out on those around them. They mostly attack those who are perceived to be weaker and vulnerable, as they can ensure victory and self-gratification.
Inconsistent parenting pattern is another reason behind many children to become bullies. Most of the bullies come from families with problems. These children are emotionally neglected by the parents and have a very poor, stressful and abusive relation with them.
Forms of Bullying in Irish Schools
Physical bullying: it is the most obvious form of bullying and includes kicking, hitting, pinching, tripping, pinching and damaging property etc. It usually occurs when the child uses physical power to control their targets.
Verbal bullying: Verbal bullying includes insult, teasing, intimidation verbal abuse, homophobic or racist remarks etc. Verbal bullies hurt the target using ruthless insults.
Covert bullying: It is indented to spoil someone’s social reputation and cause humiliation. It includes lying and spreading rumors, embarrassing with nasty jokes, mimicking, forcing others to avoid someone socially, or damaging the victim’s social acceptance.
Cyber bullying: This is the new form of bullying and is mostly done through social media or mobile phone. Cyber bullies use this as a way to say things that they fear to tell face to face. It includes harassment using mobile phones, hacking someone’s profile in social media networks or setting up insulting website.
Sexual bullying: It consists of actions intended to humiliate a person sexually by sexual name-calling, uninvited touching, vulgar gesture or using pornographic materials. In some extreme cases, sexual bullying can lead to sexual assault.
Few facts about Bullying in Irish Schools
- Bullying is more common in middle school compared to senior high school.
- Cyber bullying is the mostly seen in the last three years of high school and is considered as the least prominent in the middle grade levels.
- The sixth grade students are most likely to sustain injuries from bullying.
- The number of injured due to bullying is more in middle schoolers than high school students and the percentage gradually decreases from 6 to 12.
- School bullying occurs mostly inside the school premises and on the school bus.
Effects of Bullying in Irish Schools
The effects of bullying in Irish schools varies from person to person. It can cause physical injury, social and emotional distress or even death. Most victims feel low self-esteem, lack of assertiveness, difficulty to trust others, aggression, isolation, difficulty in controlling anger, depression etc.
How to Stop Bullying in Irish Schools
It is always better to stop bullying before it starts. By implementing and frequently evaluating a school based bullying prevention program can help to eliminate this activity from every campus. Improving supervision of students, practising school rules and behaviour management techniques in the classroom help to detect and prevent bullying. In addition, a better co-operation between the various school staff and parents can surely bring in great results in stopping bullying.