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Bullying At Schools and How To Prevent It
A 14-year-old boy was shot five times on his forehead at a school in Delhi. The two students who killed the teenager were his classmates and wanted to teach the 'class bully' a lesson. The most common problem, besides the pressure to perform in academics, is standing up to a bully. All three students were victims. This incident could have been easily prevented if the students were taught about bullying and how to stop it, like our schools here in the US.
Each day, 10-year-old Seth asked his mom for more and more lunch money. Yet he seemed skinnier than ever and came home from school hungry. It turned out that Seth was handing his lunch money to a fifth-grader, who was threatening to beat him up if he didn't pay.
Kayla, 13, thought things were going well at her new school, since all the popular girls were being so nice to her. But then she found out that one of them had posted mean rumours about her on a website. Kayla cried herself to sleep that night and started going to the nurse's office complaining of a stomach ache to avoid the girls in study hall.
Unfortunately, these kind of bullying are experienced by school children everywhere today either in the States or in India. A bully can turn something like going to the bus stop or recess into a nightmare for kids. Bullying can leave deep emotional scars that last for life. And in extreme situations, it can culminate in violent threats, property damage, or someone getting seriously hurt.
Everybody should enjoy school equally, feel safe, secure and accepted regardless of color, race, gender, popularity, athletic ability, intelligence, religion and nationality.
Bullying causes pain and stress to victims and is never justified or excusable as “kids being kids,” “just teasing” or any other rationalization. The victim is never responsible for being a target of bullying.
Any child can be bullied, particularly younger children and those who have few friends or are easily intimidated. No one should have to endure being teased, bullied or abused. Cruelty violates a person's sense of self and others.
Types of Bullying: Physical bullying includes hitting, punching, kicking and other types of physical harm, as well as destruction of a child's property. Verbal bullying includes teasing, name-calling, taunting and racial slurs, as well as spreading gossip or malicious rumors. Cyber bullying includes harassing e-mails or instant messages, as well as intimidating or threatening Web sites or blogs.
Preventing Bullying: If you or someone you know is being bullied at school, you can help. Let them know they are not alone in their struggle. Listen to them. Be compassionate, supportive and strong. Bullying shouldn't be dismissed as a harmless schoolyard rite of passage. Bullies and their victims often develop behavioral and emotional problems later in life. Every young person has the right to feel safe at home, at school and in the community. Bullying is not a normal part of growing up. It doesn't usually go away on its own and often gets worse with time.
Standing up to bullies: When you see someone being bullied—be an UPSTANDER. Being an up stander is being a hero: we are standing up for what is right and doing our best to help support who is being hurt!
Understand why bullies bully. Bullies are not bad people, they are just doing bad things! People who bully often feel that making someone else “hurt” will make them feel better. This does not mean that bully behavior is ok, but understanding why someone bullies others can help stop their bad behavior and get them the adult support they need.
Bullying needs to be dealt with directly. To stop hurtful behavior we all need to respond when it occurs and take steps to prevent it. The first step is recognizing when there is a problem.
You can make a difference: When other children intervene – more than half the time, the bullying will stop within 10 seconds! Support those around you who are being bullied or victimized.
The best way to stand up to bullying is to treat everyone with respect and kindness, especially those of us who are being targeted or bullied by others. First, notice that this is happening and tell the person you do not agree with the bully’s actions or words. You can make a big difference just by acknowledging the person who is being bullied and letting them know you are there for them. There is no “right or wrong” way to show caring as long we are honest. Here are a few ways by which we can show that we care:
When someone is being bullied, go up to them and help remove them from the situation .Ask the bully to back off or even just invite the victim to go with you to another area of the school or classroom. Ask them to help you with something to get them involved in a positive activity
Ask this person to play with you, have lunch with you or do something you both like to do together
Compliment them when you notice something new (a haircut, clothes, glasses, or shoes), and mean what you say
Tell them they are doing a good job on something when you notice their hard work (for example: with an art project, in sports, a good answer in class, and a nice act to someone else.)
Bullying most often happens when and where adults are not present. Be aware, and let the adults in your school and neighborhood know when and where bullying is most common. This is an important step.
Lets unite to take a stand, lend a hand and find our voice to make our schools bully free zone.
High School North
West Windsor Plainsboro, NJ, USA