When Innocence Is Lost: Bullying in Schools
Phoebe Prince became the victim of bullying at her new high school in Massachusetts in 2009. In addition to being a new student, Prince had briefly dated two different boys at the high school. She was subject to bullying by at least one girl who had previously dated one of these boys, as well has her female friends. At least one girl was suspended for threatening and harassing Prince, but school administrators did little else to stop the bullying. On January 14, 2010. After suffering continued amount of harassment and an attempted physical assault, Prince went home and committed suicide by hanging herself. Most of us probably remember a tough bully, the child who picked on vulnerable kids at school. Our parents might have told us that he was actually a coward and not really a tough kid at all. As a child, hearing that, we would think it doesn’t make sense. Adults can generally realize that bullies are troubled children. So why do bullies behave the way that they do? Before I discuss why people bully, we need to have a clear understanding of what bullying is. Some people say bullying is a way for someone to control another person through verbal abuse. “Threats and teasing another child is one way to bully. They feel empowered and many people want to be their “friend” so they are not the next one that gets bullied”. Bullying is also having negative body contact with another person. Hitting, spitting, slapping and/or punching are also ways that someone will bully someone else. (/Ref_Children_Who_Bully/). Cyber bullying is a new form of bullying that started because of social media. It is an attempt to get another child to feel bad about him or herself through electronic communication. The definition of cyber bullying is when someone is leaving demeaning messages on someone’s Facebook page, uploading embarrassing photos, or spreading gossip or rumors through instant messaging and text messaging. There are a number of ways to humiliate and threaten others online. “And because the damage can be psychological, and may carry over into the real world, the threats posed by cyber bullying can be very real. There have been cases where cyber bullying has led to severe depression, self-harm and even suicide” (U.S. Health and Human Services). Many often wonder why kids have the tendency to be so unkind to one another. In every classroom, school hallway, sports team, group setting, etc. in which children are the ones who decide how to act and sometimes how to feel. So why does that one child, or group of children feel the need to hurt another person? The fact that one gets more social recognition for negative behaviors than for positive ones can be a reason why children bully. Jealousy, low self-esteem, and lack of key social skills contribute the negative behaviors. They can be easily frustrated, lack empathy building skills, have difficulty following rules and may even view violence in a positive way. Those are all part of some social issues children who bully have. Peer pressure is another factor for children. If their friends bully, the child may become more prone to becoming a bully also. “Children that are from families that are not loving each other and who don’t show their feelings are more likely to have children who bully. Another family environment that children who bully come from are the families which discipline and the way they monitor the child are inconsistent. Although harsh, physical discipline with at least one parent who models bullying behavior can factor into a child being a bully or not”. “Children who are failing in school have been bullied themselves at one point are more likely to ‘pass it on’ to another vulnerable child.” One of the most simple, yet scary, reasons why children bully is the fact that it is too easy to get away with. (Dominguez pg. 2) Out of all the ways a child can bully another, cyber bullying seems to be at the top of the list. Significant...
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