What is bullying in schools? It seems like the answer would be obvious, but it’s really much more complex than most people realize. A lot of parents think that the signs of bullying are obvious. Their child comes home beaten up regularly, or with bruises and other signs of physical abuse. Maybe he’s constantly “losing” his lunch money or spending longer than usual doing his homework because he’s really doing it for someone else. These can be classic factors of what is bullying in schools, but they are the most cliche ones. They’re real and they do still happen to kids today. However, today’s bullying in schools can take many other forms that parents may not recognize.
What is Bullying in Schools and Why Do Students Bully Other Students?
Bullying in schools 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 Physical Bullying?
Physical bullying is when the bully or bullies actually inflict physical abuse on their victim. If your child has injuries he or she won’t explain and you see those same or similar injuries coming up a lot, that can be a sign of physical bullying. A child who is beaten up once may be a fluke (though it should definitely be followed up with the school and law enforcement, if necessary), a child who is regularly beaten up is definitely being bullied.
Physical bullying can also take the form of theft. Bullies may steal things from their victims on a regular basis. Lunch money theft is common in younger grades. Even theft of a student’s actual lunch if brought from home does happen. Theft of school supplies, and even clothing, can be signs of physical bullying. If your child is constantly “losing” things at school, it may not be that at all. It may be that your child is being bullied, and this is something you need to investigate further with your child and with the school.
What is Psychological 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 Emotional Bullying?
Emotional bullying is typically done one-on-one. It’s something one child inflicts on another. This abuse can take many forms, but its purpose is to bring down the self-esteem of the victim and make them feel unworthy of friendship from the bully. Sometimes, the bully is a friend of the victim, but keeps making the victim jump through hoops to maintain the friendship. This is often accompanied by verbal abuse with insulting words toward the victim when he or she doesn’t do what the bully desires.The bully can also be someone who envies your child and inflicts emotional abuse by telling your child all the things that are wrong with him or her constantly. This is meant to make the bully feel better about himself or herself. It is very damaging to the victim, whatever form it takes, and can take years for a victim to fully recover and regain the lost self-esteem and sense of personal power and worth.
What is Bullying in Schools? Conclusion
What is bullying in schools? It is any incident that occurs once or regularly in a school setting where one or more children are victimized either physically, psychologically, or emotionally by other children. The reasons for bullying vary. The results on the victims are almost always devastating. They may be afraid to come forward to parents or teachers for fear of more abuse. That is why it’s so important for parents to recognize the signs of bullying in schools so they can take proactive steps to stop it.