The three biggest flaws in the school system when it comes to bullying are, first, Not taking bullying as a serious thing. Second, Not giving the bully’s legitimate consequences and third, Not educating kids enough on what bullying is and the consequences of bullying. Some common examples of teachers unintentionally encouraging bullying is when they allow students pick their teams; that’s a form of bullying because there is always going to be that one student that is picked last, or that one student that nobody wants on their team. When teachers allow students to pick their own partners, every one wants to be with their friends, and there's always one odd person out that nobody wants to be partners with. I wonder if teachers ever realize that some of the students sitting in their class have serious mental illnesses and are collapsing under the pressure they put on them.
“The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing” -Albert Einstein. A school should be a safe place for all students to learn and play and it’s the job of each teacher and administrator to ensure that safety. Bullying takes many forms such as physical and emotional abuse as well as a form of bullying known as cyberbullying. Although many schools claim to be bully free or anti-bully, often that is not the case and as a result students are bullied, and often go unnoticed as the victims of the school system. What are the flaws in the school system when it comes to bullying? Why does bullying exist? Why hasn’t it stopped? What are the consequences? And how do we fix that flaw in the school system?
How the School System Encourages Bullying
How do teachers inadvertently encourage bullying? For me, one of the biggest reasons I continued to be bullied was because the teachers and principals told me that it wasn't a big deal. I would tell them that so, and so pushed me or called me a loser, but, they would just shrug it off, unaware of the damage it was doing to me mentally. They regarded it as a silly little dispute that was nothing compared to the world's “real problems” like terrorism or murder, even though both of those things have been known to stem from bullying. Sometimes a teacher would make me sit down with my bully and we would have to apologize to each other, but it didn't change anything, the minute we were out of that teacher's sight the bullying resumed because you can’t just put a bandaid over the emotional bullet wound in your heart from bullying. I was told to go see a therapist, but in reality it should have been the bully who should have seen a therapist. I was almost suspended for trying to stand up to a bully, when it should have been the bully who should have been suspended. Teachers would call me out in class, ask out loud why I was isolating, why i wasn't paying attention, and at the same time they were inadvertently attracting bullies to my weaknesses.
A Deadly Flaw in the school system
The biggest lie told about schools is, bullying will not be tolerated. No school in this world is bully free, and in reality bullying will always be present, but it doesn't mean it can’t be decreased or repressed. Some schools honestly don't realize how serious bullying is until it’s too late. The side of effects of bullying are absolutely detrimental. According to a study by Yale University; “Bullied victims are 7 to 9 per cent more likely to consider suicide. Studies in Britain have found half of the suicides among youth are related to bullying, and according to a study by ABC News over 30,000 children stay home every day due to the fear of being bullied.” - (Yale university)
Bullying affects entire families, when a child takes their own life due to bullying at school their family is affected. “Any anti-bullying scheme initiative or policy which fails to mention accountability for the bullies is likely to meet with little and often no success.” Tim Field. Despite the crippling statistics, and awareness, bullying still happens on a daily basis, and often the reason that still happens is due to the school's own negligence.
What Causes Bullying?
“Bullies do what they do for self protection. This is often because manipulation (humiliation, intimidation and isolation) are the only ways they know how to cope with their own lack of self worth. Having power over someone has in some way served them temporarily in the past, however having power over another, taking someone's power or giving it away is always temporary because it is an illusion. This is why bullies continue doing what they do over and over again. It's a dysfunctional addiction that society is now recognizing and insisting that it is no longer acceptable.” (Susan Abrams)
Bullies aren’t born, they are created, and many schools inadvertently encourage bullying for example “The most recent outrage centers around a student who, in order to prove he was being bullied, recorded his torment on his Ipad and tried to present this to responsible adults. Their reaction was to force him to delete the file, tell him he was breaking the law, and set in motion a process which has led to him being charged with disorderly conduct.” -Caulfield.
Can you imagine that situation happening to you? You try and prove that you are being bullied and instead you get in big trouble for doing side. That would make me feel very unsafe and feel that I am not only a victim of the bullies, but also a victim of the school system itself and the law. What the school should have done in this case was use the student’s evidence to hold his bullies accountable. They should have tried to make the situation better instead of making it even worse by tearing the victim down even more.
Sadly, In many circumstances, the schools and their officials are unable or unwilling to protect the children, or to even punish the bullies. Numerous victims continue to be punished, instead of the bullies who should be the one suffering the consequences. Instead of levying punishment however, the school system often takes a blind-eye to the matter, or worse they punish the victim or persuade them to act in a way that won’t encourage any further bullying.
Suicide; a side affect bullying
“Suicide isn't cowardly. You wanna know what's cowardly? Treating someone so badly that they want to end their life.” (Unknown) Bullying is serious, and when it goes unstopped and out of control, people die. According to bullyngstatistics, In recent years, a series of bullying-related suicides in the US and across the globe have drawn attention to the connection between bullying and suicide. Though too many adults still see bullying as “just part of being a kid,” it is a serious problem that leads to many negative effects for victims, including suicide. Many people may not realize that there is also a link between being a bully and committing suicide.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide; that is at least 2-3 students in each of your classes, it could be the person sitting right next to you. and almost 7 percent have attempted it. Bully victims are between 2 to 9 times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims. And all too often were too late to stop them; imagine it was your best friend and the school had done nothing to stop it. According to studies by Yale University. A study in Britain found that at least half of suicides among young people are related to bullying. 10 to 14 year old girls may be at even higher risk for suicide, according to the study above. I think that is really sad that to know that 10 year olds even think about suicide, they should be sheltered from those thoughts, not trying to act upon them. According to statistics reported by ABC News, nearly 30 percent of students are either bullies or victims of bullying; that is a lot of students, and it’s even bigger percentage in some other schools. Did you know 160,000 kids stay home from school every day because of fear of bullying? I did because I often skipped school for that exact reason. (CDC)
Bullying Needs to Stop
Bullying needs to stop, it should not be tolerated and the bullies should be held accountable for their actions in a reasonable way. Bullying can threaten students’ physical and emotional safety at school and can negatively impact their ability to learn. A child who has to endure bullying usually suffers from low self-esteem and their ability to learn and be successful at school is dramatically lessened. Schools and parents must educate children about bullying behaviors; it will help all children feel safe and secure at school. Children who bully need to be taught empathy for others’ feelings in order to change their behaviors and the school must adopt a zero-tolerance policy regarding bullying. Bullies need to be held responsible for their action; they need to learn and understand that it is not okay to hurt others. “ A teacher was teaching her class about bullying and gave them the following exercise to perform, she had the children take a piece of paper and told them to crumple it up, stomp on it and really mess it up but to be careful not to rip it. Than she had them unfold the paper, smooth it out and look at how scarred and dirty it was, she told them to tell it that they’re sorry. Now even though they said they were sorry and tried to fix the paper, she pointed out all the scars they left behind. And that those scars will never go away, no matter how hard they tried to fix it, that is what happens when a child bully's another child, hey may say they're sorry but the scars ares are their forever. He looks on the faces of the children in the classroom told her the message hit home” - unknown.
According to Maggie Clark; a reporter and investigator; “To really stop bullying, schools need to focus on changing their school climate, i.e. the social norms and values of the school, so that bullying is no longer acceptable to staff or to students, said Willard. That means getting the kids involved.” personally, Education is the key to stopping bullying, and its starts with the youngest kids, because they will grow up and be able to teach others and, they are not experienced bullies or victims of bullying yet. It’s harder to try and educate older kids that already might be the victims or the perpetrator because habits are hard to break. For the older children such as teens, educating about the effects of bullying is essential, and if that doesn't work than the bullies need to be held accountable by the school, by their parents and by the state. Bullying s a crime and needs to be treated like one.
Bullying can tear school systems, families and lives apart. It may start out as a silly little argument and spiral into harassment, than to abuse, and other serious actions such as suicide, murder and other detrimental results. Most schools today are aware of bullying but they make weak attempts to actually put a stop to it. In order to stop bullying, the bullies need to be held accountable for their actions, and the victims need to feel safe in their own school. Whether or not it is a student or adult that is bullying another it needs to stop. People bullying to bring others down. They bully because they are insecure and often hurting, and as a result they lash out to cut others don to make them look or feel better, but in reality they are just digging themselves a deeper hole. Bullies need to be held accountable, and probably need to see a counselor or a therapist because the true change has to happen with in. Just keep in mind; “what if the kid you bullied at school grew up and turned out to be the only surgeon who could save your life?” (Lynette Mather)
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