Although it always been around, bullying should never be accepted as normal behavior. The feelings experienced by victims of bullying a painful and lasting. Bullies, if not stopped, can progress to more serious behavior. Recent incidents of school violence show that bullying can have tragic consequences for individuals, families and communities.
Bullying is an aggressive behavior. A child is targeted by one or more youths with repeated negative actions over a period of time. These are intentional attempts to cause discomfort or injury and can include name calling, making faces, obscene gesturing, malicious teasing, threats rumors, physical hitting, kicking, pushing and chocking.
More subtle is simply excluding a child from a group. Generally bullying occurs when there is an imbalance of power favoring the bullying. Victims usually feel they don’t have the strength to defend themselves. Make no-mistake, bullying is a form of violence that shouldn’t be tolerated.
The Journal of American Medical Association recently reported that one-third of U. S. students experience bullying, either as a target or a perpetrator. The National Parent Teacher Association report a high level of parents (47%) and teachers (77%) report children victimized bullies. Only a small percentage of children believe that telling adults will help according to Charach, Peppler and Ziegler. Children generally feel that adult intervention is ineffective and will only bring more harassment.
Bullies are both boys and girls Boys bully more often and more physically than girls. Girls are more likely to use rejection and slander. Bullies sometimes suffer from depression. They are often from homes where harsh punishment and inconsistent discipline are used.
Girls and boys alike are targeted. Those who are physically different in race, body size or clothing are targeted. Individual who have disabilities or those who are dealing with sexual orientation issues are also targeted. Both groups are kids who are typically anxious, insecure and suffering from low self-esteem.
Take Steps to Stop It