Why do Schools Punish Victims of Bullying?
Children victimized by bullies typically face severe personal issues that include feelings of humiliation and isolation. Fear, anxiety, and low self-esteem are frequent. The most ardent bully victims don’t speak to anyone about their experience.
The reasons why people don’t speak up are numerous and can differ between people, but bullying can be frightening and complicated. The majority of kids are uncertain of how they can handle the situation. Many kids will keep bullying incidents to themselves as they try to figure out what they should do.
A study found that 5 percent of bullied kids did not inform an adult in their school. Often kids think that the act of reporting bullying won’t change anything. Not only do they feel powerless, but they also fear that the bully might hurt them should they speak out.
Why do children bully
Children who are bullies may come from any social class or background. For some, there could be poor discipline in the home or extreme violence or punishment from the parent/carer or older siblings.
There might be very little affection in the family relationship. Being aware of the challenges faced by bullies does not mean the behavior of bullies is acceptable. Others children who bully could participate because their peers are doing it.
The most common bullying behaviors are:
- Intentionally harmful behavior towards the victim
- A victim who is less powerful and weaker than the bully
- The outcome is difficult and traumatic for the victim
The term “bullying” can be used to refer to a variety of things and may include:
- Physical – hitting and kicking or pushing
- Verbal name-calling (including homophobic abuse), threats, insults, remarks about race
- Indirect – spreading a negative story about someone else, exclusion of individuals from social networks, unwelcome communication via messaging, chat rooms on the internet, and emails
Kinds of bullying
1. Physical bullying
Physical bullying can include punching, kicking, tripping, pinching, or property damage. Physical bullying is a cause of short-term and long-term harm.
2. Bullying via verbal
Verbal bullying includes name-calling or insults, bullying homophobic or racist comments, and verbal abuse. While bullying through verbal means can begin as harmless. However, it may increase to levels that start impacting the targeted person.
3. Social bullying
Social bullying, often known as hidden bullying, is usually more challenging to detect and can be committed secretly behind the back of the person being bullied. It’s intended to damage the reputation of a person’s social circle and/or cause embarrassment.
Social bullying could be a result of:
- Lying and disseminating rumors and lies
- Hostile physical or facial gestures such as menacing or sarcastic expressions or menacing or disapproving
- performing savage jokes that embarrass and shame
- Impersonating rudely
- Inviting others to socially exclusion of people
- harming someone’s reputation in the social or the social acceptance of someone.
Cyberbullying is deliberate and frequent harm caused by using phones, computers, and other electronic devices.
Cyberbullying may be outward or hidden bullying behaviors facilitated by digital technologies, like smartphones and computers, and software like instant messaging, social media websites, text messages, and other online platforms.
Cyberbullying can take place anytime. It could be public or private, and, in some cases, only to the victim and the bullied person.
Cyberbullying may include:
- Violent or offensive texts, emails, posts, images, or videos
- Deliberately excluding other online users
- Rumors or gossip that is obnoxious
- By mimicking other online users or by using their login.
As per Statistics Cyberbullying victim rate in U.S middle and high school children is 35.6%
In a survey conducted in January 2021, It was discovered that most of the online harassment victims from the United States were cyber harassed on Facebook. Twitter and Instagram were second, and 24 percent of users claimed they’d been harassed on both platforms. Among adults, those aged between 18 and 29 were the most targeted in cyberbullying (September 2020). Source.
Ways Educators and Teachers Can Prevent Bullying in Schools
1. Learn Empathy and kindness.
If students can think about ideas and issues from multiple angles and perspectives, they’re less likely to be bullies to other students.
From the beginning of their lives, children should be involved in activities that enhance the development of their social and emotional skills. As a teacher, you should find ways to help your children comprehend and accept their own identity and that of others.
Empathy is the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and teachers must embed this skill into their curriculum. We need to do identity work with children early on so that kids know who they are and who everybody else is and what their place is in the world.
Letting kids meet and discuss their differences is one method to accomplish this. Encourage them to exercise conflict resolution, work through conflicts, and improve their understanding of the people around them.
2. Find the Gateway behaviors and hotspots
Researchers have discovered that even the most minor actions signify the first signs of bullying. Teachers often overlook these signs because they already have a lot to attend to and responsibilities, these indicators, referred to as gateway behaviors, can be challenging to spot.
If you can identify them early, there’s a good chance you can stop bullying behaviors from becoming a problem later on. If you’re an educator, here are a few of the most important behaviors you need to keep an eye on:
- Eye rolling
- Long-term stare
- Turning back
- Inspiring others to laughter
- Dismissing or excluding
- Inflicting physical injury
3. Talk About Bullying
Inform your students about the effects of the bullying. 2 Work to foster the concept of empathy as well as emotion-based intelligence. Also, make sure that your children are aware of the consequences of engaging in bullying in school. They must understand that bullying will not be tolerated and will be dealt with. It could be helpful to complement your school’s bullying policy by incorporating additional guidelines into your class that emphasizes kindness and respect.
4. Empower Student Bystanders to speak up
Try to empower the students of your school. Inspire them to speak against bullying or to notify the teacher or another adult. Instruct them that research has demonstrated that bullying ceases when one person stands up. Then, give them safe and confidential methods to be able to report instances of bullying. Set an internal policy or procedure for reporting such incidents.
5. Increase Bullying Awareness Among Parents
Involve parents in your programs to prevent bullying. Make it easier for parents to be aware of the issue through PTA/PTO conferences, meetings, newsletters, and social media. Inspire parents to follow the school’s rules and implement bullying intervention strategies.
If parents report an incident of bullying, be sure to investigate the incident promptly. Make sure you work with parents to stop instances of bullying in your class. This is a social problem that needs to be nipped in the bud.
6. Respond Quickly to Bullying
If you notice the signs of bullying, you must address them promptly. Do not normalize bullying by saying, “Bullying is normal among kids.” If you make it seem like bullying is not a problem by minimizing bullying, you send an image that bullying is acceptable.
If you do this, children will not feel safe at school, and bullying will likely grow. They are expecting their victims to remain from speaking out about their behavior. They can surprise them by calling them out. The use of bullying is no longer a valuable method for them if they’re controlled when they use it.
7. Speak With the Victim Privately
Create a space where your children feel comfortable speaking to you. Be aware of how they feel and give suggestions to help them overcome bullying. Take a vow to assist the victim in resolving the problem.
Don’t also try to speak about the victims in the presence of bullies. The victimized student will not be as forthcoming or open about what transpired to the bully. Fear of reprisal frequently keeps victims quiet. Be sure to schedule an appropriate time to speak with the victim, ensuring that the bully won’t be conscious of the discussion.
8. Establish clear and binding rules and expectations
Age-appropriate rules let a child understand what behavior is expected. If children are young, be sure to keep the rules simple. If they are older, make rules to help them reach maturity levels.
Here are some recommendations:
- State or legal laws to be included.
- Limit the number of rules to the minimum. Do not make it complicated.
- Create rules that can be used in different situations.
- Check that you follow the rules for your age.
- Learn from your students the rules.
- Set an example of rule-based behavior and
- Make sure you are consistent in enforcing the laws.
- Monitor the effectiveness of the rules and keep amending them based on changing times and previous learning incidents.
These rules establish an example for the class. They can assist the teacher in ensuring that the classroom is managed correctly and is less likely to be a victim of bullies/
The rules and consequences for violating the rules must be clear. Students must be aware of what happens should they engage in unruly behavior. This will help them understand the consequences.