Disclaimer: Keep in mind that I am not an expert on Bullying. Sources for the information I provide may be found at the end of the post.
Think back to when you were in grade school. Did you ever encounter a bully? How did being bullied affect you? Bullies come in all shapes and sizes and bullying presents itself in various forms. Today’s Teacher Insight subject is an issue I find to be very important for teachers and schools to address.
What is Bullying?
According to Stop Bullying.gov, “bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time” (stopbullying.gov)
Below, I identify what I believe to be the most general forms of bullying:
1. Physical Bullying A bully who engages in this type of bullying may kick, hit, punch, push, trip, or corner their victim.
2. Psychological Bullying The bully may call their victim names, stalk them, spread rumors about the person, steal from their victim, or exclude their victim
3. Sexual Bullying This type of bullying occurs when obscene gestures are made towards a person, the bully touches their victim inappropriately, or tells dirty jokes about a person
4. Cyber Bullying This occurs when a bully uses technology such as cell phones, email, and social networking sites to abuse a victim. This can manifest as a hate message on facebook, or mean-spirited texts and/or emails
Consequences of Being Bullied
- A child being bullied may become depressed or anxious
- Sleep and eating patterns may change
- The child is no longer interested in participating in activities they used to enjoy
- Health problems
- Problems in school: skipping, missing, dropping out
Consequences of Being a Bully
- A bully may abuse drugs and alcohol
- Start fights, vandalize, drop out of school
- Get a record
- May be abusive towards loved ones
What can you, as the teacher, do to help?
- Become familiar with your school’s policy about bullying. Perhaps the school has an Anti-Bullying Policy in place
- Talk to your students about bullying. Discuss how bullying others can have detrimental results
- Immediately intervene when you witness a child being bullied
- Provide your students with a way to anonymously come to you about a situation in which a student is being bullied
- Meet with the parents of the child being bullied and provide them with resources such as groups or therapy to help their child cope