Bullying: Lifelong Pain Prelude to Violence. Debbie Johnston Teacher, Mother, Advocate. Definition of Bullying. Bullying occurs when one or more individuals inflict physical, verbal, emotional, psychological and/or sexual abuse on another or others.
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Bullying occurs when one or more individuals inflict physical, verbal, emotional, psychological and/or sexual abuse on another or others.
Bullying occurs most frequently when teachers/adults are not present.
Students continue to confirm that most bullying is hidden, secretive, and devious and that adults are not fully aware of the breadth and depth of the suffering and psychological damage that is occurring.
What is the difference between teasing and bullying?
Teasing occurs when
Bullying occurs when
There have been 37 school shootings since 1974. In two-thirds of these, the shooters believed that they had been persecuted, bullied, threatened, attacked and/or injured.
There has been an alarming increase in youth suicide in the last decade. Students are experiencing depression more frequently than ever before. Between 1980-1997, the rate of suicide increased 109% for 10-14 year old students.
74% of 8-11 year old students surveyed report that teasing and bullying occur in their schools. The rate increases to 86% among 15 -19 year olds.
A recent study indicates that in the United States, 5,736,417 students are involved in bullying - as a bully, a target or both.
The study measured the prevalence of bullying behaviors among youth and attempted to determine an association of bullying and being bullied with indicators of social adjustment: problem behavior, school adjustment, social/emotional adjustment, and parenting.
The sample included 15,686 students grades 6-10 throughout the US. Students filled out a survey that measured their involvement in bullying- either as a bully or as a target.
They found that 29.9% reported being involved: 13.0% as a bully, 10.6% as a target and 6.3% as both.
They concluded that the prevalence of bullying among US youth is substantial, and that given the behavioral and emotional difficulties associated with bullying, as well as the long term negative outcomes for the youth involved, the issue of bullying merits serious attention - both for future research and preventative intervention.
Acts of bullying break the law when they become extortion, theft, assault, battery, murder, weapons possession, arson, hate crime, hazing, sexual abuse/harassment, rape or a violation of civil rights.
Any single act involving more than minor physical injury or a credible threat of injury to persons or property.
A pattern of abuse lasting for a period of more than two weeks, targets the same victim, or continues/escalates after sanctions have been imposed.
When you suspect abuse/neglect, substance abuse, or other serious underlying cause.
If either the bully or victim exhibits warning signs of depression or suicidal ideation.
Over 160,000 students stay home from school each day because of fear of what might happen to them at the bus stop, on the bus, the playground, the bathroom, the cafeteria, the hallways, the locker room, the classroom, or walking home from school.
Anxiety increases for students being bullied.
Anxiety decreasesconcentration which lowers students’ ability to retain and learn materials covered in the classroom.
Today’s target can become tomorrow’s bully. Most of the students involved in classmate shootings had suffered rejection at the hands of their peers.
One out of four students identified as bullies by their classmates in the third grade had a criminal record by the age of 28.
Students that bully are more likely to engage in risk-taking behavior, substance abuse, delinquency, vandalism, and gang-related violence.
Bullying behavior can be a red flag for a multitude of other serious problems; abuse/neglect, personality disorder, depression, suicide.
Male bullies were at greater risk to have become abusive husbands. Female bullies were more likely to have become abusive mothers.
Conclusion: Bullying has an enduring effect and has apparent intergenerational transmission.
The six types of witnesses have developed a range of responses.
1. Helper: They have the courage to challenge the bully and/or support the target.
2. Angry: They may become angry at the target for failing to eliminate the situation.
3. Inactive: They build a wall around their feelings to diminish the discomfort.
4. Fearful: They conceal the situation for fear of reprisal.
5. Voyeur: They encourage and support the bully to gain favor with the perpetrator.
6. Accomplice: They become an accomplice.
A National Education Association study found that:
acquires because of attractiveness, wealth,
athletic ability, or parents’ status
simply being “honest” with the victim
Sticks and stones can break your bones,
but words . . .
. . . CAN BREAK YOUR HEART.
Help scouts understand that bullies “shop around” for targets and look for students who will:
Fly off the Handle!
They can’t control the actions of the bully, but they do have a choice about how they respond.
Restate your position against bullying,
Refuse to engage in the behavior,
Resist the temptation to retaliate,
Report the problem to your leader!
manner they feel comfortable.
teach positive strategies for dealing with negative
service for people outside their own social/ethnic
groups. Look for projects that promote a “Tend and
Social skills are a set of learned behaviors that children adopt by observing how role models react in certain situations. These role models can be parents, siblings, grandparents, peers, teachers, coaches, mentors, or images conveyed through television and other media.
Some children are naturally more adept at making friends and being accepted into the group. Others may have difficulty fitting in, experience shyness, or develop a variety of attention-seeking behaviors that sabotage their efforts. It is the teacher’s role to provide guidance in helping every child find their niche within the group, and facilitate experiences that highlight the strengths and talents of each individual child.
Take time to observe the way that the students interact with each other during different activities. Make a mental note of any child that seems isolated or unhappy. It might help to create a chart or graphic organizer to help you visualize the dynamics of your group.
Discernbullying behaviors. Become more attuned to the slights, derisive laughter and ostracizing that takes place under the radar.
Supervise thoughtfully. Think ahead when planning for games or activities that involve choosing teams or separating into smaller groups. Avoid using the “schoolyard pick” and similar methods that highlight the pecking order and invariably lead to hurt feelings.
Establish clear rules and consequences regarding unacceptable behavior and enforce them consistently.
Deal with bullying behavior before it escalates into trouble.
Mobilize witnesses and empower them to take a stand.
Focus on leadership skills and teamwork. Competition can tear down more than it builds up.
Use your own status to enhance a child’s standing within the group. Find out what the child enjoys doing, and praise it within the hearing of the others. Sincere compliments can do wonders to raise a child’s standing within the group.
Look for situations where bullying might take place, and take steps to prevent incidents before they happen. This can be as simple as adding a view more eyes and ears on an field trip or intermingling the adult chaperones throughout the bus rather than having all the grownups sit together.
Never label any child as a bully; even if they are guilty of using bullying behaviors. Name-calling is wrong no matter who is doing it!
Ditto on using techniques to humiliate, shame, or embarrass a child. This only serves to reinforce the belief that it is acceptable for someone that has power to hurt those who do not. This hypocrisy is not lost on young minds.
Explore opportunities for students to apply what they have learned about bullying to real-world situations.
Collect stories and anecdotes about bullies that have changed their ways to share with colleagues.
Incorporate the use of technology to establish blogs, websites, wikis, and social networking sites to raise awareness, share ideas, and support other scouts that may be dealing with a bully.
Expand what students have learned about bullying to the virtual world through involvement with law enforcement or other agencies in the community to educate younger students about Internet Safety and misuse of Technology. Form partnerships with community stakeholders such as iLand5, Wired Safety, and Crimestoppers.
I have a right to be happy and to be treated with compassion:
This means that no one will laugh at me or hurt my feelings.
I have a right to be myself:
This means that no one will treat me unfairly because of my
religion, gender, ethnic heritage, economic status, or any aspect
of my physical appearance.
I have a right to be safe:
This means that no one will threaten or harm me, my family, or
my personal possessions.
I have a right to hear and be heard:
This means that I will be free to express my feelings and my
opinions, without being interrupted, ridiculed, or punished.
I have a right to respect:
This means that no one will ignore me, exclude me, or act in a
way that diminishes my importance as a human being.
www.ama-assn.org/ Search using keyword “bully”
“Nansel, T.R., Overpeck, M., Pilla, R.S., Ruan, W.J., Simons-Morton, B., Scheidt, P., Bullying Behaviors Among US Youth Prevalence and Association With Psychosocial Adjustment, JAMA 2001, 285:2094-2100
Fried, SuEllen, Bullies & Victims- Helping Your Child Through The Schoolyard Battlefield, M. & Company, Inc., 1998.
Fried, SuEllen, Bullies, Targets and Witnesses- Helping Children Break the Pain Chain, Evans, M. & Company, Inc., 2003.
Olweus, Dan, Bullying at School: What we know and What We Can Do, Wiley, John & Sons, Inc., 1993.
Keeper of the Stars…