No one deserves to be bullied for any reason, particularly in school
Schools have taken different approaches to address bullying: implementing an anti-bullying curriculum, requiring parental involvement, expulsion or suspension of the bully, or simply banning any forms of bullying (verbal or otherwise).
But what is school bullying, and what are the best ways to prevent it?
What is bullying in school?
According to statistics, one in three kids will suffer bullying at some time during their education; similar to bullying outside of the school setting, bullying at school refers to one or more perpetrators who act violently toward their victim through verbal or physical methods and have more physical or social authority than their victims.
Bullying at school can take many different forms, such as physical, emotional, verbal, cyber bullying, sexual, and higher education. When a kid is being bullied, when a kid is being tormented, or when a kid has seen bullying at school, there are warning indicators, such as unusual injuries, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress symptoms.
The cost of school violence is high, yet some countries have successfully lowered bullying in schools by implementing particular strategies. Control and prevention strategies that some schools employ or have been recommended to implement include teaching the students, banning recording devices, using security technologies, and hiring guards for the building. Depending on the exact situation, there is a wide range of bullying responses.
Bullying at school has various negative impacts, but the most prevalent ones include emotions of melancholy, worry, rage, tension, and powerlessness. Less frequently, the sufferer can experience a drop in academic performance or—even less often—commit suicide.
Students, parents, and teachers could benefit from being better informed about bullying and its detrimental effects. The best times to intervene are taught to teachers, bus drivers, and other school personnel.
Presentations, role-playing, discussions about recognizing and reporting bullying, instruction for bystanders on how and when to intervene, the use of arts to foster an understanding of the effects of bullying, and class meetings to discuss peer relations are a few examples of activities used to teach students about bullying.
According to a systematic analysis, bullying predicts criminal conduct in adulthood regardless of other significant childhood risk factors, indicating that anti-bullying initiatives may be considered a type of early crime prevention.
Physical preventative measures
Schools implement several physical measures to prevent bullying; these include:
Restrictions on recording devices
Cyberbullying is a type of bullying that takes place online through social media, text messages, and instant messaging. Cyberbullying includes humiliating and harassing someone online. It may include spreading rumors, sending violent images to another person, sharing personal information, or hacking into someone’s social media account.
Cyberbullying can hurt children and teenagers as it can lead to depression, anxiety, and even suicide. Some schools have implemented all-day bans on mobile phones due to evidence that suggests their use can increase cyberbullying.
Teachers and administrators have tried many different ways to intervene, but sometimes it can be difficult to watch what is going on all the time. Security cameras have become an effective tool in preventing bullying because they allow teachers to better understand what is happening on campus and intervene when necessary.
To monitor conduct, schools may decide to install cameras. Nevertheless, detractors claim that cameras might infringe on students’ privacy, particularly if inadequate regulations on the storage and access of recordings lead to their abuse.
Internal security guards or watchmen
Schools may employ internal security guards or watchmen to safeguard the safety of the pupils. Security guards inside schools, according to experts, may help reduce bullying since they get to know the pupils and may subsequently be able to foresee and prevent problems before they happen.
Responding to bullying
Depending on the nature of bullying and the individuals involved, several recommended responses to bullying situations may be required. Here are some ideas for appropriate responses:
Reports from the witnesses
The most common form of intervention in bullying situations is reporting it to authorities or school officials. In cases of bullying, witnesses—whether or not they are known to the victim—are a crucial source of information. Wherever possible, it is advised to protect confidentiality.
In the past, bullying was considered a social norm that adults ignored. This is because the victims were children, and they were not able to speak up for themselves. However, in recent times, there has been a shift in the way people perceive bullying. It has now become unacceptable, and we are seeing more adults intervening and helping children who are being bullied.
The bystander non-intervention model suggests that bystanders should not intervene in cases of bullying when it does not cause physical harm or immediate danger.
It is important to remain calm in a conflict situation and not escalate the matter. This is because onlookers and other third parties often do not know how to respond and can turn a situation violent. It is also important to remain objective.
Response from the teacher
Many anti-bullying initiatives place a high value on teacher interventions. Teachers are required by law to protect their children from harm in several nations. Teachers can take action by supporting victims, including other teachers or experts, employing authority-based solutions, and taking a non-punitive approach to bullying.
A teacher said her secret weapon against bullying was her response when she heard it happening around her.
I take them aside individually, she said. I say, ‘How would you feel if I said those things about you?’ And they’re like, ‘That would hurt my feelings.’
She said she then tells them why they shouldn’t bully others: You’re really hurting someone when you’re doing that.
Professionals encourage actively involved parents to refrain from speaking to one another directly. It is advised to talk with the school instead and let it take charge of the situation and serve as a mediator.
One way parents can address bullying is by getting involved with their children’s school life and developing strategies to support their children when they feel bullied or harassed by others. They can talk to their child’s teacher if they think their child is being bullied and take time to understand their child’s feelings around bullying and what they want them to do.
Expulsion and suspension of the offender
If no other measures to stop bullying are effective or if the bullying is very severe, it can be necessary to suspend or expel the offender. So while prevention is key, expulsion or suspension is an essential step if you want to keep your school bully free.
Bullying can have a negative impact on children, both physically and mentally. It can lead to physical injuries, depression, suicidal thoughts, and even suicide. If students’ safety and well-being are in danger, it is best to follow through with the expulsion of the bully.
Moving the victim
In more complicated circumstances, the victim may think of changing institutions or even moving with their family to a new location.
A new study published by the Journal of School Violence has found that students are less likely to become bullying victims if they’re moved to another school district.
The study tracked 120 children who had been bullied at school over the course of two years, surveying them once per year. All the children reported feeling unsafe or unaccepted at school, but only 44% said they felt unsafe or unaccepted outside of school. The findings suggest that social environments have a significant impact on whether students feel safe or accepted.
Researchers suggest that transferring students who have been bullied to schools with higher socioeconomic status or different types of the community may reduce victimization rates.
Bullying victims may need assistance finding new companions or engaging in new activities after the bullying has stopped. Psychosocial support helps reduce bullying behaviors by recognizing victims’ need for support and offering them strategies for coping with the problem.
A new study by researchers at Cornell University has found that students who were offered psychosocial support were less likely to report bullying by other students or being bullied by staff members than those who were not provided such support.
The researchers also found that students exposed to psychosocial support programs had lower levels of depression and anxiety and fewer feelings of loneliness or social isolation.
The researchers found that over four years, students who were offered the support program reported 23% less depression, 18% less anxiety, and 26% less feelings of loneliness or social isolation than students who were not offered the support program.
Bullying victims may also need assistance finding new companions or engaging in new activities after the bullying has stopped.
Bullying is a relatively widespread phenomenon in schools that can turn the school experience into a nightmare for children. There are several effective strategies to prevent bullying and deal with it. These strategies range from anti-bullying education to physical preventive measures and appropriate responses to bullying incidents. Visit our website to learn more about school bullying and the best ways to deal with it.