Bullying is an act that is an everyday occurrence in some people’s lives. Bullying can be direct or indirect. What this means, is that bullying can be in the form of violence such as hitting and kicking or in the form of verbal abuse such as name calling and teasing. Manipulation and exclusion are also forms of bullying. Bullying can be taken into consideration as a minor assault but any form should be taken seriously. Whether it is taken to an extreme, done over a long or short period of time, or only a one time thing, bullying is bullying and should not be tolerated.
I have heard about an episode of bullying myself. My friend back in elementary school was telling me how she witnessed her friend being bullied almost everyday during school. The victim was a young boy who was teased about the way he stuttered and shoved around after class for raising his hand. This went on for about a whole school year until I was told that he finally stood up for himself. He told a counselor what was going on and what he had been through. The counselor immediately told the principle and action was taken. This resulted in a school wide intervention. Fortunately, this young boy was brave enough to stand up for himself and seek out help. Unfortunately, this is not the case for everyone.
We see bullying occur amongst our children and teens. This supports the fact that bullying occurs most in a school setting among peers. Current research indicates that as many as 80 percent of adolescents reported being bullied during their school years, 90 percent of 4th through 8th graders report being victims, 15 percent of students bully regularly or are victims of bullies, and it also sadly indicates that 71 percent of the teachers or other adults in the classroom ignored bullying incidents. Research about the prevalence of bullying indicates that in grades 4 to 8, one child in five was victimized periodically, while one in 12 was bullied weekly or daily. This study was conducted by the Toronto’s Board of Education and further studies have indicated that most bullying takes place in and around school.
Studies on the effects of bullying have many negative factors. These negative factors do not only affect the victim but the bully and the environment in which the bullying is taking place. Studies about the effects of bullying show that those who bully are more likely to drop out of school and less likely to attend school regularly. Studies also show that those who bully are at a higher probability to be involved with violence, criminality, and delinquency in their future. Bullying can lead to low self-esteem and confidence, poor concentration, depression, illnesses, isolation, physiological and health problems, and suicide. It also takes away from the safe and educational environment in a school setting.
So how do we stop this? Perhaps we can not stop violence from happening all over the world, but we can do something about this violence. Proven nonviolent strategies...