Students Against Violence and what causes bullying
Bullying has been an ancient problem in our schools for quite some time. It is said to be often caused by social factors. Bullying is the act of purposely harming or threatening to harm another person through physical or emotion abuse. Bullying can occur at any location and at any age. Unlike the past, where the perceived notion of bullying was restricted to the playground, people realize that bullying can occur almost anywhere. It can take place at work, home, school or online. When writing a bullying essay, you can define the types of abuse that occur when the act of bullying is carried out. For instance, some common acts that qualify as bullying include: false gossip, name calling, physical abuse, verbal abuse, emotional abuse, and threats if the victim does not do what is being asked
We learn from the NHS ‘website teens for health’ (2008) that ‘anyone can be singled out bybullies.’ The NSPCC found that 31 per cent of children had been bullied at some point (Teensfor health, 2008). This being the case, can anyone be bullied? Black and Jackson (2007) have put forward that there lies ‘an imbalance of power’ between the parties involved in bullying.‘The bully is stronger through social status, physical power, age, cognitive abilities or skill.’ Isthis imbalance of power the same across the genders? There is an extensive body of literaturethat suggests that boys are more likely than girls to be bullies as well as victims (Nansel et al.2001; Boulton& Smith, 1994; Boulton& Underwood,1992, cited in Marsh, Parada, Craven, &Finger, 2004). This doesn’t mean girls cannot be bullies. Stephenson and Smith (1989, cited inKumpulainen et al. 1998) found that girls as well as boys fitted into the ‘five main groups of people involved in bullying’. These are: ‘dominating bullies, anxious bullies, bully-victims,classical victims, and provocative victims.’ These traits were also found by Sourander,Helstelä, Helenius and Piha (2000) to have clinical implications. Sourander et al.,(2000) notedthat ‘Bullying is especially associated with aggressive and antisocial behavior whilevictimization is associated with internalizing problems.’ Whitney and Smith, (1989, cited inKumpulainen et al., 1998) found ‘bullies to be more prone to have criminal convictions later inlife, and more likely to be involved in serious, recidivist crime’. Are criminal convections later inlife a fair punishment for their actions? Or should something be done to help the bully?
Physical bullying includes any physical contact that would hurt or injure a person like hitting, kicking, punching, etc. Taking something that belongs to someone else and destroying it would also be considered a type of physical bullying. In elementary and middle schools, 30.5 percent of all bullying is physical bullying. Hitting, pushing, kicking, slapping, spitting, stealing and destroying others properties are all different forms of physical bullying. Physical bullying may also be taken to the next step and cross the line of sexual harassment. Bullying is most common at the middle school and high school age, but can also occur in childhood and adulthood.
Verbal is another form of bullying that is well known in the schools especially elementary schools. Verbal bullying can be very hurtful to a child. Verbal can include name calling, teasing, intimidation, and racial remarks.
Cyber bullying can also be hurtful. We live in the age of Facebook and Twitter where everything is public and nothing is off-limits. In recent years, there has been in increase in school shootings and suicides that can all be traced back to cyber bullying. Cyber bullying can be defined as bullying that occurs over the internet through email, a social media site, etc. This type of bullying is increasing mostly due to the fact that there is a certain amount of anonymity that is involved in working on the internet. Strangers can say anything to one another without fear of physical confrontation. While this type of bullying is increasing how we can prevent it is not.
We have many parents that do not even realize their child bully other children. According to the U.S. Census Bureau,
Out of 12.2 million single parent families in 2012, more than 80% were headed by single mothers. Six out of ten children who live with only their mother are living near or below the poverty line. Living in poverty is stressful and can have many emotional effects on children, including low self-esteem, increased anger and frustration and an increased risk for violent behavior. Besides financial constraints, other emotional effects of growing up in a single parent household may include feelings of abandonment, sadness, loneliness and difficulty socializing and connecting with others. Many times children will bully other children because of anger. Parents need to make sure their child understand that bullying is serious and that it will not be tolerated. Try to set up some simple rules for family interactions. Whenever your child follows the rules, praise him or her. If your child breaks the rules, consistently enforce some kind of negative consequence (for example, the withholding of allowance or other benefits/privileges). Spend 15 minutes or more of quality time with your child every day. Gain thorough knowledge into who he or she is spending time with and what they are doing. It is easier for children or young people to change their aggressive behavior if they feel they are reasonably well liked and listened to by their parents/caregivers. Help your child use his or her energy and need to dominate in a more positive way, for example, by encouraging him or her to participate in a sport like basketball or soccer, in which one must play by the rules. Explore any particular talents your child may have that can be further developed to enhance his or her self-esteem.
Bullying can have many effects on a child.Approximately 160,000 children a day stay home from school because they are afraid of being bullied. US Department of Education That’s over 3 million students a month. A national survey of kids in grades 6-10, found 13 percent reported bullying others, 11 percent reported being the target of bullies, and another 6 percent said that they bullied others and were bullied themselves. Experts say the facts are troubling, because bullying too often leads to violence, loss of self-esteem, poor grades, depression and even suicide. Source: National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center Suicideamong young people continues to be a serious problem. According to the CDC suicide is the third leading cause of death of youth between the ages of 10 and 24. It results in approximately 4400 lives lost each year. Deaths from youth suicide are only part of the problem. More young people survive suicide attempts than actually die. A nationwide survey of youth in grades 9-12 in public and private schools in the United States (U.S.) found that 15% of students reported seriously considering suicide, 11% reported creating a plan, and 7% reporting trying to take their own life in the 12 months preceding the survey. Each year, approximately 149,000 youth between the ages of 10 and 24 receive medical care for self-inflicted injuries at Emergency Departments across the U.S.
Bullying in schools is not a problem that can be solved once and for all. Therefore, schools should maintain constant readiness to counteract any tendencies toward bullying in the school environment. This can best be achieved by having a good bullying prevention program as a standard element in the school environment. Although there are other anti-bullying programs available, the most noted program is the one developed in Norway by Dr. Dan Olweus at the University of Bergen.
The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program has been used and evaluated in large-scale studies with quite positive results in several countries, including the United States, and it has a strong research base.
What helps make the Olweus program a model is that it builds on a few key principles that have been found to be important in research on the development and modification of problem behavior, especially aggressive behavior, like bullying. First, it is important to create both a school and home environment characterized by warmth, positive interest, and involvement with adults. Second, firm limits against unacceptable behavior need to be established. Third, non-physical, non-hostile negative consequences (sanctions) must be applied if a youth breaks the rules that have been agreed upon and it is expected that the adults in the school and at home act as authorities, at least in some respects. The program is based on an authoritative (not authoritarian) model for the relationship between adults and children, where teachers are expected to be authorities with responsibility for the students’ total situation, not just their learning. Teachers and parents must get actively involved. This means that the adults must take responsibility for controlling what is going on among the students in the school, at least to a certain extent. One aspect of this is organizing good supervision of break times. Furthermore, teachers are encouraged to intervene in situations that arouse suspicion and to give a clear message to the students: We will not accept bullying in our school, and we will make sure it’s stopped. Teachers should initiate serious discussions with victims of bullying, bullies, and their parents if a problem has been identified or is suspected. Parents and teachers must closely follow up and monitor the measures taken. There may not be away to totally stop bullying but there can be measures used to control it.
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