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The Effects of Bullying on Students in High School and its Legal Basis

Powerful Essays
Topics: Bullying
Philippine Christian University


Presented to the
Graduate School class of the subject

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the requirements in
Major in Educational Administration

October, 2012 Title : THE EFFECTS OF BULLYING ON STUDENTS IN HIGH SCHOOL AND ITS LEGAL BASES Researcher : MS. JHOANA S. BELARDO Degree : Doctor of Education - Major in Educational Administration Institution : Philippine Christian University Taft Avenue, Manila, Philippines
School Year : 2012 – 2013

Abstract The purpose of this action research study is to find out the what bullying is, the sources and reasons of bullying, how it affects the students’ performance in school and how will the problem be solved. By surveying the students of their demographic profiles, some information about their bullying experiences and how it affected their learning and studying behaviors, the teachers can make some recommendation to minimize bullying inside the school, if it cannot be fully eliminated. The study included 27 males and 16 females of students randomly selected out of 10 sections in Paranaque High School – Sto. Nino. The implication is that knowing the root of the problems will enable the teachers to help the students avoid bullying. Instead of bullying, more positive approaches can be provided as activities to instill cooperation and camaraderie among students. Teenagers their age are more of confused and really were not aware of the consequences of their actions.

The conclusions made will be presented to the stakeholders in the school where the study was conducted. It is therefore the recommendation of the researcher that teachers be aware of the students who are likely to become bullies and take time to know the character or some problems that the child is undergoing at the moment. It is also recommended that teachers provide a more positive environment by preparing fun activities to divert students’ negative feelings. Finally, teachers must take an extra mile to spend some time to their students because most bullies just needed attention and care from families.

I. Introduction

Bullying is a pervasive type of aggression, which often occurs in schools. As with other types of aggression, the harm that is inflicted – whether physical, emotional or both – is intentional.

However, bullying has defining features which set it apart from other aggressive behaviours, in that it is repeated, and that the bully or bullies have greater access to power than their victim(s).

In this action research, ‘bullying’ refers to peer-to-peer bullying within the school context. School bullying has been a topic of both public concern and academic research only since the 1970s. It is still an expanding field of study and much remains to be established in terms of the causes, the characteristics of those involved and what makes an effective anti-bullying intervention.

There is great variation in the prevalence rates reported in studies of bullying, and although factors at the individual and social levels appear to be important, it is still unclear what causes it. Nevertheless, most children will experience bullying at some point, either as bullies, victims or witnesses.

Children who bully others, children who are victimised and children who both bully and are bullied, share a number of common characteristics and all are likely to suffer negative long term consequences. Important factors appear to be family and peer relationships

Bullying can be seen as a group process, with the peer group playing an important role: other pupils’ behaviour can reinforce, condone or help to stop bullying, and so it can be more likely in some classes or years than others. Bullying has become a widespread phenomenon in schools worldwide. It is now actually the number one non-academic issue that most educators face, and is one of the top concerns of many parents. Defined as an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person either emotionally, verbally, or physically, bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person. Bullies may behave this way out of jealousy or because they themselves are bullied. When they leave school, they will most likely carry on their bullying in the workplace. There are latest issues here the Philippines about bullying in elementary, secondary and tertiary level that alarms both the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Education (DepEd). With the approval of the Anti-Bullying Act of 2012, this year has started just right, providing relief for the millions of students who experience bullying in school. It is hoped that the Anti-Bullying Act of 2012 will help schools create an environment where children can develop their full potentials with suffering bullying from others.

According to Education Secretary Armin Luistro on the issue of drawing up tougher policies versus bullying and violence in schools, the Department of Education has started consultations with teachers and other stakeholders on the policy. "This is a serious matter that we cannot put off nor delay because it involves the over-all well-being of our learners which when not addressed promptly may negatively affect them for life," Luistro said in a news release posted on the DepEd website early Wednesday afternoon. Luistro also reminded school personnel and the public that corporal punishment and violence in any form is not allowed in public schools, whether by adults or the children’s peers.

However, even after passing the bill, the effects of bullying still lingers on the mind and emotions of the victims that affect the well-being of young people. Children tend to feel anxious and worried and there is a general school climate of tension and intimidation. There is a tendency that schoolwork, learning habits and behaviour management will be affected.

This action research finds out the possible causes and reasons why some students bully other students. Bullies are somehow victims too in their own right and educators like us must understand what the student is going though and why he does what he do.

The effects of bullying however can be resolved by providing positive methodologies and strategies that would help not only the student victims but also the students engaging in the bullying act. It aimed to help teachers deal with the issue better, how to handle and control the situation easily, and how to provide activities that will help students focus on the activities and not on their classmates.

Finally the study intended to preserve the spirit of unity, camaraderie, brotherhood, enthusiasm, hope, peace and thirst for knowledge. This will improve student educational achievement as well as emotional development.

Statement of the Problem

This action research was conducted to determine the effects of bullying on high school students and its legal bases in Paranaque High School – Sto. Nino.

Specifically, it sought answers to the following questions:

1. What is the demographic profile of the students according to: 1.1. Parents’ educational attainment 1.2. Parents’ marital status
1.3. Gross family income
1.4. Social connections
1.5. Games/Activities that students are engaged in
2. What kind of bullying is being experienced by the student? 3. What are the reasons why students bully other students? 4. What are the reasons why students allow other students to bully them? 5. What are the ways how victims face the students who bully them? 6. What do teachers do to the students caught bullying? 7. Were the teachers’ actions to solve bullying act effective? 8. How does bullying affect the students’ performance in the school? 9. What recommendations can be made to lessen bullying and promote cooperation and camaraderie among students?

II. Review of Related Literature and Studies

What is Bullying?

According to Alana (2010), on the study of Crick and Grotpeter, (1995), bullying can involve many different types of behaviour. Physical, or ‘direct’ bullying hurts an individual in a tangible way, but ‘indirect’ actions such as stealing or damaging their belongings can hurt them emotionally. This also applies to verbal bullying, which involves name-calling or being otherwise insulted or humiliated. Relational or social bullying refers to behaviours that disrupt the victims’ relationships with their peers, such as social exclusion or spreading gossip. Bullying can be motivated by race, religion, culture, gender or sexuality. Sexual bullying may involve sexual acts or demands.

On the bullying prevention action plan of Sandals (2005) entitled “Shaping Safer Schools” stated that bullying may be a relationship problem. Students who bully are learning to use power and aggression to control and distress others. Students who are repeatedly bullied are trapped in an abusive relationship. As a relationship problem, bullying requires relationship solutions. To exert power, bullies may use an advantage in size, strength, age, or intelligence; an advantage in social status or peer group solidarity; or knowledge of another’s vulnerability.

Bullying can be direct or indirect. Physical bullying includes hitting, shoving, stealing, or damaging property. Verbal bullying involves name-calling, mocking, sexual harassment, or racist or homophobic comments. Social bullying can be carried out by excluding others from a group, or spreading gossip or rumours about them. These rumours are often spread quickly through e-mail, cell phones, or text messages to threaten, harass, or exclude.

Victims of bullying often deal with social anxiety and loneliness, withdrawal, physical ailments such as headaches or stomach aches, low self-esteem, school absenteeism, diminished academic performance, phobias, depression, aggressive behaviour. In the most extreme cases, the result is suicide. Students who drop out to escape bullying suffer the long-term personal and socio-economic consequences of an interrupted education.

Bullies who learn to use aggression as a form of power may develop other significant problems including moral disengagement, delinquency, substance abuse, adult criminality, and suicide. They may perpetuate bullying behaviour in their relationships by using sexual harassment, dating aggression and other forms of victimization to support unhealthy power structures.

According to the studies made by (2011), data from the Pediatric Academic Societies shows how certain behavior of parents may be influential on the potential bullying behavior of their children.

As part of the study by the Pediatric Academic Societies, parents of kids 10 to 17 years old were asked whether their children displayed any form of cruelty to other children. Their mental health and emotional health were also taken into consideration.

According to data spanning 2003 to 2007: 23 percent of kids had bullied another kid at some point (2003), 35 percent of parents reported their child’s bullying another child, by 52 percent (2007) and 15 percent of kids were “frequent” bullies (2007).

Children with ‘emotional, behavioral or psychological problems’ were more likely to become bullies. The kids of parents who said they were mad at or anxious with their kids actually were also more likely to become bullies, as a result. Those of parents who had good communication with their kids, on the other hand, were less likely to become bullies.

Previous research has shown that bullies are actually at greater risk for developing psychological problems than non-bullies. Says Young Shun Kin, a professor at the Child Study Center at the Yale School of Medicine, bullies are actually more prone to committing suicide and delinquency, substance abuse and other behavioral problems.

While no causal relation can be confirmed at this point, the researchers point out that a long-term study of the same group of surveyed children would help in finding out the triggers of bullying behavior.

Said one of the researchers, Dr. Rashimi Shetgiri of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and Children’s Medical Center, “Interventions that help parents become more involved in their children 's lives and help them to communicate better with their children may be helpful.”

"They can also find effective ways to manage any feelings of anger toward their child and can work with health care providers to make sure any emotional or behavioral concerns they have about their child, as well as their own mental health, are addressed."

Legal Bases – “Anti Bullying Law”

In the Philippines, (2011) stated in its article “Breaking News: Philippine Congress Passes Anti-Bullying Bill”, that the House of Congress recently passed into law the bill pushing for schools to enforce anti-bullying policies. Otherwise known as House Bill 5496 or the Anti-Bullying Act of 2012, this bill aims to provide parents with important information about bullying, how it happens, how it can be addressed and how it can be prevented from happening in both the grade school and high school settings. The said bill was endorsed by Sorsogon Rep. Salvador Escudero III, chairman of the House Committee on Basic Education and Culture.

Explains Caloocan Rep. Mary Mitzi Cajayon, one of the bill’s authors, “The anti-bullying policies should be included in the school’s student and employee handbook provided to students and parent-guardians. Details of the anti-bullying policies should be conspicuously posted in school websites and school walls.”

Schools are required to submit their anti-bullying policies to the Department of Education (DepEd) within six months after the bill’s passing. New schools can only start operating after they include anti-bullying measures to their policies as an administrative requirement. Further, concerned individuals are encouraged to report any bullying incidents within school premises to the respective division superintendents, who will be responsible for reporting these to DepEd.

Manila Bulletin’s (2012) article on Anti-Bullying Act of 2012, indicates that after an Anti-bullying movement in the 2000s and 2010s gained popularity in the United States and United Kingdom, the Charity Act Against Bullying was formed in the United Kingdom in 2003, and National Bullying Prevention Month was declared in the United States in 2006.

In the Philippines, the House of Representatives has approved a bill requiring all elementary and secondary schools to adopt anti-bullying policies. House Bill 5496, the Anti-Bullying Act of 2012, seeks to promote greater awareness of the impact of bullying and how it can be prevented.

Bullying is now the number one non-academic issue that most educators face, and is one of the top concerns of many parents. Defined as an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person either emotionally, verbally, or physically, bullying is characterized by an individual behaving in a certain way to gain power over another person. Bullies may behave this way out of jealousy or because they themselves are bullied. When they leave school, they will most likely carry on their bullying in the workplace.

With the approval of the Anti-Bullying Act of 2012, this year has started just right, providing relief for the millions of students who experience bullying in school. It is hoped that the Anti-Bullying Act of 2012 will help schools create an environment where children can develop their full potentials with suffering bullying from others. In Canda, (2011) presents the bill 14, 2011, an Act to designate Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week in Schools and to provide for bullying prevention curricula, policies and administrative accountability in schools. This Act amends the Education Act. For the legislative history of the Act, see the Table of Consolidated Public Statutes – Detailed Legislative History at Based on its preamble, Bullying, particularly in schools, has become an increasing problem in Canada. Victims of bullying have suffered mental anguish, bodily injury and even death at the hands of their tormentors. Bullying can leave a harmful and long-lasting mark on its victims. It can leave children with painful emotional and mental scarring and a lifelong struggle with self-esteem. Bullying can therefore impair the ability of a victim to contribute meaningfully to society and to function normally in the victim’s family environment. Bullies suffer as well, since bullying may be indicative of deeper psychological and emotional problems. Children who bully more frequently experience psychological problems later in life, such as aggressive tendencies and occasional symptoms of depression. Childhood bullies often display the same types of behaviour as adults and are found to be more likely to harass co-workers or commit spousal, child or senior abuse. Studies have shown that bullies are far more likely to engage in delinquent behaviour. According to Public Safety Canada, students who engage in bullying are 37 per cent more likely than those who do not to commit offences as adults. Bullying also creates a poisoned atmosphere among persons who observe the bullying of others. For example, the occurrence of bullying can intimidate observers, lead observers to excuse, accommodate or even encourage the bully or, worst of all, lead them to try bullying themselves. The negative cost of bullying to society at large is therefore considerable. A safe and inclusive learning environment in schools is critical for students to achieve academic success. Parents and students must be confident in knowing that the school environment is free from harassment, violence, intolerance and intimidation, all of which are forms of bullying. In December 2009, the Occupational Health and Safety Act was amended to add Part III.0.1 to provide protective measures against violence and harassment in the workplace. Such harassment can include bullying. It is appropriate to expand that approach to deal with bullying in schools. Bullying in schools is particularly odious since its victims are children who are often less able to defend themselves than adults are.

It is appropriate to designate a week to express our collective opposition to bullying and to take measures to raise awareness and to prevent bullying in all of its many forms in the school environment.

In California, USA, McCoy (2012) narrates how the Anti-bullying law would have helped him in high school. He became very closed-off at school and started ditching class just to get away from the bullies and his friends. He ended up having to go to a private school, where he was much more accepted for his sexual orientation, and ended up playing basketball for them.

On July 1, 2012, A.B. 9 (Seth 's Law) and A.B. 1156 went into effect, making teachers and school administrators legally obligated to do something when a student reports bullying. If they do not comply with these laws, the student is allowed to transfer to a new school district.

He was relieved that these laws are going into effect this year. However, he felt that they should have been in place long ago. If these laws had been in place when he was in school, he was sure things would have been much better. The coach and principal would have done something. They would have helped make things better for me. Students now need to understand that school will get better for them; they just need to turn to a trusted adult. Students, teachers, and administrators also need to know the laws and have access to resources.

It has since been seven years since that day in November. He had developed into a much stronger individual, and was not afraid to stand up for himself. He had recently come out to friends and a handful of family members as transgender. For the first time in a very long time, he was truly happy with himself and was loved by those who matter.

III. Methodology

The action researcher used the descriptive method of research to identify possible reasons of bullying and how to solve the problem by recommending solutions based on the outcome of the study.

The study was conducted in Barangay Sto. Nino, Paranaque City. It is an annex of Paranaque National High School which is one of the biggest public schools in Paranaque City.

The researcher asked the permission of the principal to conduct the study in Paranaque High School Sto. Nino.

The respondents of the study were randomly selected from 10 sections which composed of 16 females and 27 males.

The respondents were instructed carefully how to answer the questionnaire and what will be the benefits of answering it truthfully.

IV. Findings/ Results:

1. 41 percent of the respondents were 11 – 12 years old, 40 percent belongs to 13 -14 years old and 19 percent belongs to 15 and above.

2. 41 percent of the students were the eldest child in the family, 23 percent were second to the eldest, 13 percent belongs to 3 to 5th order in birth order and 15 percent were the youngest child in the family.

3. Majority of 60 percent of their parents were high school graduates 4 percent finished elementary and 36 percent reached the college level.

4. 50 percent of the families have their fathers as the bread winner in the family, 6 percent have parents working abroad, 10 percent of the families have both parents with no work at all and 24 percent have both parents working.

5. 70 percent of students who admitted they were bullies experience violence at home. Usually coming from father or elder brothers

6. 85 percent of students are engaged in playing computer games with violent set up such as DOTA, SF, Crossfire

7. 25 percent of students admitted that they were bullies, 50 admitted that they were bullies and victims at the same time and 15 percent admitted that they were victims and 10 percent believes that they were not bullies nor victims,

8. 60 percent stated that they experience verbal bullying which includes teasing, saying bad words or curses, lying, spreading rumors or false information about the person, etc., 30 percent experience physical aggression which includes pushing, poking, slapping, punching, kicking, etc, and 10 percent expericience social aggression such as isolation, teasing because of religion, manner on how one dresses, gossiping, etc.

9. 15 percent believes that bullying comes from peer pressure (of group of friends or gang), 10 percent believes that bullying is caused by self-satisfaction, 40 percent believes that bullying is caused by revenge or getting even because of what they have done to them, or passing the blame given to him to others weaker than them, 20 percent believes that bullying is caused by envy, 9 percent believes that bullying is caused by imitating his/her environment because this is what is common in their community and 6 percent believes that bullying happens so that they will not be bullied by others.

10. For the victims, 60 percent allowed themselves to be bullied to avoid further troubles. If they let it go, it will just pass away, 15 percent believes that their social standing in life is the reason why they allow themselves to be bullied. They were poor and the bullies have more money and stringer than them. 25 percent believes that they are weak and cannot win against the bully.

11. 20 percent tells the teacher what the bully has done to stop it, 80 percent choose to keep quiet so as not to aggravate the situation.

12. 90 percent agrees that the teacher punishes the bullies but only 40 percent believes that it will totally eradicate bullying.

13. 60 percent believes that teachers’ action lessen bullying and 40 percent believes that it really has no effect.

14. 95 percent believes that their grades were affected. 30 percent of them tried to stay away from the bullies in school and it is difficult to be alone. 40 percent is not able to do their school work properly that affects their grades and 20 percent prefers to stay at home or makes reasons not to go to school, 5 percent completely dropped out from school or transfer to another school.

V. Implications and Recommendations

According to Bautista-Yao (2011), one must be on the lookout for bullying. Some children may tell their parents about their problems in school, but some don’t. Just to be safe, here are some signs that will clue you in to what’s going on: any change in your child 's demeanor: suddenly very sullen, or scared all the time and If he suddenly does not want to go to school.

“If these happen,” says dela Rosa, a psychologist whom Bautista-Yao had interviewed, “Try and talk to him or her a bit more or even try and get the teacher to do a little snooping for you. Even if it 's not bullying, it 's always good to know what 's causing the change in his demeanor.”

At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that bullying is different for boys and girls. “Boys are usually very physical and a bit verbal but girls are really more psychological and verbal,” says dela Rosa.

Steps to take

1. Always keep the communication lines open. Even if your child is not being bullied, he must always feel that he can run to you for anything. By making sure this is the norm in your relationship, you can be confident that your child will keep no serious secrets from you.

2. Process what he is going through. Together, you can brainstorm what your child can do or how he can deal with it if it happens again.

3. Empower your older child. If your child can deal with it himself, allow him to. This will further boost his confidence. However, dela Rosa warns, you must step in if it is a life-threatening situation.

4. Enlist the teacher’s help for the pre-schooler. After processing and talking to your little one about the situation, talk to the teacher. She can keep an eye on the situation and do something about it.

5. Keep your emotions in check. “While you may stress, panic, get angry, or all of the above, do not show this to your child,” says dela Rosa. “Be calm yet warm and sympathetic when speaking to him or her about the bullying.”

According to Del Rosario (2010), the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) note that bullies are more often bigger and stronger than their peers, but take note that smaller children who have flock leadership tendencies are also potential aggressors. What separates the act of bullying from other violent childhood expression, is the fact that it is done repetitively, is on-going, and is dealt to “weaker” children.

Tips that may help prevent your child from being bullied

You may find yourself asking, “How do I prevent my child from becoming a victim?” Sadly, there is no particular way to stop this practice entirely, as many forms of school violence exist, such as school fights. However, we can do two things: Prevent our children from becoming bullies themselves, and give our children an edge, so that they may not end up in the cross-hairs of a three and a half foot tyrant. Many of these preventive measures address all forms of school age clashes.

1. A good way to ensure your child does not end up becoming violent or a victim of violence early in life is a good home environment that is positive and encouraging. One does not have to be a restrictive parent and monitor everything the young child sees on TV. Take the ever popular Pacquiao fights for example. Taking time to carefully explain that boxing is a sport and should not be done outside the ring is of extreme value. Show them that our “Pambansang Kamao” (National Fist/Fighter) is a productive and peaceful man outside the ring through news clips and the internet.

2. Also, encourage your big kid to participate in sports. Martial arts especially, lends discipline, as well as gives the child an advantage in the school environment. “She takes up Karate! We can’t steal her lunchbox!” In line with that, team sports encourage cooperative play and camaraderie. The Philippines plays host to a mixed crop of races and our genetic stock has a wide range of skin color. Discrimination can be an issue. Sports again may be an advantage, since a child may be exposed to different people, but the primary source of introducing the ideals of equality and diversity to a child begins with a parent.

3. In line with this, charitable or volunteer work may accord virtues of compassion. An integral component here is proper coordination with school staff and counsellors to make sure that your school does not take childhood violence lightly.


1. Teachers as well as parents must keep communication lines open, process what he is going through and empower the child.

2. Keep emotions in control when dealing with the bully.

3. Teachers must prepare activities that can keep everyone busy even if the teacher is not looking. The activity must be something that is creative, fun and requires more movement or concentration in the part of the students.

4. Bullies are also victims in their own rights, so teachers, instead of punishment must provide alternative sanctions for the bullies. It can be in a form of community service that will not humiliate the student. It must also be constructively rewarding so he learns as he work.

5. Bullies are usually influenced by his environment. Teachers must hand in hand communicate with the parents in order to have a continuous rehabilitation of the child. He must be continuously busy so as to divert his attention from violent games, neighbors or peers that influence him.

6. Victims emotions must also be rehabilitated by trying to boost their self-confidence thus helping them perform better academically.

7. Regularly have counselling sessions with the bullies and let them understand the Anti-bullying act and its consequences.


Bautista-Yao, Ines (2011), “Beware the Bully: The Different Kinds and What You Can Do,

Del Rosario, Rob (2010), “Your Big Kid and Dealing with School Violence,

James, Alana (February 2010) “Research Briefing on Bullying”, Goldsmiths, University of London, NSPCC, briefings/school_bullying_pdf_wdf73502.pdf

McCoy, Justin (2012), “California’s New Anti-Bulying Laws Would Have Helped Me When I Was in High School”, California, USA, http://www.huffington (2011), Anti-Bullying Act of Canada,

Sandals, Liz (November 2005) Shaping Safer Schools: A Bullying Prevention Action Plan, Safe Schools, Ontario, safeschools/actionTeam/shaping.pdf

Smart Parenting (January 11, 2012) Breaking News: Philippine Congress Passes Anti-Bullying Bill,

References: Bautista-Yao, Ines (2011), “Beware the Bully: The Different Kinds and What You Can Do, Del Rosario, Rob (2010), “Your Big Kid and Dealing with School Violence, James, Alana (February 2010) “Research Briefing on Bullying”, Goldsmiths, University of London, NSPCC, briefings/school_bullying_pdf_wdf73502.pdf McCoy, Justin (2012), “California’s New Anti-Bulying Laws Would Have Helped Me When I Was in High School”, California, USA, http://www.huffington (2011), Anti-Bullying Act of Canada, Sandals, Liz (November 2005) Shaping Safer Schools: A Bullying Prevention Action Plan, Safe Schools, Ontario, safeschools/actionTeam/shaping.pdf Smart Parenting (January 11, 2012) Breaking News: Philippine Congress Passes Anti-Bullying Bill,

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