In the past many have focused on the abuse of drug and alcohol use in school aged students along with students carrying weapons to schools, it seemed as if no one was recognizing the significance of school bullying. For victims of bullying, they go to school every day facing harassment, taunting, and humiliation. Studies show that 25-35% of teens encountered some type of bullying in their lifetime (Nansel et al, 2001). Bullying is a form of violent behavior that happens not only in the schools but everywhere. Kids have been exposed to bullying in school for generations. Even though bullying has always been a factor the consequences for the victims have become more severe and sometimes fatal. The violent behavior within school disrupts the learning process and creates a negative atmosphere for the students, staff and everyone involved. There has to be an answer and a solution for what we as educators and members of a community can do to minimize and stop bullying.
According to Dan Olewus, creator of Olweus Bullying Prevention Program bullying is defined when a person is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself (When looking at this definition of bullying it is important to notice that there are three components. The first component of bullying is there must be aggressive, unwanted negative behavior, the negative behavior has to be repeated over a period of time and finally there has to be an imbalance of strength between the two individuals involved. There are many forms of bullying some of which include verbal belittling regarding religion, race, looks, or speech; hitting, pushing or slapping; rumors; and sexual comments or gestures. Pansy, nerd, dweeb, and loser: these are just a few of the horrible slurs that school bullies direct toward their not accepted, vulnerable peers. These malicious words can quickly grind down the self-esteem of their victims. However, words are not the only tool the bullies use against their victims. Physical violence towards the weak and emotionally unstable is a common theme in many schools, and can pose a grave threat to those students who cannot readily defend themselves.
Physical bullying can result in many dangerous outcomes. The bully themselves create physical harm to their victims and even in some cases the victim has a breaking point and retaliates in a violent way. Unfortunately some students and faculty do not feel like their schools are safe because of the types of bullying that occur. In the past there have been devastating acts of school shootings that haunt the minds of many. One of the more devastating examples of bullied victim retaliation is of the kids from the Columbine shooting, where two kids who were bullied went on a murderous shooting rampage killing the lives of many at their schools and taking their own. According to the United States Secret Service and Department of Education’s school violence report, "as more violent acts occur, not only in their schools and other schools around the world, more kids are becoming afraid to go to school". Schools need to become a safe haven for students not a place of fear. As educators we need to develop a plan to minimize the bullying and let students know they are safe when they cross through the doors of the school.
One of the first questions asked about bullying is why would someone bully another person? Some people believe bullying and aggressive attitudes towards one another are normal behavior for children. Dr. Howard Spivak of the New England Medical Center disagrees, he says bullies or people being bullied are people who show indicators that something is wrong, and children who experience either or both need help (Spivak & Prothrow-Stith, 2001). While looking through research, one conclusion that can be drawn about kids and teens who bully, a common denominator is they come from...