Bullying has indeed become a wide spread calamity in American schools with nearly 20 percent of children saying that they had bullied in one way or the other by other students. A bully intentionally harms or disturbs the victim in different ways that cause depression, low self-esteem, fear and pain. Bullies are often conscious of their acts and they know very well what they are doing. Though the motivation for their acts differs, the outcome is more or less similar; to make their victim insignificant. In this article I've tried to compile the five different forms of bullying that we see in our schools today.
Many of you might be used to or familiar with the physical acts of bullying. Physical bullying usually involves hurting or causing physical pain to others and also may include hustling their belongings. Parents should regularly keep their eyes open for any such signs of problems on their kids. A few such physical acts of bullying are listed below:
• To hit
• To push
• To beat
• To trip
• To make threatening gestures
• To manhandle belongings
Emotional abuse or emotional bullying has always prevailed in schools since bullying started. However, it was always difficult to prove except in cases where the victim or such circumstances has convincing witnesses. Emotional bullying can cause excruciating mental torture to the victim and can result in social alienation and feelings of low self-esteem. Emotional bullying can be through:
• Stalking the victim
• Verbal abuse
• Spreading rumors about the victim
• Blackmailing the victim
• Stealing their stuffs
Sexual abuse can happen anywhere and can affect any age. However sexual bullying is more often seen among teenagers and not to mention, the workplace as well. The following actions can be included in sexual bullying:
• Unwanted touching
• Making obscene gestures
• Telling vulgar jokes
• Circulating inappropriate photos of the victim which were taken without their permission.
Cyber bullying involves the use of information and communication technologies like e-mail, IM's, pagers and cell phones to support deliberate, repeated and hostile behavior by an individual or a group as a means of victimizing, hurting, threatening or intimidating someone. Parents can prevent or limit cyber bullying by setting firm guidelines for the usage of their child's mobile phone and computer and then monitoring their behavior. Look out for these while monitoring your child:
• Abusive texts or e-mail messages
• Hate messages on Facebook, Twitter, Bebo or other social networking sites
• Inappropriate distribution of obscene pictures or photographs
This type of bullying extends to those who look different or sound different because of their race. Racial bullying often causes an immense amount of frustration and fear in the victims. Racial bullying usually plays out in the following ways:
• Victims are often excluded just because of their color of skin, culture or language.
• Religious discrimination
• Discrimination due to their appearance
Conclusion: Teachers and parents should take equal responsibility to address and deal with the issue of bullying once it has been recognized. Not only the victims of bullying suffer from depression, fear and pain that may lead well into adulthood, the bullies themselves are expected to get involved in criminal activities when they grow up.
Academic instruction isn't the only responsibility teachers have in today's classrooms. More and more, teachers are being called on to teach students about values ... things like making good decisions, the showing of respect, taking responsibility, choosing friends, and having a positive attitude. It's a responsibility that could be overwhelming, considering the limited hours available in a school day, the number of kids in the classroom, and the diversity of backgrounds and personalities each child represents.
Character Education by Just Do The Right Thing" is a practical and powerful tool that equips educators to tackle values training with confidence.
By: Francis David