Bullying

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How Bullying is Dealt With
By
Charity Palmer
Introduction to Ethics & Social Responsibility
Instructor
Mariana Dannelley

Bullying is something that happens every single day. Schools are mostly where you hear about bullying. Bullying is an issue without boundaries. Bullying extends well beyond just being in the schoolyard. When children are afraid to go to school that should throw a red flag into the parents minds and find out why. But it happens everywhere. I chose the topic of bullying for my research paper because I have been dealing with the effects of bullying to my daughter since she started school. When a person is being bullied they hurt, emotionally, mentally and sometimes even physically. The school systems and the justice system know that bullying is going on, how they choose to deal with it is questionable, ignore it, punish it, or educate about it, which one works better? . What is bullying? Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real and perceived power of imbalance. (1 stopbullying.gov page 1 para 1) Bullying is a complex social and emotional phenomenon that plays out differently on an individual level. Bullying does not directly cause truancy. School engagement protects victims from truancy and low academic achievement. When schools provide a safe learning environment in which adults model positive behavior they can mitigate the negative effects of bullying. (Juvenile Justice Bulletin)

Bullying effects three different people: the ones being bullied, the bully and the bystanders watching. The victim feels disconnected from school and doesn’t like school, they have lower academic outcomes, including lower attendance and completion rates. The victim lacks quality friendships at school, they display high levels of emotion that indicate vulnerability and low levels of resilience, they will be less well accepted by peers, avoid conflict and be socially withdrawn. The victim has low self-esteem, have depression, anxiety, feelings of loneliness and isolation. They may have nightmares, feel wary or suspicious of others, they have an increased risk of depression and substance abuse. In extreme cases, they have a higher risk of suicide, however, the reasons why a person may be at risk of suicide are extremely complicated. Depression, family problems, history of trauma and belonging to a minority group where isolation or lack of community support is an issue, are all contributing factors to being bullied.

The bully themselves also have reasons for being a bully. The bully could feel disconnected from school and dislike school. The bully could get into fights, vandalize property or leave school early. In different research groups it has been found that bully is associated with an increased likelihood of theft, violent behavior and binge drinking.

Bystanders are also affected by the bullying that goes on around them. As the bystander you feel fearful and powerless to act and guilty for not acting when you witness bullying. The bystander is reluctant to attend school, have increased mental health problems, including depression and anxiety. They also have increased use of tobacco, alcohol and or other drugs. The school itself is affected by bullying that goes on inside of it. When bullying continues and the schools do nothing to stop it, the entire school climate and culture is feeling the negativity. This kind of negativity impacts on student learning and student participation, staff retention and satisfaction and parental confidence in the school. All of this may lead to the school developing an environment of fear and disrespect, students experiencing difficulty learning, students feeling insecure, students disliking school and students seeing that teachers and staff have little control and don’t care about them.

My daughter’s counselors and therapists and psychiatrists all tell...
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