Bullying

May 25, 2012
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Bullying is defined as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is usually repeated over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems”. In my opinion, bullying can be shown in many different forms. It can appear as verbal, mental, or physical bullying. Examples of each: Verbal-calling someone names, taunting/teasing them, etc. Mental-‘messing’ with how someone thinks, feels, or acts. Physical-physically assaulting the person. Bullying can happen anywhere and at anytime, and can affect anybody. Someone that acts as a bully, believe it or not, can become a victim, and vice versa.

The effects of bullying can be drastic. In some cases, it can lead the victim to self-harm or suicide. So why do people bully? I’ve noticed that a lot of the times, the bully is just looking for attention. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the bully is un-popular. Nor does it mean that the bully is popular. It simply means that the bully is seeking to gain attention and approval from their peers. The bully may be insecure or they may simply be one of those people that loves to be the center of attention, even if it means the victim is harming themselves.

And that’s where the problem lies. I think that if more people realized the dangers of bullying, or the signs of bullying, then we would be able to stop it. Kids, teenagers, even adults should be taught on how to recognize the signs of bullying. Kids may be bullying others if they: are increasingly aggressive, get sent to the principal’s office or to detention frequently, don’t accept responsibility for their actions, or are worried about their reputation or popularity. Some signs that a child is being bullied: unexplainable injuries, lost or destroyed belongings, frequent headaches or stomach aches, changes in eating habits, difficulty sleeping, declining grades or not wanting to go to school, feelings of helplessness or decreased self-esteem, self-destructive behaviors such as harming themselves, or talking about suicide. Knowing the signs of a bully and/or a victim can help keep kids safe and away from the dangers of bullying.

If you see someone that appears as though they are bullying someone, take them aside and tell them exactly what they’re doing wrong and what the consequences of their actions could be. Disciplinary measures such as expulsion, suspension, etc. may be needed. And if you see someone that seems like they are being bullied, also take them aside and tell them that they are not alone and that you can help. Reassure them and make them feel better. If this is not enough, recommend that they call a bullying helpline, a suicide hotline, or that they go see a therapist.

Bullying can have drastically dangerous results. If you see signs that something is not right, help. DO NOT STAND BY. You could just be saving someone’s life.

(Tips and definition taken from stopbullying.gov)





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