Bullying has been a perennial issue in any school. It is a habitual domination of others through the use of force, coercion, threats, abuse, intimidation, or aggression to people who are physically or socially inferior. Bullying is not only restricted to children and teenagers but also continues into adulthood. Due to its habitual form, maltreatment of peers has negative effects on the individual, including depression, loneliness, anxiety, low self-esteem, and in its worst forms can cause suicides. For this reason, school authorities along with the government should limit bullying practices in all social institutions and communities. Moreover, they should develop and implement different effective strategies to prevent bullying within the society. For instance, people who have been victims of bullying should receive counseling to ensure that the negative effects do not continue progressing. This essay discusses bullying as well as issues related to it and outlines the types of bullying with reference to opinions of different scholars regarding this subject matter.
Victimization of peers acquires many forms. One of the types of abusive treatment is physical bullying that involves exposing the body of a victim to such actions as kicking and shoving. It also occurs in the form of theft or destruction of their property. Another form of bullying is verbal bullying that presupposes abuse, spreading rumors, making fun of the victims or even threatening them. Another type of bullying is social or relational bullying whereby a bully destroys the reputation or the social image of the victim. In recent times, cyber bullying has become more common. It is any form of victimization that occurs as a result of technology misuse in different social networking sites. The last form of bullying is considered mobbing that involves the victimization of the individual by a group in any social setting including, the workplace and school environments.
To reduce the prevalence of bullying incidents in schools, the school authority should implement different strategies. Schools have a legal and moral obligation to provide equal access to education and learning opportunities for all students. Nevertheless, high school students face the risk of being bullied by their peers and, thus, need protection in the face of the school that should introduce different preventive measures. First, schools can improve their safety by having a zero-tolerance policy for bullying. Additionally, specially trained staff should administer counseling to victims of bullying as well as to bullies.
One of the forms of bullying in a school setting occurs when students start determining their sexual orientation. LGBT students often confront many difficulties in school. A common scenario is that bullies unfairly label other students mentioning their sexual orientation in an offensive manner. For instance, they may say ‘you are so gay’ and call them homosexuals. In some cases, these students receive anti-gay messages, and even threats. Therefore, it affects their academic performance. The implementation of a bullying prevention program or strategy in a school setting should be based on the provision of a support network for the victims as well as introduction of a zero-tolerance policy against bullying. This means that students should be aware of the dire consequences that they are going to face if they continue bullying others. For the victims, the school is obliged to provide support in the form of counseling.
There are different anti-bullying strategies that involve adolescents. The first strategy lies in having analytical talks with both victims and the bully. Another approach to dealing with maltreatment of students is interference of parents. Parents of both parties are should actively contribute to the reduction of bullying practices. It especially concerns the parents of the bully, who might have a way to explain their child negative nature of their behavior. Additionally, the school staff should monitor and instantly detect bullying to stop the instances of victimization in time. Other students should also take actions against bullying by supporting the victim and also by encouraging the bully to stop maltreating their peers. Another strategy to deal with bullying is to show the bully that their behavior is socially unacceptable. . For example, students can support the victim as well as confront or completely ignore the bully. Additionally, it is advisable to make the bully experience empathy for the victim. For example, therapists should offer counseling and make them change their attitude towards their victims. Another strategy to deal with bullying is to separate the bully from the victim. The school authority may put them in different classes. Finally, bullying requires additional preventive strategies. They include improving the cooperation between school staff and students. Accordingly, strengthening of their relationships builds trust and reduces the instances of victimization. It is the most effective strategy for dealing with the maltreatment of peers since it ensures that bullying does not occur in the first place.
Students have also provided anti-bullying suggestions that can classify on the basis of their age of the students. According to Frisen and Holmqvist (2010), students aged 16 gave more anti-bullying pieces of advice than those aged 13. However, the latter provided a number of efficient anti-bullying strategy suggestions, including an emotional support for victims’, a serious talk with the students involved, and the participation of parents. On the other hand, students aged 16 suggested that the school staff should introduce a number of rigid anti-bullying rules and policies that presuppose a severe punishment for any bully who subject others to abusive. They also admit that there is a need to conduct counseling sessions with both parties to analyze the causes of the bully’s behavior and minimize the psychological trauma of the victim. Due to the change of family relationships, most 16-year-olds did not consider involving parents as compared to the 13-year-olds. The former ascribed the bullying responsibility to the members of the school staff, while the students aged 13 placed the responsibility on the victim As a result, unlike the elder age group, they chose the most efficient approach which involved improving coping mechanisms that should be mostly parents-oriented rather than the responsibility of the school. .There are different misconceptions related to bullying. One of such myths is that bullying is a natural part of children’s transitional periods. What this fact tends to assume is that everyone resorts to bullying while becoming older. In fact, this statement runs contrary to the reality. Graham (2010) writes that many people believe that bullying builds the character of the victim. However, the author shows that instead of changing their personality, bullying increases vulnerability of children. The victim is affected in different ways, including depression, anxiety, and loneliness, because instead of making them stress-resilient, maltreatment causes harm to their psychological health.
Cyberbullying refers to the use of information and communication technologies to constantly support deliberate hostile behavior of either an individual or a group to harm others. There is a similarity between cyberbullying and traditional physical bullying (Keith & Martin, 2005). Both instances have the intent to bring harm to others through power and control. However, in contrast to traditional physical bullying, which is easier to notice, it is hard to detect cyberbullying since it mostly occurs during communication in the virtual world. Additionally, it is hard for the victims to escape cyberbullying since it even continues when students are away from school. Traditionally, children associated home with something pleasant and cozy. However, in this era of technology, bullying continues at home making it difficult for students to escape. Moreover, the anonymity that any social network provides is a significant hurdle in combating cyberbullying.
There is a difference between overt bullying and relational bullying. According to Curtner et al. (2006), the former is the physical aggression directed to peers with the intention of causing physical harm to them, and it even involves threats to severely pressurize individuals. Therefore, overt bullying involves physical activities such as shoving, hitting, kicking, or threatening to engage in these activities. On the other hand, relational bullying refers to aggression with the intent of causing harm to the relationships between peers. This phenomenon is dependent on social exclusion, verbal aggression, spreading rumors about their peers, engaging in activities meant to humiliate the individual, or threatening to take these actions. Therefore, overt bullying has a physical character, while relational bullying is emotional in nature.
Empathetic Parenting refers to a form of parenting whereby parents require their children to share and understand the emotions of others. Non-empathetic parenting, on the other hand, refers to a kind of parenting whereby parents do not encourage their children to discuss and analyze the emotions that others feel. According to Curtner-Smith et al. (2006), empathy during parenting can reduce bullying since it encourages the children to evaluate the situation from the perspective of their peers and adopt a more favorable behavior respectively. As a result, children can become sensitive to other people.
One of the issues related to bullying is its prevalence in schools. Despite various efforts that the school authorities make to to combat bullying, this abusive practice has continued growing and acquiring other forms. Most of the laws and regulations that the authorities introduced to prevent bullying have been largely ineffective in that the instances of bullying have continued to increase. Many hold the opinion that the primary measures of the school staff do not produce positive results, because they do not align with the current peculiarities of bullying, For this reason, the laws have only proved to be inefficient in solving this issue. As a result, bullying in schools has continued to grow and acquire new forms. To ensure that the victimization of children does not continue in greater magnitude, the school staff, students, and other authorities should pool more methods and efforts.. This issue requires the development of new anti-bullying strategies. After the implementation of the policies, they should introduce follow-up plans to check whether the regulations put in place are functioning as they are supposed to. If yes, then they may improve the situation. Otherwise, people should invent other strategies to ensure that students have an equal opportunity to learn in a school.
In conclusion, bullying is one of the problems that significantly affects students. This practice manifests itself in many different forms, including physical bullying, cyberbullying, verbal bullying, relational bullying, and mobbing. Maltreatment of peers has several negative effects on the victim, such as loneliness, anxiety, depression, and in worst cases suicides. For this reason, the school authorities should control bullying and punish bullies accordingly. They can also implement different strategies to prevent or reduce instances of bullying in school. Moreover, parents can actively participate in the process to ensure that their child exhibit socially acceptable behavior in school and also to support them if they become victims of bullying. Additionally, the school should have specially trained people who would monitor the behavior of students and detect the cases of victimization. School can also implement severe policies for bullies that would exclude any possibility for abusive treatment of other students.