I think bullying is now a big problem of our society. Of course, not many of us are taking this issue as a serious one since it seems to be not a very big problem. However, it needs to be considered and stopped. Usually, the targets of bullying are the teens. Bullying takes place outside their home, and in most cases at school.
It is essential to note, that bullying is not only a children issue: older adults can also become targets of bullying at college, their work, or online. And I think that current rules and punishments for bullying in schools are not solving this issue. The attitude and measures to prevent it should be entirely changed, and I am talking not only about law enforcement, but also about the teaching of respect for other people and building up trusted relations between adults and kids. The lack of such respect is one of the causes of bullying.
So what is bullying? StopBullying.gov defines bullying as unwanted and aggressive behavior among children of school age. So it is evident that bullying is hurtful actions toward another person which repeated with a certain frequency. The most common forms of bullying include verbal, physical and non-verbal and non-physical. The first form includes spreading rumors, name-calling or teasing. Physical includes kicking, hitting and in some cases vandalism of the person’s property. As for the third one, it is quite complicated and usually connected with excluding a person from a group or threatens. The most common form of bullying is verbal abuse.
According to the US statistics, about 30 % of teens are involved in bullying somehow. Approximately 25% of high school and elementary students and 40% of middle school attendee are being bullied at least once per week. Another modern type of bullying is cyber bullying which is widespread among teens. They use social networks, blogs and other self-publishing websites to write and publish different unpleasant information about their target. Additionally, they send private messages to the target with images and threats, and a bullying person can steal an account or create a fake one to spread damaging information, thinking that it’s funny. Teens who are bullying others online are not thinking about consequences their actions can lead to. More than 25 % of teens reports being bullied online or via their cell phone and only 1/3 of them are trying to solve this issue and ask for a help.
What are some consequences of bullying? Bullied teen feels pressure, experiences little perception and in the worst case can commit to suicide. Low perception of oneself is the first issue experience by a bullied person. The child, who is being regularly bullied, usually has a low self-esteem that means he or she loves or appreciates oneself less.
It is well known, that children and teenagers, in particular, are at the stage of self-esteem formation. And a period of childhood is important for it. And bullying either verbal or physical can lead the person to begin to dislike oneself, be unsure in actions and finally may be the reason of different more severe psychological disorders. The pressure felt by the child who is being bullied during middle and high school can be tough to overcome. This happens because during this age children are looking for the esteem and acceptance from their peers, and lack of such recognition may lead to isolation, poor progress at school and even anxiety.
Bullying can result in depression because children in most cases are not able to cope with negative emotions. A child can start consuming food regularly which leads to obesity, in some cases the effect is opposite, a child stops consuming enough food and soon signs of bulimia are seen. Additionally, bullied child may become less social active, start to stay away from the social gathering, rejects to go to school, be less active and becomes isolated from others.
In the end, bullied person may commit suicide. According to the United States bullying statistics, about 16 % of people of young age thought of having committed a suicide, and more than five thousand lives are lost each year. The depression is known to be the primary factor of suicide and each year more cases of depression because of bullying are registered.
Additionally, bullying has a long lasting effect and people who have experienced it in childhood still have mental health disorders during adulthood. Dr. Sairah Qureshi in her book “Bullying and Racist Bullying in Schools: What are we Missing?” says: “that being victimized by peers is significantly related to comparatively low levels of psychological well-being and social adjustment and to high levels of psychological distress and adverse physical health symptoms”.
The public attitude to bullying issue is not right. Adults are not thinking about consequences of bullying that is why the issue is still not resolved, and there are no harsh measures and stiff penalties for such a harmful behavior. Additionally, education of children and the attitude to other people should be taught both at home and at school. We need to start showing respect for other people no matter what is their appearance, weight, race or even sexual orientation. The respectful treatment of every individual is the basis of safe behavior and relationships.
The primary job of parents is to protect their child, and when he or she goes to school this responsibility lies on the teacher’s shoulders, but in most cases, we forget about it. So both parties should learn bullying signs and do all necessary measures to prevent such harmful behavior following anti-bullying. Parents should develop relationships with their children from the very young age to make sure that child will share with them their issues at school. These relationships should also reduce the number of bullying cases and make our society more safe and healthy.
Bullying and Racist Bullying in Schools. (2013). Xlibris Corp.
Bullying Statistics. (2016). Cyber Bullying Statistics. [online] Available at: http://www.bullyingstatistics.org/content/cyber-bullying-statistics.html [Accessed 18 Dec. 2016].
Nobullying.com. (2016). What are the Most Recent Teen Suicide Statistics?. [online] Available at: https://nobullying.com/teen-suicide-statistics/ [Accessed 18 Dec. 2016].
Stopbullying.gov. (2016). Bullying Definition | StopBullying.gov. [online] Available at: https://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/definition/index.html [Accessed 18 Dec. 2016].