Bullying In School: Counselors’ Strategies For Prevention

1484 words - 6 pages

Bullying is defined as “verbal, physical, or psychological abuse or teasing accompanied by real or perceived imbalance of power” and is usually targets what children perceive as different (Olweus, 1993). Bullying is prevalent across the nation. It has devastating effects on students each day. Bullying is a problem for all students, regardless of race, gender or class. The National Education Association reports that 160,000 children are absent intentionally from school each day because they fear being bullied whether it is an attack or just intimidation by other students. This accounts for 15% of all school absenteeism (Hunter, 2012). Dan Olweus (1993) from the National School Safety Center tells us that bullying includes three parts: (1) Unwanted, negative aggressive behavior, (2) the behavior is repeated over time and (3) there is an imbalance of power or strength. One in every seven school age students will be victimized by a bully or will commit the act of bullying. (Hunter, 2012). Statistics show that 10% of students who drop out of school do so because they have experienced repeated bullying at school (Hunter, 2012).
Prior research indicates that bullying causes students to disengage in school (Hoover & Oliver, 1996). Bullying often causes students to become angry and hurt, and experience low self-esteem and even depression (Banks, 1997). Many students experience problems with academic performance, interpersonal relationships and physical and mental health as a result of bullying (O’Brennan, Bradshaw, & Sawyer, 2009). Prior research has also noted that bullying is the common form of victimization that children will face during their school years (Nansel, et al., 2001). All students will be exposed to bullying in some form prior to graduation (Dinkes, Kemp, & Baum, 2009). A study by the U.S. Department of Education (1998) found that students who experienced bullying over a prolonged period were responsible for two-thirds of school shootings. Students experience many negative effects from bullying which effect their mental, emotional, and physical health as well as their social well being and academic performance. (Berger, 2007). Diversity and bullying are often linked. Learning to respect diversity means that we as a school district and community must eliminate bullying (San Antonio & Salfass, 2007). Much research has been done on student perceptions of bullying but few have examined the issue from the perspective of school counselors.
The purpose of this study is to identify the most prevalent forms of bullying on a high school campus and identify which strategies are most effective to prevent or respond to bullying. The study will also identify the most effective strategies to improve student achievement and attendance for those students who have experienced bullying. Students must feel safe to learn. Students who are bullied have a propensity to avoid the bullies; therefore, they choose not to attend school. Poor attendance often will...

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