There are millions of children in the United States that attend local school districts that are suffering from an epidemically called bullying. Bullying does not discriminate against age, sex, or race it is an ongoing problem that needs addressing immediately. It is vital that this situation is identified to prevent irreversible psychological damage to the victim. If this situation is not detained in a timely manner the situation can destroy an individual’s self-image and many times have fatal consequences. It is essential to train school district employees and parents with a variety of strategies to assist victims with bullying. There are many factors that can contribute to a child or adolescent in becoming a target of bullying. There are no specific characteristics that will prevent an individual in becoming a target.
Bullies operate alone or in a group to torment their victim. Bullies always pick victims that seem vulnerable to them and know that they will not react to the situation. Bullying has been defined as a repeated aggressive behavior whereby a bully, or groups of bullies, systematically victimized weaker peers (Olweus, 1993; Willard, & Perry, 1990). Bullying grew tremendously in the last decade, it is no longer just about being made fun of the way you dress or look now it is more complicated. Bullying no longer stays in classrooms, schools, or neighborhoods. Technology allows bullying to travel around the world in a matter of minutes this process is done through your fingertips. There are many types of bullying the old fashion type are still in place the bully victimize its target victim face to face it consist of pointing at a person laughing at them and standing there until they see them cry. There is also indirect bullying this means that they make no physical contact with the victim the bullies just spread rumors about the victim and ruin their reputation and credibility with their peers.
Now with technology being so advanced cyber-bullying has made its entrance which consists of bullying an individual through websites like face book, Instagram, twitter, or any school website that students create. Another powerful trend that is in the rise is sexting. Sexting consists of sending or receiving explicit or sexually suggestive nude or seminude images generally via cell phone devices only. In our society today, we see a growing concern regarding bullying. Teacher and professionals are aware of bullying, was not taken lightly as decades ago. All school districts nationwide have adopted a policy that has been in effect it’s called Anti-Bullying policy. This policy has a zero tolerance in bullying in school grounds. Once the victim reports the incident school officials have to take immediate action to protect the victim from the aggressor. School district have also developed many intervention plans and strategies to avoid bullying, they are proactive in the anti-bullying policy.
Districts are making sure that every student is aware of the anti-bullying policy and learn techniques in how to protect themselves and where to seek for help if needed. Bullying is not considered a normal part of growing up. When parents would state that bullying is a part of growing up that the victim had to toughen up, or like many would day it is just child’s play. They never realize that impact that these victims had in their adulthood due to the bullying in their childhood years. Being bullied creates an abnormal family environment. The victim distances themselves from the family to avoid having to discuss the problem. Many times this causes scars in the victims that it prevents them from living a normal life. In cases like this, it is recommended that individuals look for help immediately. A professional is the best option for a family in assisting them in the healing process. We need to find ways to target bullying efficiently to avoid low self-esteem issues that children and adolescents are encountering in their safe zone that should be their school and environment.
We need to be aware that if these problems are not targeted the victims will have emotional and mental problems and may lead them to commit suicide. America is a land of dreams and opportunities this country has been liberal and allows everyone to have freedom of speech. We are now at an era that people’s rights are equal. Now laws have been changed to respect the gay and lesbian alliance rights in society. There are clubs and organizations in schools that support lesbian and gay rights. These types of clubs create a tense situation among peers and people that join these clubs become targets of bullying. Observing the world of bullying we are able to identify the potential harm that causes children and adolescents to live trapped in this life. As counselors, our job is to be able to identify this matter quickly.
To try to prevent the victim in falling through the cracks and start experimenting with drugs, suffer from depression or decide to escape the situation through suicide. We all need to unite and stand together and target this problem hand in hand with all the resources available. The commitment we have to the community should be one hundred percent. In conclusion, we are aware of the types of bullying that exist in society today, we are also armed with the best key to defeating this issues knowledge. Our oath as professionals is that we are willing to go over and beyond to help a bullying victim and their families. Considering all the points discussed today we are able to acknowledge that we need to create a team with parents to make sure that if a problem of bullying ever arises we are able to communicate and prevent a victim to becoming psychologically disturb and a family to lose a loved one.
Personality & Mental Health. Nov 2012, 6 (4), 325-339.15
Retrieve on 3/21/14
FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin. Jun 2013, 82(6), 2-4-5
Retrieve on 3/21/14