Stopping bullying in schools Essay
Stopping bullying in schools
It is sometimes difficult to understand how schools can provide the environment for bullying to take place yet they are very well supervised. Bullying however is carried out secretly and in hidden areas and adults including parents and teachers are not able to notice when it is going on. Other reasons that make it hard to detect is the fact that the school staff may see it as harmless play and therefore decide not to intervene. There may also be lack of enough supervisory settings that could lead to detecting the behavior in its likely occurrences (Wright, 2003).
a) Laws on Bullying Anti bullying legislation has been developed to help curb the rise and spread of bullying within the school environment. The legislation provides for firm and fair enforcement of discipline within the school and security measures that provide for a climate that does not allow for bullying and threat making. The laws have been developed to help the school administrators’ deal with the issue. They require the schools to develop anti bullying policies and programs (Clabough, 2010).
A national legislation that is against bullying has been proposed to make it mandatory for all schools to have these programs and policies that will help reduce the bullying incidents. The laws have been developed to emphasis to the schools that much is not being done to deal with bullying and that more needs to be done since bullying is an important issue that is affecting the schools. The laws are allowing for various legal actions to be taken up against the bullies who are reported to have bullied a fellow student.
The legal action to be taken depends on the type of offence that has been reported (Clabough, 2010). For example where the offence reported involved included threatening the victim, legal action can be taken for threatening behavior and this is treated as a criminal offence. When the bullied acts involve sexual assault towards the victim, the legal action can be taken against indecent assault which is also treated as a criminal offence. An offence of common assault is charged against the bully when the victim was physically abused.
Legal action may also include applying for an injunction against the bullies to prevent them from bullying the victim. The injunction can be used to instill fear upon the bully and hence stopping them from bullying the victim. Legal action however is only carried out if the actions of the bully are in more that two separate occasions and they are constant and ongoing. Evidence has to be gathered to prove the harassment and it must show that it led to severe damages to the victim (Clabough, 2010). The two offences of indecent assault and common assault can also be carried out without touching the victim.
b) Their importance The anti bully legislation is very important in reducing the cases of bullying in the schools when everything has failed. The law can help sensitize the issue and teach the parents and teachers the need and importance of stopping the bullying behavior as it leads to severe consequences that are long term in some cases. The teachers and staff at the schools are taught how to identify and deal with bullying cases and establish effective strategies that enable the children report the cases of bullying within the school (Antibullying, n. d).
The laws can also be used to teach and educate the children on bullying the strategies and types of bullies that are in existence and how they can deal. The laws can also help curb the spread of the practice to other areas like the work places and other environments outside the school environment. Bullies can also be helped since most of them end up committing other crimes in the adulthood (Dombeck, n. d). The consequences of bullying can also be reduced especially where they are long term and severe like in the cases of suicides and psychological impacts on the children.
c) Suicides by Children The need for these laws has been necessitated by the increase in the number of suicides cases that have been reported. One case in particular is the case of Phoebe Prince, a 15 year student who committed suicide after she was continuously bullied by her new classmates for over 3 months (Rota, 2010). She had continuously been harassed verbally and physically by nine of her classmates, six of whom have been charged in court since the incident happened (O’Dowd, 2010).
She had been a student of South Hadley High School located in Massachusetts, and had endured a lot of cyber bullying through popular websites like facebook, Twitter, Craigslist and Form spring and she also received threatening messages on her cell phone (Clabough, 2010). In school things had been thrown at her, while her face had been scribbled in her photographs that were hung on the school walls. The parents and the school officials had not done enough to stop the bullying even though they knew of the extent it had gone into.
They had instead turned away and assumed a mentality of kids will be kids that led to the suicide. This was one of the cases that led to the Massachusetts anti bully legislation that was to curb such incidents from occurring (GLAD, 2010). d) Long Term Psychological Impact Bullying has been known to lead to long term effects that affect the victim’s psychology. Some of the effects of bullying include self esteem problems that may cause the adult to think lowly of them selves (Dombeck, n. d). They also tend to avoid social situations due to the interpersonal difficulties that they experience.
Some of the victims of school bullying have reduced occupational opportunities since they do not get the chance to perform well in school. They have lingering bitterness and desires to seek revenge against the bullies. Some tend to have a lot of difficulty trusting people and they do not make many friends. They therefore tend to be lonely even in their adult life. In some cases the victims of school bullying continue to be bullied even in their work places and in other areas even in their adult life (Dombeck, n. d).
e) Helping the Victim Overcome Victims of school bullying are usually very sad and deeply unhappy when they are in school (Banks, 1997). They suffer from low self esteem since they are usually self rejected by the classmates. There are various that the school can help the victims overcome the bullying and prevent it from occurring to them again. The first step of intervening is to ensure the victims safety. The victims are usually weaker than the bullies and hence they are not able to face the bullies on their own.
The victims can be monitored when they are in schools to identify the times that they are bullied (Wright, 2003). The victim can also be encouraged to make friends with other students who will influence him or her positively. This will help increase the self esteem and confidence of the victim. As the victim makes more friends they may be able to help him when they are being bullied. They can be taught basic social skills to enable them make more friends. Mentors can also be allocated to the children who are bullied to be able to monitor them and protect them from the bullies (Wright, 2003).
Victims can also be taught some skill that can they can use to stand up to the bullies especially when they abuse is verbal. The parents of the victims can help the children to overcome the effects of bullying. The parents can become more involved in the lives of the child to ensure that they are able to notice the instances of bullying. They can help the child speak out when they are being bullied. Counseling can also help the child deal with the psychological effects of bullying such as depression, low self esteem and anxiety.
They can therefore be able to deal with the anger that they may feel against the bullies and the need to seek revenge (Dombeck, n. d). f) Helping Bullies Bullying is normally carried out in a secretive manner and can be difficult to identify within the schools (Wright, 2003). Teachers and school administrators may not be aware of how it is carried out. They must therefore assess the seriousness of the behavior and ensure that the students are aware of the seriousness of the matter. They should also be aware of the consequences of bullying and the charges that exist for bullies.
If the bullies continue threatening the lives of the other students the teachers and the school administrators should now come up with ways to help the bullies turn around their behaviors. They can confront the bullies in a firm and fair manner that will not provoke them. They can communicate to the bullies without threatening them and give stern warnings that their behavior will not be tolerated. More stern measures can be put up if the bullies do not change their behavior. The confrontations should be carried out in private to ensure that they bully does not become defiant and refuse to compliance (Wright, 2003).
To encourage them to change their behavior they can be rewarded if the cases for bullying reduce. Parents can be involved in the process to establish the reasons that lead the children to bully others. Where the reasons are based on the environment at home the parents can be involved in the process of reforming the behaviors of the bullies. Counseling can be used to help the children deal with the issues at home and reduce their chances of taking out their problems or anger on other students (Banks, 1997).