Cowardice asks the question: is it safe?
Expediency asks the question: is it politic?
Vanity asks the question: is it popular?
But conscience asks the question: is it right?
And there comes a time when one must take a
position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular –
but one must take it because it is right.
Martin Luther King
Bullying in Schools
Typically, bullying is thought of as aggressive behavior on the part of one child,
directed toward another; however, playful tussling or normal childhood conflicts
can be characterized the same way, resulting in mislabeling and
misunderstanding of the problem.
Bullying is “verbal or physical behavior designed to disturb someone less
powerful” (Santrock 372)—“the most malicious and malevolent form of deviant
behavior widely practiced in our schools” (Tattum 7).
Bullying can be recognized by a clear intention on the part of one child to cause
physical or mental pain or anguish to a fellow child, with no reactionary basis for
this intention.Why does bullying occur?
“Bullying is not about anger, it is about contempt. It is an excuse to put someone
down so the bully can feel up.” (Coloroso 3)
Contempt has three characteristics:
o A sense of entitlement.
o Intolerance toward differences.
o A liberty to exclude.
Bullies therefore feel it is their right to feel better than someone who is different.
This belief is frequently the result of environmental factors, such as home life and
peer groups (Santrock 372).
Where & when does bullying occur?
Bullying has been reported in virtually all public schools, from nursery school all
the way through high school in studies conducted throughout the United States,
Britain and Scandinavia (Tattum 7-9).
“Bullying is one form of violence that seems to have increased in recent years,
although it is not clear if the increase reflects more incidents of bullying at school
or perhaps greater awareness of bullying as a problem” (“What Is Bullying?”)
A 2005 US Department of Justice study showed that the percentage of students
bullied typically decreases with age, but has been increasing in past years
Long-term effects of bullying
Bullying has been shown to have severe and sometimes lasting effects, going on
to shape both the bullies’ and the victims’ adult personalities.
9- to 12-year-old victims of bullying are prone to headaches, sleeping issues,
abdominal pain and depression.
Students involved in bullying, on either end, are more likely to suffer from
depression, and eventually attempt suicide, than their peers who were not
involved in bullying. A longitudinal study of male students who were bullied...