Bullying is an aggressive behavior amongst school children who use their abilities, such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information or popularity to control and harm others. Over 3.2 million students are victims of bullying each year and 90% of students from 4th to 8th grade have reported being bullied. There is a broad category of bullying, such as verbal, social and physical bullying.
Verbal bullying includes teasing, name-calling, inappropriate comments and threatening to cause harm to the individual being bullied. Social bullying includes excluding others, encouraging others not to be friends with someone, spreading rumors and embarrassing someone in public. Lastly, physical bullying includes the physical harm of an individual. This includes, hitting, punching or kicking, spitting on someone, taking or destroying someone else’s belongings and even making rude hand gestures.
Bullying usually takes place during or after school. Many of the reported cases of bullying take place within the school, but the location varies from neighborhoods, to the school bus or even at the park.
Bullying is viewed as a serious and aggressive behavior seen in children and teenagers. It’s a dangerous act as the children being bullied can reach their tipping point and in extreme cases attempt to commit suicide. Rather than seeing it as a part of growing up, adults need to realize the significance of its negative impact on child development and seriously address this issue. No one should grow up being embarrassed or hurt. Bullying has reached the point where 1 out of 10 victims of bullying drops out of school and 71% of students report incidents of bullying as a problem at their school.
To address bullying in schools, awareness needs to be raised on campuses. Educating students and teachers on how to handle bullying and creating a unified message to stop bullying is necessary. Schools should be encouraged to build a safe environment for students and a culture of acceptance towards everyone.
Written by Maria Evangelopoulos