Is Your Student Being Bullied Or Being A Bully?

1960 words - 8 pages

Is Your Student Being Bullied or Being a Bully?

“This should not be happening here. We took our student out of public school and enrolled in a Christian school because of bullying. Now we are dealing with the same issues.” This conversation and ones very similar have taken place in my office many times over the last few years. Whether public or private, every elementary, middle and high school in existence today must recognize that bullying is a serious issue. Bullying will adversely effect the overall social environment of any school while also negatively impacting learning. Bullying occurs when one person or group of people repeatedly attempt to exert power over another person or group of people with the intent to cause harm (Ellman and Moore 17). Bullying also involves an imbalance of power that causes the victim to be defenseless (Ellman and Moore 17). Bullying is not gender specific for the perpetrator or the victim. While both girls and boys bully, they usually use different means. Physical, verbal, social and cyberbullying are a few of the different forms in which this harmful treatment may manifest itself. Bullying may be a direct attack such as teasing, taunting, threatening, stalking, name calling, hitting, gossiping, or spreading rumors. Boys tend to use physical intimidations or threats, regardless of the gender of their victim. Bullying by girls is usually verbal. Girls tend to attack other girls rather than boys. No matter the form or the perpetrator, bullying is devastating and must be recognized.
The school yard bully and his tactics are no longer straight forward and easy to recognize. Today, bullying has taken on many forms and even more faces. Physical bullying is the easiest type to identify because it is so obvious. Pushing, shoving, kicking, and even aggressively taking things from people are classic forms of physical bullying. Although serious and harmful by its very nature, physical bullying, because it can be witnessed is easier to identify and confront than many of the other types of bullying. Verbal bullying can be extremely traumatizing to its victims and is much harder to distinguish. This is more than the occasional teasing that often happens between peers. Verbal bullying is characterized by harmful language that is used to exert power over a weaker individual. In this instance, the bully will find some perceived weakness in the victim and attack with malicious words, name calling, gossiping, and the spreading of lies. These attacks usually take place when adults are not present and are often unreported. The stealthy nature of verbal bullying makes this type of bullying extremely hard to discover and bring to an end. Girls often use verbal bullying tactics to attack their victims in their peer groups and personally. Relational bullying usually includes verbal attacks but takes it to a heightened level of destructiveness by encompassing the entire social environment of the...

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