School is a difficult time for both teenagers and their parents. For adults, it is the time when they worry about how their child (or children) succeeds in studying, socializing, and what habits and manners a child adopts from peers. For children and teenagers, school is difficult not just because of having to study and to try to receive good grades, but also because there is a specific hierarchic environment they have to fit into. Those who cannot do so often become victims of bullying and being harassed by their more “successful” peers (in terms of hierarchy). Bullying has always been a serious problem for schools in the U.S., as well as in the rest of the world.
Although some people tend to see bullying as any conflict or act of violence occurring between students, it is not so. “For instance, if two students involved in conflict are of approximately the same physical or psychological strength, the quarrel between them is not considered bullying. Bullying has two main components: repeated physical, verbal, or psychological harmful acts, and an imbalance of power. Bullying includes assault, intimidation, spreading rumors, demands for money, destruction or theft of property, name-calling, and so on. In the United States, bullying can also include sexual harassment and ostracism based on sexual orientation” (Popcenter.org).
According to the statistics, up to 28% of U.S. students in the 6-12 grades have experienced bullying, or are feeling bullied, which makes it obvious that bullying occurs most often in middle school. Surveys disclose that name calling as the most prevalent type of bullying; next goes teasing, rumor-spreading, physical incidents, purposeful isolation, threats, belongings being stolen, and sexual harassment. Researchers believe that considering the scale of the problem, it is not enough to just promote a message like “Bullying is not tolerated”; instead, there should be effective anti-bullying programs implemented. These problems should focus on bystanders in particular, because rather often they do not do anything to prevent or stop bullying when they witness it (NoBullying.com).
Unlike some teachers or officials would want to believe, bullying is not something that happens and then vanishes without a trace—it has a number of negative consequences, usually for victims. Among the most common ones, one should mention depression and anxiety; poor nutrition and/or appetite; breaks in sleeping patterns—for example, insomnia or extreme sleepiness; excessive feelings of sadness and/or loneliness, loss of interest in once-enjoyed activities and so on. What is even more worrying, these problems not only develop in early adolescence, but tend to last throughout the entire life of a person. Health complaints, poor grades, low levels of participation in school activities, and skipping classes are also among the reported negative effects of bullying victims. In addition, sometimes desperate victims of bullying are known to cause gunfire in schools (Stopbullying.gov).
Bullying is one of the most significant problems connected to the sphere of education. Bullying usually implies repeated offensive actions—verbal, psychological, or physical—against a victim, who is outnumbered, weaker, or less resilient. Up to 28% of school students in America have at least once been bullied. Such offensive behavior causes a number of long-lasting problems in victims, including depression, health problems, difficulties in communication, and so on. Therefore, immediate and effective measures against bullying are required.
“Bullying in Schools.” Center for Problem-Oriented Policing. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2015.
“Revealed: Shocking Bullying Statistics 2014!” NoBullying.com. N.p., 09 Feb. 2014. Web. 05 May 2015.
“Effects of Bullying.” Stopbullying.gov. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 May 2015.
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