Bullying in schools continues to be a problem faced by educational institutions today. It corresponds to the ability of both students and educators to use their power and capacity to intimidate and coerce others to follow their desires. Such realities then present negative consequences not only to the student but also to the overall capacity of the institution to facilitate opportunities for learning and growth. By seeking to identify the corresponding impact and risks associated with bullying, stakeholders in the realm of education can provide inputs and new strategies that can help promote change and pursue effective classroom management.
Defining Bullying Analysing the definition of bullying, it is then crucial to determine its main scope and purpose. Here, it can be seen that using aggression, coercion, and violence are oftentimes the themes used by individuals to create situations of intimidation or torment. Under these specific circumstances, various reasons can be attributed to why people engage in bullying behaviour. Some scholars argue on the grounds of satisfying the need for control or power while some are just responding to the environment they see (Banks, 1997).
Due to this, it is then crucial to understand these reasons more effectively to better identify policies and elements related towards change. Similarly, the idea of bullying also emanates from how one exercises influence and power over the other. Given that students who engage in such actions arguably have equal power than any other student in campus, the issue then here is their ability to abuse it due to specific circumstances. To elaborate further, “individuals differ in the power they can exercise over others and children need to learn not to abuse that power” (Rigby, 2003, p.
6). However, one must not try to align bullying with conflict between parties. This is because the idea here is that in bullying one exercises/has power over the other while in conflict both parties equally share an issue to argue about. It is through such interaction process that the playing field is levelled and therefore should not be mistaken for bullying. In essence, bullying does happen when students resort to misuse of their power, control, and influence towards others.
Individuals commit to such actions because they believe they can while victims continue to be subjected to bullying because they continue to succumb to it (Findely, 2006). After looking at the definition of bullying, it is now crucial to identify specific ways on how such behaviour is carried out. Specifically, the main objective of any bullying behaviour is to have a specific target where individuals can utilize power and control over others. These actions can revolve from verbal abuse towards physical violence in small and frequent doses (Smith, 1999).
Given the multiple ways that people can engage using verbal and physical bullying, it becomes rather difficult for educators and school administrators to point these issues accordingly unless students report such situations. What Australian Statistics Say Applying the elements of bullying in the educational system of Australia, it can be seen that considerable attention must be made to bridge gaps and develop strategies for change. In particular, several studies have noted the prevalence of the behaviour as early as preschool and continue to grow as the student progresses in his/her academic life.
In particular, Rigby (2003) asserts that “assessing how often it happens is not easy, but research in Australia based on children’s reports suggests that about one child is bullied in one way or at least weekly” (p. 6). Similarly, statistics have also shown that both boys and girls do engage in bullying but illustrated using different means. For boys, they are most likely to commit physical actions and verbal abuse. On the other hand, girls tend to be more indirect and focus on ostracizing or excluding the individual from the rest of the group (Smith, 1999).
This incidence greatly shows how each student is vulnerable to such threats and what different school administrators in Australia should focus on. By trying to point out and define the standards for appropriate behaviour, then the problem of bullying might be lessened. Identifying Reasons Looking closely at specific at the reasons why people engage into bullying behaviour, it can be seen that there are specific trends that illustrate behavioural and psychological conditions which hamper their ability to effectively respond according to school standards.
On the behavioural perspective, different studies have argued that the main catalyst for students to practice bullying is their early exposure towards violence. They see their homes and environment they live as the norm and standard on how they should act and respond to others (Findley, 2006). Related to this process is the manner that educators showcase the bullying action themselves. Here, the practice of teacher violence emanates, either directly or indirectly, creates a mindset for students that the actions committed are valid (Riley, Lewis, and Brew, 2009).
Through this, educators also serve as catalyst in expanding bullying due to their ability to influence and showcase a reality where one get what he/she wants provided that they coerce or overpower others to follow. On the other hand, there are also studies that tend to establish a psychological analysis of how bullying behaviour occurs. Specifically, it tries to argue how some children may have been suffering from conditions such as depression, ADD, or ADHD and brings about violent conduct towards other people (Ribgy, 2003).
These dynamics in turn hinder the ability of a student to fully utilize their abilities and find it fearful to engage in classroom activities. Impact among bullied students Assessing the impact of bullying among students who have been subjected to it, it can be seen that these actions impede their ability to grow. In particular, students who have been subjected to such continuous behaviour often lose the ability and interest to study in schools (Banks, 1997). They see the location as threat and limit their ability to establish better means to coexist with their peers.
In essence, this is one form of harassment that degrades the value of the individual and alienates them from participating in the educational endeavour and socialization (Findley, 2006). Looking closely at the specific effects of bullying, it can be seen that they revolve around the emotional as well as social levels. Particularly, students who been subjected to such harassment often lose their self-esteem and ability to isolate themselves from people at school (Smith, 1999). Since bullying may in turn correspond to a domino effect, the loss of self-esteem can lead towards the student feeling depressed and lonely.
This in turn can result towards having limited motivation to go to school or engage in frequent absences (Findley, 2006). These elements are just examples of the short term effects of bullying. On the other hand, bullying can also induce negative effects in the long run. Here, an individual’s feeling of self-worth would be low and would result to accepting inadequacy as answer to this problem. Likewise, one would continue to isolate and feel powerless as they continue to tread their professional life. In addition, depression and psychological problems may also be present among students who have been bullied.
More often than not, students who have been subjected to bullying behaviour have problems handling issues as they move towards their adult life (Rigby, 2003). Impact among those who Bully Analysing the impact of those who bully others, it can be seen that their actions correspond to the creation of uncertainty and insecurity within the school grounds. This especially applies for students who have not been subjected to such acts. Here, they feel that they can become victimized and create fear in the process (Rigby, 2003).
These directions in turn serve to establish a bully’s ability to control the environment he/she is in. Another impact relevant effect of bullying revolves around creating opportunities for more bullies and continued disruptive behaviour. Given the idea that students do not tell teachers and administrators of what is going on in school, students feel they are powerful and can control the people around them. This then gives them the luxury to persist in abusing their power and likewise create opportunities to also influence others as well.
With this environment, bullies are given the leverage to exercise what they want with limited possibility of being penalized or subjected to disciplinary measures. In the long run, bullies also are a problem for society if not addressed appropriately. Here, they can commit crime and limit their ability to engage in long term positive relationships towards other people. The threat then of criminal conviction alongside the development of specific problems on handling conflict issues with others are just some of the problems that bullies can experience in the future.
Identifying Potential Risks of Bullying Student/Individual In determining the risks of bullying among students, it is important to note that since they are the ones who either engage in such behaviour or recipients of it, students are the most prone to experience the hurdle of responding and aligning their behaviour to survive such. That is why different effects, both emotionally and socially, can be seen among students and generates problems as it then relates with other potential risks such as academic achievement, teachers, and parents.
Given the dynamics related to this approach, it is then essential to redefine programs that are focused on both victims of bullying and those who commit such acts. Academic Achievement Bullying also poses a risk in a student’s academic achievement. This remains to be seen especially among students who have been subject to continuous bullying and resulted to lack of motivation to go to school or partake in activities. Since some of these areas are important variables to get a good mark, academic achievement is comprised and sacrificed (Rigby, 2003).
In particular, the ability to meet these standards becomes burdensome for students because they had to set the balance of adapting to bullies and the stress related to fulfilling the requirements of their subjects. Likewise, academic achievement is also at risk for bullies also because it gives them the leverage to abuse their power and gain opportunities to coerce people to follow their lead. Given that bullies have this ability, they can then ask others to do their assignment and submit specific projects or otherwise be beaten up.
This then defeats the purpose of the educational process as bullies don’t learn anything and the bulk of the workload is provided to bullied students. Overall, bullying becomes a risk for academic achievement because it hinders students the ability to concentrate on their studies. Though the socialization process also is a significant precept in one’s academic life, the instance of bullying complicates the problem and leaves students the capacity to balance each of these tasks according to how they see it fit.
Such reactions in turn limit students to reach their full potential and hamper their abilities to utilize their skills in academic activities (Smith, 1999). Parents and Intervention Parental intervention is also another risk that bullying creates. Under this process, parents are often clueless of what is happening to their children. Expecting that they do well in school, it can tarnish a child’s relationship with their parents especially if a student tells their parent’s they don’t want to go to school anymore or learns from their teachers that their child often absents.
The basic assumption here is that since parents can exercise control, bullying hampers effective communication among parents because students feel that this can only worsen the issue they’re facing. Here, Banks (1997) point out, “students feel that adult intervention is infrequent and ineffective, and that telling adults will only bring more harassment from bullies” (p. 1). Likewise, if bullying transpires within a student-teacher relationship, then it is also another difficult aspect for students to balance.
Allowing their parents to intervene would only result towards educators putting the blame on students or become intimidated further in class. The aspect then of defining misbehavior and what is the boundary between the process of ‘disciplining’ and bullying becomes an issue to consider (Lewis, Romi, Katz, and Qui, 2008). Similarly, since students find it difficult to establish and determine these boundaries accordingly, they are often left succumbing to intimidation, coercion or at times reprimand that crosses the line of how discipline should be provided.
Indeed, it has always been the interests of parents to see to it that their child gets the most out of school. However, bullying impedes these expectations and at the same time serves as a barrier for students to communicate to their parents effectively. By understanding the dynamics related to the role of the parents in this issue, better means for intervention can be made available for students to use (Lewis, 2001). Teachers and Administrators Lastly, the prevalence of bullying within schools also becomes a risk among educators and administrators because it illustrates their inability to control the issue.
Since both actors are valuable stakeholders in the maintenance of an effective learning environment among students, the increased incidence of bullying in schools makes them accountable to these children’s parents. Likewise, both educators and administrators need to realize that their role encompasses the insides of the classroom. They must see to it that the school environment is responsive to students need and assesses potential risks and providing solutions to these issues (Lewis and McCann, 2009).
Applying this precept in the realm of student-teacher relationship, bullying also poses a risk among teachers and administrators because the incidence of such behaviour violates their roles and responsibilities within the classroom. Given that there are certain parameters that educators can use to discipline students, it must not cross the line and induce traces of intimidation, coercive action, or physical violence among students (Lewis, Romi, Qui, Katz, 2005).
Seeing this, bullying makes a difficult process to develop since establishing a proper means to discipline and sanction students for misbehaviour would appear to be compromised or construed in a different way. Opening up Opportunities for Change Given the potential risks and effects that bullying does, it is then crucial to devise specific measures that can infuse changes and increase responsibility among actors involved. Here, it takes into account the role of each stakeholder in the educational process and finds means to integrate ideas and inputs to generate a facilitative response to the issue.
That is why change must not come from the educational sector alone, rather it must try to reach out and allow parents, students, and the community to get involved. The purpose of this not mainly revolves around limiting the occurrence of bullying in classrooms but also generate an appropriate response on how to prepare students to effectively respond to democratic ideals and values (Lewis, 1999). Evaluation, Experience, and Education The first step in establishing providing change revolves around evaluating the current school environment.
Here, educators and administrators may need to ask whether or not bullying is rampant on campus or not. Here, it is important to note that the ability to apply real change in the process involves not disregarding the realities that are happening and simply seek out to know the truth (Smith, 1999). Through such mindset, administrators can have a clear picture of what is happening in the school environment and understand the dynamics related to how students interact and respond to the issue of bullying. The next stage involves gathering experiences from students and observing what really happened.
Through this, administrators can then realize how rampant the situation is and what possible strategies can be used to alleviate the issue. Seeing this, experiences matter in resolving the issue because it helps observers learn from it and gain specific insights on how to respond accordingly (Findley, 2006). Likewise, experiences also highlight the shortcomings and mistakes of the school in how they had addressed the bullying issue before. In essence, these facets can serve as useful tenets that administrators can use to define and plan out the next strategies to be used (Banks, 1997).
The last part revolves around education. Under this process, administrators now provides specific inputs on what needs to be done and lays it out for educators to apply and use. Here, specific importance is given towards communicating to stakeholders about the issue that is happening, its gravity, and how it is affecting students from academics to their personal life. This remains to be important because this serves as the crucial precept in determining what actions need to be made and how different actors would respond in accordance to the issue of bullying.
Likewise, education seeks to bridge inputs and policies together. This stage serves as the application phase where behaviour is patterned according to the observations and inputs gained from experience. By synchronising these inputs altogether, it helps create a dynamic process and further the ability of promoting sustainable and long term growth (Rigby, 2003). Diversifying the Anti-Bullying Campaign Given the inputs gained from experience and observation, the next step to address bullying would be to create an Ant-Bullying campaign in schools.
Here, it must entail a collaboration of actors involved in the educational process and establish specific norms and responses in addressing specific cases. If an educational institution already has particular rules concerning bullying, it would be best to diversify options available. To diversify means that the scope, application, and analysis of cases must come from different actors. The purpose of this is to enrich communication patterns among stakeholders and generate new inputs on how bullying can be addressed within and outside the classroom (Rigby, 2003).
The attempt to diversify must also seek to promote the aspect of inclusion. This means that decision making processes must not come from the school administration alone. Rather, it must try to include and introduce this principle to the community and parents. This is particularly relevant because it can showcase transcendence and capacity to align specific policies and behavioural changes according to the values and principles provided by the school (Banks, 1997). This then can become a good strategy for success because it merges common interests altogether and justifies what inputs need to be considered and applied.
In essence, diversification entails creating a shared responsibility among actors involved in the educational process. The ability to include parents and the community within the dynamics of change, it can create better responses among students. This process can also serve to complement an educator and administrator’s increasing tasks by providing an assistive strategy related to implementation of educational goals and objectives (Findley, 2006). Opening Patterns for Communication Another crucial step to address bullying revolves around the process of infusing communication among students.
The idea here is to develop the ability to track down cases of bullying and providing appropriate disciplinary measures to culprits and protection amongst victims. Here, educators, parents, and the community must work hand-in-hand to ensure that appropriate means are created to open lines of communication among students regardless of the possibility of threats from bullies (Smith, 1999). The value of communication then is to help ascertain the degree of bullying happening in school and determine what actions need to be made in order to accomplish these directives. Strengthening Disciplinary and Protection Measures
Alongside the development of openness in communication patterns, educators and administrators should also contribute their part in providing concrete and available means to exercise disciplinary and assistive measures for bullying. The main reason why many students don’t complain about this issue is the fear of retaliation and the ability to distrust how the overall process works (Banks, 1997). Due to this, the capacity to strengthen strategies and instruments related to the process discipline can then motivate students to take part in the initiative to stand up against bullying.
At the same time, inducing means for protection and counselling would also complement the ability to limit the occurrence of bullying. By providing specific and goal-oriented strategies, educators and administrators can align behaviour according to the needs of a student. Allowing students to take part in this endeavour also justifies that the school administration is committed in putting an end to bullying rather than just trying to control. Thus, redefining the rules and regulations to meet these requirements can induce positive outcomes and carry out means to shape students for the better (Lewis, 1999).
Reinforcing Accountability and Responsibility among Educators Given the idea that bullying can also transpire in a student-teacher relationship, it also crucial to reinforce accountability and responsibility among educators. Here, it revolves around facilitating the value of openness and professionalism of practice. Under this process, specific rules can be modified and changed to adapt to the trends of 21st century education. By doing this process, it can allow educators to become more responsive and address the increasing needs of students in the classroom.
Arguing further on the need to redefine rules, it is also crucial for administrators to take into consideration defining the boundaries of what the aspect of ‘discipline’ and bullying diverge. Since educators can also be subjected to stress, pressure, and emotional conditions that distracts them from achieving their purpose, it is then essential to outline specific strategies that can help handle misbehaviour and occurrences of bullying inside the classroom.
By redefining and aligning these principles with respect to educational norms and the needs of educators, the idea of reinforcing discipline and sanctions would become constructive and induce better means for addressing student behaviour (Lewis, Romi, Qui, and Katz, 2005). In essence, the increasing roles and responsibilities sometimes limit the educator to function to his/her optimum capacity. By trying to align and create changes in the way educators operate, it can help induce greater means for educators to effectively facilitate classroom management and diversify opportunities to address bullying.
Conclusion To conclude, bullying is a huge issue in classroom management that educators and other relevant stakeholders need to consider. This is because it takes into account the ability of both educator and student to use their power and position to promote intimidation and coercion to other people. Similarly, it creates negative consequences on the bully and those bullied in terms of their ability to respond to the environment, motivation, to study, and other behavioural long term effects. Bullying also creates risks on different facets shaping learning and professional development among educators.
Given these challenges, it is then crucial to outline policies for change. It is important to note that the ability to transcend in this type of environment inside and outside the classroom corresponds to the recognition and redefinition of student behaviour. At the same time, it must also try to incorporate openness in communication and value inputs gained from experiences in the past. Fundamentally, the basis for managing and preventing bullying from happening circumvents from the recognition of each member’s role and aligning these ideas within policies and rules.
In the end, as the current educational system continues to undergo changes that affects the role of students, educators, administrators, and other stakeholders, classroom management issues such as bullying would always be existent. The challenge then is to ensure that appropriate mechanisms are in place to address the situation and effectively carry out patterns to make appropriate changes and models suitable to meet the demands of today’s 21st century educational environment.
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