Bullying in School

Written by Jackie D. Igafo-Te’o, Bridges4Kids • Submitted by Kathy L., Sprout Contributor

Who are the victims of bullying?
According to ASAP, A School-based Anti-Violence Program, victims tend to be “loners who tend to cry easily, lack self-defense skills, aren’t able to use humor in conflict situations or who don’t think quickly on their feet. Children who have few friends are always easy prey for bullies. It is easier to pick on a lone child without witnesses. Children who have special needs are also common victims for bullies.

Perhaps the child:

  • Has a disability
  • Has a stammer
  • Is bad at sports
  • Is new to the district
  • Has a different religion or belief
  • Wears different clothes
  • Has a different accent
  • Has a different nationality or color
  • Has an ear that sticks out

Dynamics of bully-victim situations:

  • A power differential exists between the bully and the victim
  • Bullies tend to be confident, aggressive, and lack empathy for their victim
  • Bullies come from homes where there is poor supervision and modeling of and tolerance for aggressive behavior
  • Victims tend to be quiet, passive children with few friends
  • Victims do not respond effectively to aggressive actions
  • Bullying is often done so that adults are not aware of it
  • Victims are ashamed, and often don’t tell an adult (Source: ASAP)

How Can We Help Children Who Are Being Bullied or Harassed?

What Can Parents Do?
Parental interest, support and involvement are key to effective school safety. If your child is being victimized at school, you need an advocate on your child;s behalf to resolve the problem.

What Can Teachers Do?
Teachers are role models for their students. Teachers also have power and authority because when they observe bullying, they can take action to stop the behavior on the spot, If teachers observe bullying and do not take action to protect the victim, they have given the bully implicit permission to continue.

What Can Kids Do?
Kids can talk to friends and those in authority to learn ways to cope with and quash bullying.

What Can School Do?
If you are a school leader- an administrator, principal, superintendent, or school board member- you are responsible for the culture and climate in your schools. Unfortunately, many children experience sexual, racial and ethnic harassment at school. The fact that these incidents are often ignored or minimized by school personnel leads many of these students to drop out of school.

Recommended Websites:

  • Bridges4Kids- This site includes a comprehensive list of articles, resources, free publications, and websites about school climate and bullying, school violence and zero tolerance, character education, discipline, and much more.
  • No Disposable Kids (NDK)- A nationally recognized training program designed to help educators create and maintain a healthy school environment for students and staff.
  • Discipline without Stress, Punishments or Rewards- How Leaders, Teachers, and Parents Promote Responsibility- Marvin Marshall details his Raise Responsibility System- a simple and amazingly effective approach that promotes responsibility, self-discipline, and learning
  • Stop Bullying Now! Practical research based strategies to reduce bullying in schools