This paper attempts to look at the issue of bullying in the schools. A personal story about how I was bullied when I was young is included. The paper looks at this issue by considering aspects like causes and forms of bullying as well as examples of bullying cases. Since the number of bullying cases has been on the increase in schools, recommendations will be offered on the best thing to do when bullying cases are reported. Main ideas on the topic will be presented so that the issue can be presented in a comprehensive way (Smith, Pepler, and Rigby 56-60).
I grew up in south Bronx until I was thirteen years old when we moved to an Irish neighborhood.
My brother and sister are half Irish and half Puerto Rican, unlike me; my whole family has a very fair skin. The first time I landed on this neighborhood, I was very delighted since unlike our previous home I could play outside the house. I still recall what befell me the first time I went out to play; all the children in the neighborhood were white and the girls started harassing me by telling me that if I was hoping to live there I had to be white, they even spread baby powder on my face. We later become friends although some of their parents resented me because I was Spanish. The situation did not get any better since some children nicknamed me Goya bean: this made to hate Goya beans When summer ended, I joined school and it so happened that I was the only Spanish girl in the whole school. Things did not go well here either since I picked fights frequently because other children teased me. At some point, it became a routine that I had to be involved in a fight everyday.
The principle took the initiative of calling my mother to discuss the matter. When my mother came, she was told that I was a problematic child since I frequently fought with other children. The board of directors claimed that with my stubborn nature I deserved to be taken to a special school where other problematic children studied. Since then, I was regarded as a problematic child. My mother was forced to transfer me to another school since I was expelled from my former school. I developed low self-esteem and I started taking drugs, soon afterwards I dropped out of school at sixth grade. This victimization made me to start thinking of ways that I could change my way of life to show that I was still strong hence prove to my aggressors wrong.
The events acted as a motivating factor for me to make a difference. Each time I feel like giving up my efforts of trying to be what I want to be, I look back and remember all the challenges that I have overcome in my life. This makes me to realize that I have much more challenges to face and overcome; thus I become a stronger person.
Every time I look back, I do not regret what I have gone through since it is through these chain of events that I have become what I am today. One thing that I am proud of is that I managed to turn anger into motivation. Nevertheless, I must admit that these experiences left me with a scar since when one is a victim of bullying he or she is tempted to believe that something is wrong with them one asks questions like ‘why me?’ Bullying kills one’s self esteem and also makes one to feel isolated. The victim may fear or feel ashamed to tell anyone since he or she may think that this has never happened to anyone else. It gives me joy to know that the issue of bullying is now a pubic affair since bullying stories were unheard of when I was growing up.
It is also important to note that children are no longer afraid to report bullying cases.
Slavens and Kerrigan (23) see bullying as a term used to describe a pattern of behavior that is cruel and humiliating towards another person, he further notes that it can affect people of all walks of life and age. Bullying can occur in two forms, verbal and physical. One can be bullied verbally when the bully attempts to verbally anger the victim by mocking them on purpose.
Physical bullying occurs when the bully or aggressor forces physical contact with his or her victim, this may be in form of kicking or punching to the point that the victim becomes submissive. Physical bullying is more serious as compared to verbal bullying since it can lead to serious injuries and sometimes death of the victim (Orpinas, Horne, 12-34). Bullies enjoy intimidating others to either gain fame or to satisfy their ego. Teenagers may bully others due to peer pressure since they may want to fit in a certain click. Factors that can lead to bullying include differences in physical and cultural characteristics; in addition, showing signs of inferiority can also be a major cause of bullying.
This vice has many effects on the victim. Since the bully has control over the victim, the victim can become stressed to the extent of becoming depressed. Most victims of bullying have low self esteem since they do not feel self-sufficient. The victim can also develop negative attitude towards the environment and the people around him. Such a person may isolate him/her self from the rest of the world because of a feeling of inadequacy.
School children who have been bullied may drop out of school or start taking drugs so as to seek consolation (Field, 211-250). Teachers should be strict when dealing with bullies. Heavy punishment should be given to the aggressors so as to prevent them from repeating the act again and to also warn others not to repeat the same mistake in future.
Victims of bullying should be encouraged to report to their seniors if they are bullied. It is important for the teacher to diagnose any physical and psychological problems affecting the students. Schools and other institutions should set up advisory centers where students can be helped to overcome the aftermath of bullying. These centers should have friendly counselors so that students can feel free to discuss their problems with them (Slavens and Kerrigan, 12). The counselors should also be well trained so that they can offer professional help to the victims.
Bullying is the act of humiliating others either verbally of physically. A bully is the aggressor who undertakes bullying.
Although bullying is common in schools, it can also occur in other settings such as the workplaces. It is important for the school administration to come up with ways of dealing with bullying cases such as punishing the bully heavily. People bully others for different reasons such as the need to feel superior. The vice bears negative impacts to the victim to the extent that it can be verbal.
Field, Tim. Bully in sight: how to predict, resist, challenge and combat workplace bullying: overcoming the silence and denial by which abuse thrives.
New Jersey: Success Unlimited, 2000. pp. 211-250 Orpinas, Pamela, Horne, Arthur. Bullying prevention: creating a positive school climate and developing social competence. MI: University of Michigan, 2006.
pp. 12-34 Slavens, Elaine and Kerrigan, Brooke. Bullying: deal with it before push comes to shove. Toronto: James Lorimer & Company, 2003. pp. 12-30 Smith, Peter, Pepler, Debra, and Rigby, Ken.
Bullying in schools: how successful can interventions be? Ontario: Cambridge University Press, 2004. pp. 56-60