Peer Groups And Bullying Incidents Essay

1845 words - 7 pages

On April 9th 1999, Eric Klebold and Dylan Harris entered Columbine High School and after shooting 11 people inside the school, the two boys shot themselves. March 5th 2001, Charles “Andy” Williams began shooting inside Santana High School in Santee, California killing 2 students and injuring 13 others. In another incident four students and one teacher were killed as well as 10 other people wounded outside a middle school in Arkansas while student shooters fired shots from the nearby woods during a false fire alarm. In recent news Tyler Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge in New York after another student secretly showed streaming video of a sexual encounter between Tyler and another boy, and Megan Meir hung herself after a group of neighborhood kids created a fake face book profile to taunt her . While there are multiple theories for the actions in these incidents one of the common underlying themes in all these incidents is bullying.
The term bullying can conjure up a variety of definitions. Bullying is an aggressive behavior that is intentional also involves an imbalance of power (stopbullyingnow.com). This behavior can manifest in different environments and through different media such as cyber bullying which often involves computers or text messaging. Physical Bullying is a way to intimidate or harm another person using physical force such as hitting, kicking, etc. Indirect bullying is a more common form of bullying used by females. Students who are bullied indirectly may experience gossip, social alienation, and loss of social status among peers (Feinberg,2003)
Schools around the nation are seeing an increase in bullying incidents from both male and female students. Most studies find that boys are the top offenders in terms of bullying, however girls are also participating in bullying. Female bullies are more likely to spread rumors, gossip, and encourage social exclusion, while boys engage in more acts of intimidation by physical means (stopbullyingnow.com). Students who bully can tend to be more aggressive, impulsive, and insecure despite the appearance of popularity. Students who are identified as bullies act out toward others because they may feel their behavior is well justified (stopbullyingnow.com)
Many factors beginning in the home have been positively associated as a risk factor for children engaging in bullying others. Children who bully are likely to come from home situations in which there is little warmth and little positive adult attention, discipline can be inconsistent and at times physically aggressive (Olweus 1993) Divorce seems to be a common characteristic and divorce combined with punitive parenting increases the risk factor (Olweus 1994). Often times children are encouraged to “fight back” when they are bullied which in turn can lead to a higher chance that child will bully others in the future. (Olweus 1994) Children who are bullies may demonstrate less than adequate...

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