Bullying in Schools

Bullying in Schools

Cases of bullying have been reported severally not only in United States Schools but also in other countries around the world. It is becoming a monotonous, redundant, and destructive issue based on the students’ behavior. There are several types of bullying, including threatening others, hitting, spreading false information about someone, name calling, and cyberbullying. According to a review of the National Association of School Psychologists, the major forms of bullying are texted sending and social networking (Cornell & Bradshaw 499). Students who are indirectly or directly involved in bullying have greater chances of abuse, increased risk of misbehavior as well as absenteeism from school. As such, bullying is becoming a major problem in schools with its negative effects affecting not only the victims but also the general school climate and strict measures should be taken to stop the problem.

According to Menesini & Salmivalii (240), bullying occurs when one student is exposed to negative actions continuously and overtime by one or more students. Bullying occasionally occurs in high schools with older students bullying the younger ones indirectly. The indirect behaviors comprise of verbal bullying, racial bullying relational aggression, and cyberbullying. Relational aggression means engaging in behaviors such as making humiliating remarks, calling hurtful nicknames, and making other students feel alone in schools. Verbal and racial bullying is the most practiced behaviors in secondary schools, which often extends to cyberbullying through the internet. Consequently, all the types of bullying cause emotional torture and negative outcomes for the victims.

Studies show that about 15% of students are either initiator of bullying or are bullied regularly in schools (Hymel & Swearer 293). Additionally, direct bullying, upsurges through elementary school, peaks junior high and middle schools, then declines in high school. With verbal abuse remaining constant, direct physical assault seems to decrease with age. Predicting the occurrence of bullying has been a major challenge with racial composition and school size not being the most evident distinguishing factors.

Bullies often need to feel in control and powerful in school. Most often, they derive their satisfaction from inflicting suffering and pain to other students. They also do not have empathy on their targets, and they usually defend their activities by arguing that they were incited by the victims. Studies also show that most bullies come from families with histories of physical punishment and violence, whereby they learn from their family members how to strike out physically when they encounter problems (293). Their families also lack warmth and parental involvement making the children feel abandoned and therefore release their frustrations by making other students suffer. They often appear to have strong self-esteem, little anxiety, and apt to break the school rules.

Cornell & Bradshaw (501), also found out that there are no concrete reasons as to why a student should bully another student, but the most evident reasons include; being the victims of bullying, frustrations, no role models or being poor, neglect and influence from their peers. In most cases, bullies often take out their frustrations on students who are not capable of fighting back. Frustration among children may stem from undiagnosed problems such as autism, deafness, and allergies. This happens at a young age when a child does not understand the problem, making them feel uncomfortable, not knowing how to handle their frustrations. Therefore, most of them are usually resented and start bullying others to make themselves feel at ease.

A recent study shows that bullying can affect an individual even after four decades (Graham 136). This indicated that bullying could affect the development process of a child’s character. The feelings of insecurity and doubt can be carried by the victims even through adulthood, which may cause long-term depression and suicidal thoughts. Victims of bullying also tend to have low self-esteem and a negative view on socializing because of their mentality of feeling inferior and doubting society. Additionally, bullying makes the victims be unable to control their feelings of subsequent lack of social integration skills and despair, which makes it hard for them to make friends. This often changes their mentality such that they falsely believe that they are not worthy of any attention.

Throughout the country, students have been missing schools daily for fear of being bullied (142). This has been a major concern in institutions of learning since students are not able to reach their maximum abilities and potentials, especially when they are in an unfriendly and unsafe environment. Absence from school may, in turn, lead to abuse of drugs due to idleness and lack of parental guidance. Consequently, student victims are likely to fail their GCSE and A-level exams, which diminish their chances of progressing to Universities. Likewise, bullies with a lower tendency of adjusting in school are likely to engage in academic misconducts such as cheating which contributes to lower academic achievement. Being a major problem in schools, teachers and parents should find effective ways to deal with bullying before it causes negative consequences to the academic performances of students.

A recent study indicates that bullying affects the mental health status as well as the emotional and social well-being of students (Jan & Husain 43). The study also found out that a third of students who are occasionally bullied suffer from long term behavioral and emotional problems that may lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. This may lead to depression and higher suicidal thoughts that may persist into adulthood. In the United States, the cases of suicides as a result of bullying has been receiving much attention and awareness. Furthermore, extreme violent measures are likely to make the victims retaliate.

Student bullies tend to be associated with criminal convictions and drug abuse when they grow older. Research shows that there is a significant relationship between lifetime disorder behaviors and bullying with 60% of boys who were bullies in the middle being convicted by the age of 24 due to criminal behaviors (Jan & Husain 52). The bullies are also likely to carry weapons, get involved in fights, vandalize properties, and be abuse towards their spouses, during their adulthood. These outcomes do not necessarily mean the behaviors of bullies causes criminal behaviors later in their lives. It is possible that persistent bullying is a significant warning the associated problems.

There are also negative impacts to the bystanders of bullying who may feel distressed, nightmares, and constant fear. Many students who witness bullying often experience anxiety and distress in seeing something that is considered wrong. This may lead to constant doubt on their safety in school among the students. The feeling of being unsafe in school can negatively impact learning and student participation in class. Researchers suggest that the witnesses to bullying can stop bullying, but the students are part of the peer groups, and they may fear to speak up (Melesini & Samivalli 244). Most often, factors like the seriousness of the impact, their relationships with those involved, and their opinions on the victims, usually weigh their abilities to intervene. An effective strategy that helps the bystanders reduce their fears and distress will be helpful.

For an effective intervention against bullying in schools, both the parents and the entire school community should be involved, not just the victims and perpetrators. (Olweus, Solberg & Breivik 3) emphasizes that there is need develop bullying policies in schools which include; implementing curricular measures like classrooms discussions and role-playing activities, improving the school environment, peer counseling, conflict resolution programs, assertiveness training and empowering students through programs of conflict resolution. Through these policies, schools will be able to take strict measures on bullying, making all the students feel safe and comfortable in the school environment.

Further, Olweus, Solberg & Breivik (8), argue that an anti-bullying approach involving interventions in classrooms, schools, and individual levels should be implemented. This approach has three main components one of them is filling out of questionnaires distributed by teachers and another school official to students, school administrators, and also parents. The questionnaires should have questions that are designed to assess the frequency of teachers’ interventions, the main issue, parents’ knowledge on the school experiences of their children among many others. The results have to be shared among all the participants, especially during the school assemblies. This will help students become aware of the extent of bullying by justifying the efforts of interventions which will serve as benchmarks of measuring the changes in schools’ climate.

Parents should also be involved in the awareness campaign conducted through newsletters and during parent-teacher meetings. The main goals should be pointing out to the significance of parental involvement, parent awareness of the problem of bullying, and supporting the anti-bullying efforts of their children’s schools (15). Additionally, teachers should work with their pupils by coming up classroom rules, which are against bullying. There are also programs that involve students in role-playing exercises, which teaches them how to interact with each other and stop bullying. The programs also help students to know how they can assist those who are bullied and how they can work together in creating an environment without any forms of bullying.

Bullying has become a serious problem in schools, which affects not only the social progress of students but also their academic performances, including other negative outcomes. There are several causes of bullying, including frustrations, family history, isolation, and neglect. Bullies tend to have some sense of power, control over others, and often feel satisfaction after humiliating and abusing their victims. Some examples of bullying include social aggression, verbal and racial bullying, as well as cyberbullying. There are several negative consequences associated with bullying that may affect the victims, the bullies, and also the bystanders. Despite the effects of bullying a comprehensive intervention plan involving parents’ students and school staff can be taken to stop the problem and ensure that the students can learn in a safe environment. Therefore, it is important to take strict measures against bullying in schools since it affects the learning of most students.







Work Cited

Cornell, Dewey, and Catherine P. Bradshaw. “From a culture of bullying to a climate of support: The evolution of bullying prevention and research.” School Psychology Review 44.4 (2015): 499-503.

Graham, Sandra. “Victims of bullying in schools.” Theory into practice 55.2 (2016): 136-144.

Hymel, Shelley, and Susan M. Swearer. “Four decades of research on school bullying: An introduction.” American Psychologist 70.4 (2015): 293.

Jan, Afroz, and Shafqat Husain. “Bullying in Elementary Schools: Its Causes and Effects on Students.” Journal of Education and Practice 6.19 (2015): 43-56.

Menesini, Ersilia, and Christina Salmivalli. “Bullying in schools: the state of knowledge and effective interventions.” Psychology, health & medicine 22.sup1 (2017): 240-253.

Olweus, Dan, Mona E. Solberg, and Kyrre Breivik. “Long‐term school‐level effects of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP).” Scandinavian journal of psychology (2018).



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