Michele B. Ford
Chamberlain College of Nursing
January 23, 2011
Bullying In Schools: Terrorism Or Child’s Play
Whether you call it harassment, intimidation, or bullying, this form of violence affects many school children each day as they enter their classrooms. Bullying is defined as having three essential components: (1) aggressive behavior that involves unwanted negative actions; (2) a pattern of behavior repeated over time; and (3) an imbalance of power or strength (Olweus, nd). Bullying is not a new phenomenon in schools. It has been prevalent for decades, but the recent reports of suicide amongst bullied children, as well as school shootings as “pay back” for the torment, is rising in alarming rates. Physical taunting, such as hitting and spitting, along with verbal name calling and malicious threats, turn school environments into a climate of fear and terror for these children. Psychologically, children are affected when they are socially excluded, have vicious rumors spread about them or are humiliated daily (Ericson, 2001). The impacts of bullying follow these children into adulthood, leading to depression, mental health issues and physical problems that affect the healthcare system. Programs that recognize, intervene, and prevent bullying must be implemented in schools to prevent the long-term health issues that will arise in coming years. As a community, a clear message must be sent to ensure that bullying will not be tolerated in schools, consequences will be executed for those defying the programs and that a safe, risk free environment will be provided for all children. The former mentality of “kids will be kids” will no longer be tolerated.
Types of Bullying
Bullying can be seen in a variety of behaviors. Dan Olweus, a pioneer in the study of bullying and the author of The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (Olweus, nd), defines various types of bullying that affect the health and welfare of school-age children. The nine...