Bullying in Schools

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James Smith
Nancy Rosen
Bullying In Schools

Many problems in society need public attention, bullying is one of the top problems. The problem of bullying affects everyone in some aspect whether it is by being the victim, victimizer, and both the victim and the victimizer, friend, or family member of the victim or just a bystander that does nothing to prevent this problem. When you think of bullying you might picture a young child. While bullying is most common in elementary and high schools, it is important for education programs to be aware that associated bullying behaviors begin early even into the preschool years. When one thinks of a bully, the image of a movie villain may come into their minds; this isn’t always the case. In reality, a victimizer of bullying can be male or female, small or large, young or old. Bullying has no social, financial, or cultural boundaries. Bullying is most common in middle schools, with 6th graders on the receiving end the most and 8th graders handing out the most bullying. In a study of 15,686 students in 6th through 10th grade in private and public schools, it was found that 13-23% of boys and 4-11% of girls experience some sort of bullying. (Nansel 2003). Nearly one in six children in that age range fall victim to bullying each year, which means about 3.2 million children, were being bullied. Whereas, 3.7 million children are acting as bullies (Kerlikowske 2003). Six out ten children witness some form of bullying on a daily basis. In schools, bullying most likely takes place on the playground, followed by the classroom, then the hallways (Drake 2003). For the students at Dunn Middle School, a lot of the bullying occurs out of school. If it occurs in school, most students said bullying occurs in the hallways or in the lunchroom. One student even mentioned a fight that took place during an assembly, which was initiated because one student was bullying another.

Although anyone can be a bully, there are many common characteristics found in most bullies. Most bullies are male, popular, and often athletes (Espelage 2001). They have excellent social skills, with the ability to attract many followers, and easily manipulate others ("Bullies..." 2001). Bullies are psychologically strong and very popular among their peers. This peer status is important in terms of boosting their well-being. It's disturbing to think that bullies are feeling really good about themselves. Bullying behavior is self-reinforcing: When kids find that putting others down earns them approval from their peers, they are likely to do it again and again. Many times they can easily butter up to adults, making them unsuspecting bullies (Espelage 2001). In general, a bully is someone who teases and intimidates other students, although there are many other ways to bully a fellow student. Many people feel the typical bully comes from a broken home, but this is not necessarily true. Yet, the less supervision a child gets at home, the more likely he is to be a bully. About 30 to 40% of bullies show some levels of depression, and their bullying is often a cry for help. (Espelage 2001). I asked my little brother what he thought caused students to bully one another and I was impressed with his response. He felt bullies exist because they probably can’t get their way at home. Many of the other students felt very similarly. One student even thought that maybe bullies were bullied as little kids, which turned them into bullies themselves.

Most bullies look for a victim to be smaller, younger, and weaker. Most likely the victim will be both less confident and popular. ("Bullies..." 2001). Many victims react by becoming upset or crying as a way of dealing with their anger and fear. Victims have a tendency to be depressed, anxious, shy and lonely (Drake 2003). Luckily, as they grow older, victims are less likely to stay a victim because they learn to cope, while the bullies tend...
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