Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior in which someone intentionally and repeatedly causes another person injury or discomfort. Bullying can take the form of physical contact; words or more subtle actions. The bullied individual typically has trouble defending him or herself and does nothing to “cause” The Bullying. Some of the ways they bully other people are by: calling them names, saying or writing nasty things about them, leaving them out of activities, not talking to them, threatening them, making them feel uncomfortable or scared, taking or damaging their things, hitting or kicking them, or making them do things they don’t want to do.
Bullying in school can include:-
- Verbal harassment – face to face, by phone, text or over the internet
- Hitting, hair-pulling and kicking
- Teasing and name-calling
- Spreading rumours
- Damaging possessions
- Frightening and intimidation
- Exclusion at playtime or from social events and networks
- Making them do things they don’t want to do
- Nearly 1 in 3 students (27.8%) report being bullied during the school year (National Center for Educational Statistics, 2013).
- 6% of high school students in the US report being bullied at school in the past year. 14.8% reported being bullied online (Center for Disease Control, 2014).
- 64 percent of children who were bullied did not report it; only 36 percent reported the bullying (Petrosina, Guckenburg, DeVoe, and Hanson, 2010).
- More than half of bullying situations (57 percent) stop when a peer intervenes on behalf of the student being bullied (Hawkins, Pepler, and Craig, 2001).
- School-based bullying prevention programs decrease bullying by up to 25% (McCallion and Feder, 2013).
- The reasons for being bullied reported most often by students were looks (55%), body shape (37%), and race (16%) (Davis and
Reasons for Bullying
There may be numerous reasons for bullying, some of it is as follows:-
- They may see it as a way of being popular
- Making themselves look tough and in charge.
- Some bullies do it to get attention or things
- To make other people afraid of them.
- Might be jealous of the person they are bullying.
- They may be being bullied themselves.
- Some bullies may not even understand how wrong their behavior is and how it makes the person being bullied feel.
Some of the reasons for being the target of Bullying are as follows:-
- Some people are bullied for no particular reason
- Sometimes it’s because they are different in some way – perhaps it’s the colour of their skin, the way they talk, their size or their name.
- Sometimes young people are bullied because they look like they won’t stand up for themselves.
- Social status, race or religion
Methods of Bullying
- Some bullies attack their targets physically, which can mean anything from shoving or tripping to punching or hitting, or even sexual assault.
- Use psychological control or verbal insults to put them in charge.
- Excluding them or gossiping about them (psychological bullying).
- Taunt or tease their targets (verbal bullying).
- Sending cruel instant or email messages or even posting insults about a person on a website, practices that are known as Cyber Bullying.
Signs of being Bullied at School
- Comes home with damaged or missing clothing or other belongings
- Reports losing items such as books, electronics, clothing, or jewelry
- Has unexplained injuries
- Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches, or feeling sick
- Has trouble sleeping or has frequent bad dreams
- Has changes in eating habits
- Hurts themselves
- Are very hungry after school from not eating their lunch
- Runs away from home
- Loses interest in visiting or talking with friends
- Is afraid of going to school or other activities with peers
- Loses interest in school work or begins to do poorly in school
- Appears sad, moody, angry, anxious or depressed when they come home
- Talks about suicide
- Feels helpless
- Often feels like they are not good enough
- Blames themselves for their problems
- Suddenly has fewer friends
- Avoids certain places
- Acts differently than usual
Effects of Bullying
- Most people can take one episode of teasing or name calling or being shunned at the mall. However, when it goes on and on, bullying can put a person in a state of constant fear. Guys and girls who are bullied may find their schoolwork and health suffering. Studies show that people who are abused by their peers are at risk for mental health problems, such as low self-esteem, stress, depression, or anxiety. They may also think about suicide more.
- Have higher risk of depression and anxiety, including the following symptoms, that may persist into adulthood:
- Increased feelings of sadness and loneliness
- Changes in sleep and eating patterns
- Loss of interest in activities
- Have increased thoughts about suicide that may persist into adulthood. In one study, adults who recalled being bullied in youth were 3 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts or inclinations.
- Are more likely to have health complaints. In one study, being bullied was associated with physical health status 3 years later.
- Have decreased academic achievement (GPA and standardized test scores) and school participation.
- Are more likely to miss, skip, or drop out of school.
- Are more likely to retaliate through extremely violent measures. In 12 of 15 school shooting cases in the 1990s, the shooters had a history of being bullied.
Effects on Bullies
Bullies are at risk for problems, too. Bullying is violence, and it often leads to more violent behavior as the bully grows up. It’s estimated that 1 out of 4 elementary-school bullies will have a criminal record by the time they are 30. Some teen bullies end up being rejected by their peers and lose friendships as they grow older. Bullies may also fail in school and not have the career or relationship success that other people enjoy. Have a higher risk of abusing alcohol and other drugs in adolescence and as adults.
- Are more likely to get into fights, vandalize property, and drop out of school.
- Are more likely to engage in early sexual activity.
- Are more likely to have criminal convictions and traffic citations as adults. In one study, 60% of boys who bullied others in middle school had a criminal conviction by age 24.
- Are more likely to be abusive toward their romantic partners, spouses or children as adults.
How to Stop Bullying
- For younger kids, the best way to solve a bullying problem is to tell a trusted adult. For teens, though, the tell-an-adult approach depends on the bullying situation.
- One situation in which it is vital to report bullying is if it threatens to lead to physical danger and harm. Numerous high-school students have died when stalking, threats, and attacks went unreported and the silence gave the bully license to become more and more violent.
- Sometimes the victim of repeated bullying cannot control the need for revenge and the situation becomes dangerous for everyone. Adults in positions of authority — parents, teachers, or coaches — can often find ways to resolve dangerous bullying problems without the bully ever learning how they found out about it.
- If you’re in a bullying situation that you think may escalate into physical violence, try to avoid being alone (and if you have a friend in this situation, spend as much time together as you can). Try to remain part of a group by walking home at the same time as other people or by sticking close to friends or classmates during the times that the bullying takes place.
- Teach your child how to handle being bullied. Until something can be done on an administrative level, work with your child to handle bullying without being crushed or defeated. Practice scenarios at home where your child learns how to ignore a bully and/or develop assertive strategies for coping with bullying. Help your child identify teachers and friends that can help them if they’re worried about being bullied.
Actions to be taken if your Child is being bullied
Arrange a meeting with your child’s class teacher immediately. Useful tips for the meeting:
1. Decide what you want to say and what you’d like to achieve from the meeting before you go.
2. Try to stay calm even though you may feel angry and emotional.
3. Don’t blame the teacher – he or she may be unaware of the bullying.
4. Give specific examples of how your child is being bullied.
5. Ask what the school’s anti-bullying policy is.
6. Discuss what action the teacher will take.
7. Arrange to meet again within two weeks to discuss progress.