Bullying has been a part of schooling for as long as children have been congregating. To some it seems like a natural, though uncomfortable, part of life and school experience, while to others it can mean terrifying experiences which spoiled and characterized otherwise happy years in school. Dan Olweus, a pioneer in bully behavior research documented that 2.7 million children are affected as victims, and that 2.1 children act as bullies (Fried, 1997, as cited in Aluedse, 2006). With bullying cited as the reason for violent, gun-related crime in the past few years, school districts as well as national governments have put anti-bullying policies in place. Bullying is a complicated phenomenon, involving more than one child demanding lunch money from a smaller child. It is a worldwide epidemic hitting schools everywhere. Virtually everyone has seen or experienced bullying. With technological advances, bullying is even hitting the internet. Parents, teachers, students and governments agencies alike are attempting to put a stop to bullying practices.
I chose to write about bullying because I experienced it first hand while working in Japan. As an English teacher at Tomobe Junior High School in Kasama, Japan, I witnessed how one twelve year old boy routinely abused not only his schoolmates, but physically assaulted teachers as well. At times when all students were seated, he walked around the classroom and picked on the other students; I saw how the classroom teacher glanced at him then turned his head so he would not bear witness and need to act. I saw how this boy verbally bullied his classmates by yelling and making comments in a hostile, insolent tone; I saw how he would often get physical and smack, shove, push and punch the children in his class. He walked with an aura of aggression and hostility and even I felt I needed to be on guard for what he was capable of doing. I had been warned that he kicked a teacher and left a large bruise. One day, while working with that teacher I saw him get out of his seat, charge towards the teacher and punch her repeatedly in the ribs. When we calmed him down and had him sit, he clutched scissors and angrily mumble to himself. Though in that incident he did not direct any physical or verbal abuse towards the students, his actions terrorized his classmates and several were shaken and crying. I did not understand what caused him to be so angry, day after day, and act out so
violently. I raised attention to the issue and the safety implications for all involved, though the school refused to act on it aside from advising me to leave the room when he acted up. I was helpless because I was a guest teacher in a foreign country, but as a teacher here I will be prepared and willing to act on bully behaviors. The focus of my paper is what are bully behaviors and what are strategies for addressing these at school?
Identify bully behaviors: Bully behaviors can be as blatant as physical...