School is a difficult time for both teenagers and their parents. For adults, it is the time when they worry about how their child (or children) succeeds in studying, socializing, and what habits and manners a child adopts from peers. For children and teenagers, school is difficult not just because of having to study and to try to receive good grades, but also because there is a specific hierarchic environment they have to fit into. Those who cannot do so often become victims of bullying and being harassed by their more “successful” peers (in terms of hierarchy). Bullying has always been a serious problem for schools in the U.S., as well as in the rest of the world.
Although some people tend to see bullying as any conflict or act of violence occurring between students, it is not so. “For instance, if two students involved in conflict are of approximately the same physical or psychological strength, the quarrel between them is not considered bullying. Bullying has two main components: repeated physical, verbal, or psychological harmful acts, and an imbalance of power. Bullying includes assault, intimidation, spreading rumors, demands for money, destruction or theft of property, name-calling, and so on. In the United States, bullying can also include sexual harassment and ostracism based on sexual orientation” (Popcenter.org).
According to the statistics, up to 28% of U.S. students in the 6-12 grades have experienced bullying, or are feeling bullied, which makes it obvious that bullying occurs most often in middle school. Surveys disclose that name calling as the most prevalent type of bullying; next goes teasing, rumor-spreading, physical incidents, purposeful isolation, threats, belongings being stolen, and sexual harassment. Researchers believe that considering the scale of the problem, it is not enough to just promote a message like “Bullying is not tolerated”; instead, there should be effective anti-bullying programs implemented. These problems should focus on bystanders in particular, because rather often they do not do anything to prevent or stop bullying when they witness it (NoBullying.com).
Unlike some teachers or officials would want to believe, bullying is not something that happens and then vanishes without a trace—it has a number of negative consequences, usually for victims. Among the most common ones, one should mention depression and anxiety; poor nutrition and/or appetite; breaks in sleeping patterns—for example, insomnia or extreme sleepiness; excessive feelings of sadness and/or loneliness, loss of interest in once-enjoyed activities and so on. What is even more worrying, these problems not only develop in early adolescence, but tend to last throughout the entire life of a person. Health complaints, poor grades, low levels of participation in school activities, and skipping classes are also among the reported negative effects of bullying victims. In addition, sometimes desperate victims of bullying are known to cause gunfire in schools (Stopbullying.gov).
Bullying is one of the most significant problems connected to the sphere of education. Bullying usually implies repeated offensive actions—verbal, psychological, or physical—against a victim, who is outnumbered, weaker, or less resilient. Up to 28% of school students in America have at least once been bullied. Such offensive behavior causes a number of long-lasting problems in victims, including depression, health problems, difficulties in communication, and so on. Therefore, immediate and effective measures against bullying are required.
“Bullying in Schools.” Center for Problem-Oriented Policing. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2015.
“Revealed: Shocking Bullying Statistics 2014!” NoBullying.com. N.p., 09 Feb. 2014. Web. 05 May 2015.
“Effects of Bullying.” Stopbullying.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2015.
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Writing an Expository Essay
Bullying is now recognized as a widespread and usually neglected problem in school around the globe because it implicates severe consequences for children who initiate the bullying and for those who are victimized by bullies. This is an important issue that will not become solved until parents and teachers address the reasons why children humiliate and intimidate others in the first place. With the right guidance and education, children can acquire skills to work through their problems instead of managing them by bullying others. In order to provide them with such education and successfully eliminate bullying from schools, we need to determine its causes and effects that school bullying poses on children.
Bullying is usually defined as an aggressive behavioral pattern among school-aged children and teenagers that implicates apparent power imbalance. School bullying also has a potential to be repeated, over time. Children use their physical strength, access to private information, or popularity to intimidate, control or harm others. Usually, bullying comprises of actions such as taunting, teasing, threatening to cause harm, name-calling, spreading rumors about someone, and embarrassing in public (“Common Causes of Bullying – Nobullying – Bullying&Cyberbullying Resources”).
Children who bully usually come from dysfunctional families. Of course, growing in such family is not an assurance that a child will become a bully. However, a significant number of children prone to bullying come from families where there are little affection and devotion. In such families, parents may often be an example of inappropriate behavior, such as aggressive acts towards friends, siblings or other members of the family. Therefore, children adopt such behavioral patterns and simulate it with their peers. Although bullies may appear to be confident in themselves, they usually feel insecure and inferior to others. They treat their peers with contempt to make themselves feel better. Most children do not do this intentionally; they merely take an example from their parents’ behavior. However, when the bully does not feel a resistance, he becomes overwhelmed with power and continues the action. The offender is unintentionally rewarded whenever victims surrender. He also gets paid by gaining attention and popularity, as well as the ability to have others afraid of them. These inadvertent amends strengthen bullying behavior pattern and encourage the offender to keep bullying others. Children who bully cannot regulate their emotions. Whenever people become angry and irritated, they can efficiently manage their emotions to prevent themselves from harming others. However, children cannot control their feelings. In fact, anything can provoke and cause them to overreact severely. For instance, a child may accidentally wimble into a bully, while walking down the hall. Even though the child will beg for an apology, the bully may lose his temper and hit or shout at him (“Common Causes Of Bullying – Nobullying – Bullying&Cyberbullying Resources”).
The effects of school bullying are ubiquitous and extensive. From a mental point of view, bullying has a potential to severely impact child’s self-esteem even years after bullying has stopped. The victims of threatening and intimidating are inclined to suffer from anxiety and depression, particularly if the harassment has occurred over the prolonged duration of action (Kelleher). Bullying can lead to such psychological effects as low self-esteem,loneliness, and increased potential to lapse into illness. These issues may persist into adulthood. It should be recognized that these mental impacts do not stop at the bullied, they also extended to the bullies. Those involved in prolonged and severe bullying of others experience wide range of mental health, academic and social problems (Kelleher).
Another effect of school bullying is on academic performance. After repeatedly facing a bully, a child may begin to refuse to go to school. His grades may also suffer, both because of absence in a school and his inability to concentrate. According to the National Education Association, “bullying impacts approximately 13 million students every year, and some 160,000 students stay home from school each day because of bullying” (“Nation’s Educators Continue Push For Safe, Bully Free Environments”). Some of these students eventually drop out of a school. Some schools don’t even help the children that have been bullied. Also, school bullying has effects on relationships between victims and their parents and friends. These effects may force children into isolation or a general distrust of people. They may also feel themselves justified in attacking other children or seeking revenge on his insulter to blow off stress or anxiety. School bullying also has some physical effects. Apart from the usual bumps and scrapes that young children get while playing, there can be excessive marks, such as scratches, bruises, and scars that can mean a child is being bullied. Also, appetite and sleep loss are common consequences, as a result of the prolonged fear and anxiety that bullying cause.
Effects of bullying regard every person that is somehow involved in the act — either by participating or witnessing it. To the bully, the fact of humiliating somebody and the feel of power, all give pleasure and occupy most of his time, that should be used in studies. Instead, these resources are now directed towards poor academic performance. Furthermore, for bullies, aggression has a potential to persist into adulthood showing itself through criminality, marital violence, child abuse and sexual harassment. For victims, repeated bullying can cause psychological distress or even lead to suicide. There have been dozens of incidents when school bullying has resulted in suicide. One of the high-profile suicide cases was the death of Amanda Todd. A few years ago, when Amanda was in 7th grade, she often used video chat to meet new people over the internet. People she met would always give her compliments about how she is looking. Once, Amanda was talking with a stranger who convinced her to lay her chest bare and took a picture of her breasts. With this picture, he blackmailed Amanda for years threatening to publish it unless she gives him a show, but she refused. So, this stranger had found her classmates and friends on Facebook and sent them the picture. They ostracised her driving her into anxiety, drugs, alcohol, and underage sex. Amanda attempted suicide a few times before finally succeeding. On October 10, 2012, at about 6:00 PM, she was found hanged at her home (Dean).
Bullying is prohibitive and aggressive behavioral pattern among school-aged children that involves threatening, humiliation, teasing, and embarrassing in public and that has the potential to be repeated, over time. Usually, bullying comes from dysfunctional families that lack affection and openness. Both children, insulter and its victim may have a broad range of
severe physical and mental health, social and academic problems, that may persist into adulthood.
“Common Causes Of Bullying – Nobullying – Bullying&Cyberbullying Resources.” Nobullying – Bullying & Cyberbullying Resources, 2017, https://nobullying.com/common-causes-of-bullying/.
Dean, Michelle. “The Story Of Amanda Todd.” The New Yorker, 2017, https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/the-story-of-amanda-todd.
“Nation’S Educators Continue Push For Safe, Bully-Free Environments.” NEA, 2017, http://www.nea.org/home/53298.htm.
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