Bullying in schools: Bullying Paula Bergbreiter Com. 220 3/21/2010 Valerie Black Bullying and cyber-bullying have become an increasing problem in the schools Everyday there is more and more stories on the outcome of what can happen when a person becomes a victim of bullies. Suicide and violence has risen in schools because of children being bullied. Adolescent children are among the highest at risk for bullying. What are the risk factors for bullying? Is one type of person more likely to be bullied? What are the schools doing to protect children from becoming a victim?
Bullying is a form of intimidation ( Baldry, 2010, Farrington, 2010 ): A bully may use force or coercion to gain what they want from a weaker person. This is their way to establish superiority over an individual. Bullying has been around for many years. Today, it has become a serious issue for children in schools and on the internet. According to ( Roberts,2010, Harlow, 2010 ) bullying was more common in children who were less physically attractive, overweight, and had disability problems such as sight, hearing, or speech deficits. There are different types of bullying verbal taunting, physical assaults and exclusion. Some signs
That a teacher or parent can look for to identify a child who is a bully may be aggression towards other’s, has little empathy, easily frustrated, and views violence as a positive way to solve problems. Some signs that a child is a victim of bullying may be fear of going to school, signs of depression, withdrawn, and signs of physical altercations such as bruises, and or scrapes. According to the National Center for Education Statistics report shows that middle school and elementary school children are bullied more than high school children. According to the Table below done at a Baltimore City public school, shows the number of tudents who were bullied or know someone who is a bully. Table I Percentage of Students who are bullied daily |Students verbally assaulted daily |70% | |Students who are threatened daily |60% | |Students who know a bully |80% | |Students who are the bully |30% | Bullying has been around for as long as anyone can remember. Not only do schools need to try to find a way to stop bullying but, in recent years the schools are seeing an increase in cyber-bullying among adolescents.
Cyber-bullying is, the modern communication technologies to embarrass, humiliate, threaten, or intimidate an individual to attempt gain power and control over them ( Stutzky, 2006 ). Cyber-bullying has become has become an increasing problem in schools today. I believe that this form of bullying is more severe and has much worse outcomes. Everyday the media writes stories of children who have become victims of cyber- bullying. In 2006 statistics showed that 75 to 80 percent of 12 to 14 year olds had been cyber bullied ( Meech, 2008 ). Because of the use of modern technology this type of bullying can be one without being face to face. The use of computers today by children to cyber-bully makes it harder for authorities to pinpoint who is posting negative messages toward another person. A person who bullies on-line can send text messages, and photos. Cyber-bulling can spread through the internet fast and damage a persons reputation. Most times children who are being cyber-bullied do not report it to their parents or an adult. Children are taught that home is where you feel safe, when an individual is being cyber-bullied they don’t have that feeling of safety.
Parents need to look for signs if they feel their child is being cyber-bullied. Some signs may be depression, becoming withdrawn, a decline in school activities, and how they may view themselves. One of the big problems that authorities have with cyber-bullying is, a bully can use the help of another person to do the bullying for them. This is called cyber-bullying by proxy. When this happens it makes it harder to identify the real bully. The different forms of cyber-bullying can range from embarrassing rumors to threats, harassment, or stalking. Young adults and tenagers are among the most common victims.
In the schools today computer technology is part of a child’s curriculum. Some schools are implementing a internet usage contract ( waiver), this contract or waiver will make the schools exempt from liability. students will be liable for what they do on-line. If schools are using these types of contracts they are not addressing the problem of cyber-bullying. If the issue of cyber-bullying is not addressed children will make the decision to take matters into their own hands. When this happens children think that revenge is their only option to protect themselves. Revenge can then urn into violence. This is when children start bringing guns and other types of weapons into school. Studies show that each day 100,00 students carry a gun to school ( American Justice Department). The impact that bullying can have children in schools is overwhelming. Some of the children that are bullied will develop mental and emotional problems, which they will carry into adulthood. Some children will become violent towards their peers. In most severe of cases children or youths begin to feel like the only way to protect themselves is to threaten the bully with a gun or weapon.
This can lead to shootings in schools or off of school property. At times when this happens the victim will take their own life. It can also lead to suicide. The suicide rate among adolescent children has gone up in recent years along with cyber-bullying. There have several reported cases of suicide in the last few years among teenage children due to cyber-bullying. The first steps that parents and teachers need to take when trying to stop a bully is to make sure to intervene when they see a child bullying another child. Watch for signs that a child is being bullied, or signs that the child is a bully.
Most schools have a zero tolerance for bullying but, there needs to be more interventions put in place for children who are victims to feel safe at school. Parents need to talk to their children on a daily basis about what goes on at school. If a parent talks to their children on a regular basis they may know if something is wrong. I believe that bullying is something that is learned from an early age. Children who are subjected to violent situations daily it will show in the childs behavior. The child may not be the bully but aides the bully. All children in school need to be aware that bullying an happen to anyone and if they are a victim they should report it. Teachers and parents need to inform children that if they bully someone that they will have consequences. Children also need to be told that it’s not their fault, they did nothing wrong and that no child deserves to be bullied. My son was a victim of bullying in 4th. Grade, he reported it to the principle like we had taught him. It stopped for a while and then it started again, he reported again to the principle but, this time it didn’t stop. As parents we felt it was time to step in and try to find a way to intervene with the bully.
The school informed us that they would address the situation and let us know what the outcome was. After some time we started to notice changes in our son, he was withdrawn, didn’t want to go to school, and his grades were dropping. The was notified and we set up a meeting with the principle. At the meeting we were told that our son needed to grow thicker skin because this is something that happens in school everyday. As parents we were shocked to be told this by people we trusted to keep our son safe. We removed him from the school and put him into a private school. His grades improved soon after e started he wasn’t withdrawn anymore and he wanted to go to school. My hope is that no child has to go through what our son went through. In conclusion, bullying in schools has become an increasing problem. It is our job as teachers and parents to make sure that our children feel safe at school. If children do not feel that the environment they are in is safe then, they will find ways to protect themselves. When this happens violence can occur. Teachers and parents are working to try to find a solution to stop children from being victims of bullying. As parents we should also work with our schools to elp find the solution. In the end the person that we are helping is our child. References: Farrington, D. P. & Baldry, A. C. (Jan. 2010). Individual risk factors for school bullying: Journal of Aggression, Conflict, and Peace Research. 2(1) 4-16. Ford, A. , (July 2009). Journal of Law & Education: School Liability: Holding Middle schools liable for Cyber-bullying despite their implementations of the Internet Usage Contracts. 38(3) 535-543 Harlow, Kirk C. , and Roberts, Roe ( Jan. 2010). An exploration of the relationship between Social and Psychological Factors and Being Bullied: Children & Schools; 32(1), 15-26. 2p. Hymel, Shelley and Swearer, Susan. Bullying Special Edition Contributor, education. com: Bullying: An Age Old Problem That Needs New Solutions. 1-6 Meech, Scott. (August 2008), Tech & Learning: Cyber Bullying: Worse Than Traditional Bullying, article7284 Stutzky,Glen. M. S. W, Clinical Instructor, ( 2006), School of Social Work, MSU, Cyber_bullying_information, 3p. Unnever, J. & Cornell, D. (2003). School of Education, University of Virginia, The culture of bullying in middle school. Journal of School and Violence, 2, 5-27.