Bullying is the act of a person or a group of people being hostile to other people through uttered words, physical contact and physiological torture. Bullying may father include slugging to a personal level where descriptions about ones parents, appearance, hygiene, artier or character are given as well as damage to ones property, calling of unnecessary names, forced labor, threats to life and false accusations (Smith,1999, p. 115). The contributors of bullying at school level but teacher may contribute as well. In most cases junior pupils or students in an institution are the victims though occasionally, teachers and senior students are bullied as well.
The intense of media reports about bullying calls for tough measures to stop this vice, various researches have been carried out and the observation has been that indeed there still are cases of bullying and especially in schools. Interestingly, bullying in school takes place both within the school compound and out of the compound, there have been cases of bullying in the school buses, on students and pupils way back home and even back at home all of which are driven by occurrences back at school.
One can not conclusively associate suicide in school directly to bullying, previous cases that have been reported in occasions where both the old and the young have committed suicide have partly been linked to bullying but there has not been in many cases to prove that bullying has led to suicide (Smith, 1999, p. 117). In some cases students that commit suicide are said to have done so because of stress that result from examinations strains or intimate relationships. However there have been reported cases of suicides that have come about as a result of bullying, for instance the case of a 15 year old in the who felt offended by his classmates teasing him about his weight made him take his life using his fatheraa‚¬a„?s hand gun (Brenda, Morison, 2007, p.122). Another dangerous aspect of death brought about by bullying are those that result from revenge, some children are forced to retaliate by taking g the lives of those that offend them either immediately or after some time.
In a study carried out in Ireland in 1989 showed that the number of the bullies and there victims was higher in remedial schools compared to the normal schools (Smith,1999, p. 117). This indicates the character of a person greatly determines whether he participates in bullying or not. The victims of bullying are usually affected in a long term compared to the bullies, naturally bullies wont care about the social rules put in place, they are usually proud, feared, outspoken while the victims are usually worried by the occurrence that may or may not come, uneasy and at times confused.
Even as bullying has been known to be a renown problem in many years, it is still a problem to date because so little was done about this problem either because its effects were underrated or because people felt that it was a normal occurrence, indeed very little research was done on this issue in the past, many researches were done only in a few countries such as Norway and Sweden (Smith & Shark, 1994, p.2). How then would this problem be solved if it was not appreciated as one? It is until the resent past that some countries have started carrying researches on bullying; ironically, many third word countries which surely have these problems so rampant in their school are yet to conduct researches and attempt to solve this problem.
Students have also contributed the slow pace of bullying problems because most of them do not report to those that are in the administrative duties (Espelage & Swearer, 2004, p. 45).Those that are bullied feel shy to report, while the rest of the group stays reluctant to reporting. The problem is that the bullies in school can so easily fit themselves with the other group of student and very easily justify their actions by the provocation by those they bully. The peers who are interaction with these groups of people will always know of the vice taking place but will simply take it as a normal interaction.
Teachers though not all in primary school do appreciate the effects of bullying at their level of teaching, while a majority of teacher is secondary school do admit that indeed there is bullying in school, however only a few teacher do know how to deal with cases of bullying this being because most of the bullying cases occur out of the class in their absence. The incidence of bullying would definitely be increased in secondary school because they go much unpunished in primary school, at a higher level of learning, those that participated in bullying still feel that they can do the same and avoid punishment, at the same time those that were victims may develop the urge to revenge thus increasing the number of bullying activities. The training teachers get is not sufficient in preparing them to deal with the issue of bullying and the extent to which they should deal with it. Because of this some teachers think that the inclusion of an in-service teachers training in the issue of bullying would be of great advantage (Mc Cathy, 2006, p. xxvii)
The best way to deal with bullying is by first finding ways of indentifying those that are affected, teachers can be the source of information, though with the danger that they will mostly deny the existence of bullying to protect the reputation of the school. They may also sincerely not know of the full impacts of bullying because most of the cases go unreported.
Children may as well give the most accurate information though there is the problem of confidentiality, for one to get information from the children then he must work so hard to ensure that the children get confidence in him. Those that are bullied usually shy off from sharing their experience while those that bully do not easily share because or fear that the in formation they give may land them into trouble.
The use of questionnaire to both the children, parents and teachers to a greater extent can help find information about bullying. It is easier for a child to give information he knows he would not be put to task for it, for example, a child would fear that if he gives information openly, then teachers may want to ask more questions, other children may start avoiding him because of the perception that he is a traitor and those that are bullies would make him their next victim (Lee, 2004).
Those that are victims of bullying are majority the boy children, it has been observed that more boys than girls participate in bullying activities. Most of those that are bullied confirmed that they were bullied by boys (Smith, 1999, p.17). The number of those that were bullied is usually higher than those that bully; this indicates that those that bully others in school have the chance of doing so repeatedly without any action being taken against them, while those that are bullied do nothing about it. The number of those that commit suicide because of bullying is small which may be attributed to the fact that most of the children deal with the issue almost as a normal thing. Given that some cases of suicide have been reported due to bullying it means that the acts of bullying does in a large extent affect people psychologically.
Bullying in a large part affects the performance of a learner, whether a bully or a victim. A victim is likely to be more affected, this is because, the experience they go through may not only be humiliating but painful as well, this goes a long way in affecting one psychologically which in turn leads to a concentration problem. A victim of bullying in class ten minutes to break time is likely to be worried bout what will happen to him at that time in stead of internalizing whatever the teacher will be teaching, at the same time a bully would be thinking about who he would bully and how as opposed do concentrating in his class work (Espelage & Sweare, 2004).
Students that are bullied have been observed to have a low self-esteem and frequently troubled minds, for this reason, if not counseled, it has been observed that the stress this learners encounter is likely to lead to suicide. Most learners who commit suicide do so as mostly because of stress caused by bullying. The feeling that people of the same level are the ones who mistreat you is much more painful. When we consider that the frequency the victim meets his/her bully in school is very high then one may easily make an irrational decision of committing suicide in order that he/she avoids the feeling of seeing the ruthless school mate(Kim et al, 2005).
The issue of bullying has to be dealt with structurally considering the fact that those that are dealt with are most of the time minors. This has been a major concern to both teachers and parents. Most of the students that are victims of bulling usually feel that they are weak, failure or cowards because they dint cope with those that mishandled them, parents and teachers should take great care of this victims, preferably by comforting them in a way to make them feel that whatever happened to them is normal and happens to many other people. To those that bully, it is important for the parents and teachers to punish them and advise that whatever they are doing to their counter parts is wrong and does not do any good to them either.
The occurrences of bullying may some times be very hard to evade, this is because the character trait of a person may either make him a bully or the one that is bullied. A personaa‚¬a„?s temperament particularly determines where he falls. It is argued that people with aggressive temperament and at times impulsive are more likely to be the bullies, farther it is said that most of the bullies are manipulative in situation that favor them, while those that are bullied are usually shy and less assertive (Smith & Shark, 1994, p.2).
The surrounding environment greatly affect the behavior that a child grows with, for example, in the case where a child stays in an estate surrounded by drug addicts, drug dealers and gangsters who are usually rude and violent then it is more likely that the child will borrow the bully like behavior back to school, while a child growing in a quiet neighborhood would most likely get bullied.
Bullying has been found to originate from the manor in which parent bring their children up, that is, the home environment greatly determines whether a person will be a bully or a victim of bullying. Its been observed that bullies lack the love and close affection from his or her parents and also parents being hostile to this child, administering heavy unnecessary punishment as well as not being supportive at all. The manor in which the parents treat each other back at home may as well affect the behavior of a child, in the case where the parent are involved in domestic violence may make a child to be a bully because of trying to protect himself from the same occurrence happening to him. Those that are bullied are said to majority to come from overprotective parents, with this kind of parenting the child is most likely not to know how to get independent (Smith & sharp, 1994, p.8).
Bullying in school takes different formats; the use of mobile phones has greatly increased cases of bullying. There have been cases of group bullying on mobile phones. The creation of students sites that are only accessible by the use of mobile phones encourages bullying largely because most of the participants go unnoticed. It is very hard to identify the senders of messages through these sites. This makes it very hard for the teachers to deal with this kind of problem (Shareef, 2008, p.53).
Schools can play very important in reducing the cases of bullying if we consider that most of the bullying takes place under the school environment, it is however, not easy for teachers to deal with this problem considering few get reported, none the less, this vice can be reduced by providing subjects that make the learners know the negative impacts of bullying. Cheap or even free books that do provide knowledge on the impacts of bullying have to be provided for teachers, students and parents. There should be guiding and counseling lessons to those that are affected and those that are not to get aware of the dangers that are associated with bullying (Sullivan, Cleary &Sullivan, 2004, p. 20).
The introduction of tough rules for those that are reported as bullies may as well help much in reducing the cases of bullying, for instance those that are caught should be suspended from school, put on probation or even expelled. This will inflict fear for among the children that have this kind of behavior. It will also make the parents responsible min that they will try as much as possible to ensure that their children are not expelled from school by ensuring that they donaa‚¬a„?t participate in this vice (Mc Grath, 2006, p. 186).
Retaliation against those that report cases of bullying truthfully and with good intensions should strictly be discouraged and made punishable. Retaliation includes and not limited to the act of harassing and intimidations of any kinds. Those that make false accusations should as well be punished because this may lead to an unfair punishment to an innocent person (Mc Grath, 2006, p.186).
The school should develop of a wholesome need to fight the act of bullying, teachers should find better ways of interacting with the children in order to counter the smallest acts, teachers should as well be close to students even out of class to ensue that no such mall practices go unnoticed. Parents should develop the need to strongly discourage their children against such acts. Policies on these kinds of activities should be placed in schools; schools should sets goals of ensuring that the acts of bullying are completely wiped out (Smith, Pepler & Rigby,2004, p. 2).
Students should learn to report whenever they suspect that one of them is either the bully or the victim. The various governments should support researches about bullying because the findings can in large part help in getting rid of this menace. National conferences should be organized, with the experts in participation to advice the public at large on ways or reducing the cases of bullying. Strict rules should also be set by the governments to discourage this vice.