This paper will present an examination of bullying in schools. Bullying can be linked to school violence and the decrease of academic achievement and low self-esteem (Bulach, Fulbright, & Williams, 2003; Shears, 2002; Beane, 1999). The dynamics of bullying and the nature of the problem were examined in the study.
The U.S. Department of Education (1997) has reported that approximately three million serious crimes take place at schools annually, which means an average 16,000 major episodes occur each day. Almost 30 percent of students reported some to frequent participation in bullying behaviors, either as a bully, a victim, or a bystander (National Association of Social Workers [NASW], (2002b). However, a survey study done by Salmivalli (2001) discovered that a majority of the school-aged children responded that they believe “bullying is stupid” (p.273). Bullying is happening in America’s schools daily. Tragedy has been demonstrated through horrible events like school shootings and suicide among youth, and evidence shows bullying was a precursor to these events. A brutal attack took place in Conyers, Georgia when T.J. Solomon killed six follow classmates. Bender, Shubert, and McLaughlin (2001) cited Solomon was viewed as a nerd, really shy and not popular by his peers. The victim of bullying became the perpetrator of a deadly attack. Similarly, in Littleton, Colorado Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 classmates and injured many others. “You deserve to die because you let this bullying go on,” Klebold had stated during his 1999 attack (Winter, 2001, p. 21). Klebold’s statement suggests bullying may have been a factor in these violent attacks. The violent attack of Harris and Klebold’s at Columbine High School was not the only possible result of the bullying they encountered, but also their committal of suicide, demonstrating suicide is also a potential outcome of unresolved bullying conflict. Another scenario explained by Hazler (2000), was the incident of Kelly, a thirteen year old girl who was consistently verbally abused by peers and clearly unwanted by others. She told her mother before she went to bed that she was sick of it and had enough of her classmates. She overdosed, committing suicide after being the victim of bullying. According to Bulach, Fulbright, and Williams (2003), violence in the schools is a significant effect of bullying behaviors. Commonly bullying is thought to occur mostly in big cities, although bullying, can take place in any size city. Infact, Olweus (1993) found that the amount of bullied students and bullies in large cities was lower than or similar to the amount in small towns. Dramatic incidents of school violence that have resulted from bullying have occurred in medium to larger sized cities, such as West Paducah, Kentucky; Jonesboro, Arkansas; and Littleton, Colorado; but not Los Angeles, CA or New York City. Bullying is an issue that must be addressed, as tragic events have succeeded those behaviors. In addition, bullying decreases self-esteem, increases school absences, and decreases academic performance (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2001; Beane, 1999). As explained by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (1995), the force with which bullying can impact the emotions of a student is obvious when 1 of every 20 students missed school at least one time in a month because the student felt unsafe on the way to school. Bullying behaviors need to be prevented and stopped. According to Hazler (2000), a strong influence for youth as they seek their identity is feeling of acceptance and worth from others. If a feeling of worth is not perceived, youth find a way to respond, whether it is by internalizing which leads to depression, or by externalizing, which leads to aggression. Failure to address bully behaviors undermines school safety. In the last 10 years safety in school has...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document