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Ways To Curb Bullying In Schools

In a study conducted by Owusu, Hart, Oliver and Kang (2011) on the association between bullying and psychological health, they arrived at this conclusion;

“Bullying victimization is a major problem among SHS students. We recommend strengthening of existing proactive anti-bullying programs by taking into account the association between bullying and the psychological health of students.”

 

Although this study and others have been done on the senior high school level, the findings and measures suggested to curb it are applicable to other levels besides the SHS. The studies usually focus on boys since they are known as the foremost bullies.

 

However, girls can be bullies too. Boys are physically aggressive bullies whilst girls are verbally aggressive when they bully. Whether it’s done verbally or physically, bullying has devastating effects on the culprits. Some students drop out of school because they cannot stand it. Others live in constant fear which affects them emotionally and academically. Generally, bullying does not bode well for the behavioral development of affected students.

Since bullying is more rampant in schools, here are a few tips on how school authorities can make their campuses bully-free.

 

1.      Recognize the problem:

It’s easier to identify the more traditional/ popular forms of bullying like assault, intimidation and taunting. There are other less recognizable forms of harassment and authorities must look out for those. They include rumor spreading, name calling, excessive teasing and insults sent via text or posted on social platforms.

2.      It’s not easy identifying a bully. Pay more attention:

With traditional bullying, the common culprit is usually the physically stronger or more psychologically intimidating. “With cyber bullying”, those rules might not apply. According to Shaw, an operations officer at iSafe, “In the cyber world, those who are physically weak are the ones who can be psychologically or mentally stronger and out maneuver someone else who is much bigger or older and bully them,” “You can have an “A” student who is in all of the civics classes and leadership classes who is being a bully.”

3.      Encourage victims to report abuse:

Very few victims of bullying tell an adult they are being harassed. Often, they keep quiet because they are embarrassed or afraid. Adults can also unintentionally discourage reporting by telling victims to ignore the abuse or fight back since they are of the same age. This is psychologically dangerous because it discounts their feelings and sometimes, puts them in greater danger. Some parents and teachers try to address the problem but worsen in the process because they normally use the ‘one and done’ approach: they talk to the bully once and expect it to stop. They do not follow- up. With cyber bullying, parents go extreme by not allowing their children online access anymore. This does not help entirely since children are able to find alternatives to go online. Rather, parents should allow communication to flow freely between they and their children. Communication should be open and not coarse.

4.      Encourage witnesses to report bullying:

Majority of students are not directly involved in bullying, but they know it is happening, who is a bully or who is a victim and don’t report it. Most of these witnesses are afraid of becoming victims or losing their social status. Others too do not trust that adults can/will do anything about it so don’t bother reporting. Some witnesses also find bullying is entertaining and enjoy it as it goes on. Those who want to report do not know which channels to use. Text lines or email addresses can be created for witnesses to report harassment without suffering from any of the things mentioned earlier.

5.      Provide adequate electronic or human monitoring and supervision in most parts of school where bullying takes place:

Bullying usually takes place out of the classrooms, on the hallways, locker rooms, washrooms, under staircases or at canteens. Access could be limited to these locations or visibility could be increased by the installation of video surveillance and having teachers or teachers’ assistants monitor the hallways and other areas to curb bullying.

 

 

  1. Encourage Students to save evidence:

Especially in cyber bullying cases, encourage students to take screen shots or save messages sent attacking them so it is easier to punish bullies. This will enable administrators report to parents or parents to administrators.

  1. Act on Reports, keep evidence and don’t take any report for granted:

You may speak to a child when he/she is reported to you for the first time before taking any action. But bottom line is this: do something about each report that is made to you and keep records of actions as a teacher. By doing so, a teacher is able to keep track of the offenses and monitor the bully better – has the bully changed for the better or not?

All the very best!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a study conducted by Owusu, Hart, Oliver and Kang (2011) on the association between bullying and psychological health, they arrived at this conclusion;

“Bullying victimization is a major problem among SHS students. We recommend strengthening of existing proactive anti-bullying programs by taking into account the association between bullying and the psychological health of students.”

Although this study and others have been done on the senior high school level, the findings and measures suggested to curb it are applicable to other levels besides the SHS. The studies usually focus on boys since they are known as the foremost bullies.

However, girls can be bullies too. Boys are physically aggressive bullies whilst girls are verbally aggressive when they bully. Whether it’s done verbally or physically, bullying has devastating effects on the culprits. Some students drop out of school because they cannot stand it. Others live in constant fear which affects them emotionally and academically. Generally, bullying does not bode well for the behavioral development of affected students.

Since bullying is more rampant in schools, here are a few tips on how school authorities can make their campuses bully-free.

  1. Recognize the problem:
    It’s easier to identify the more traditional/ popular forms of bullying like assault, intimidation and taunting. There are other less recognizable forms of harassment and authorities must look out for those. They include rumor spreading, name calling, excessive teasing and insults sent via text or posted on social platforms.
  2. It’s not easy identifying a bully. Pay more attention:
    With traditional bullying, the common culprit is usually the physically stronger or more psychologically intimidating. “With cyber bullying”, those rules might not apply. According to Shaw, an operations officer at iSafe, “In the cyber world, those who are physically weak are the ones who can be psychologically or mentally stronger and out maneuver someone else who is much bigger or older and bully them,” “You can have an “A” student who is in all of the civics classes and leadership classes who is being a bully.”
  3. Encourage victims to report abuse:
    Very few victims of bullying tell an adult they are being harassed. Often, they keep quiet because they are embarrassed or afraid. Adults can also unintentionally discourage reporting by telling victims to ignore the abuse or fight back since they are of the same age. This is psychologically dangerous because it discounts their feelings and sometimes, puts them in greater danger. Some parents and teachers try to address the problem but worsen in the process because they normally use the ‘one and done’ approach: they talk to the bully once and expect it to stop. They do not follow- up. With cyber bullying, parents go extreme by not allowing their children online access anymore. This does not help entirely since children are able to find alternatives to go online. Rather, parents should allow communication to flow freely between they and their children. Communication should be open and not coarse.
  4. Encourage witnesses to report bullying:
    Majority of students are not directly involved in bullying, but they know it is happening, who is a bully or who is a victim and don’t report it. Most of these witnesses are afraid of becoming victims or losing their social status. Others too do not trust that adults can/will do anything about it so don’t bother reporting. Some witnesses also find bullying is entertaining and enjoy it as it goes on. Those who want to report do not know which channels to use. Text lines or email addresses can be created for witnesses to report harassment without suffering from any of the things mentioned earlier.
  5. Provide adequate electronic or human monitoring and supervision in most parts of school where bullying takes place:

Bullying usually takes place out of the classrooms, on the hallways, locker rooms, washrooms, under staircases or at canteens. Access could be limited to these locations or visibility could be increased by the installation of video surveillance and having teachers or teachers’ assistants monitor the hallways and other areas to curb bullying.

  1. Encourage Students to save evidence:

Especially in cyber bullying cases, encourage students to take screen shots or save messages sent attacking them so it is easier to punish bullies. This will enable administrators report to parents or parents to administrators.

  1. Act on Reports, keep evidence and don’t take any report for granted:

You may speak to a child when he/she is reported to you for the first time before taking any action. But bottom line is this: do something about each report that is made to you and keep records of actions as a teacher. By doing so, a teacher is able to keep track of the offenses and monitor the bully better – has the bully changed for the better or not?

All the very best!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 14, 2018

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