The issue of school bullying is a problem for many countries worldwide even at the present time. Every student, both young and old, will definitely have an experience of being bullied or stories of people they know who have been bullied. Referring to the recent case of bullying reported in Singapore, all parties needs to work hand in hand to weed out bullies in school.
Unfortunately, there are teachers and parents alike are unable to understand why it is essential to deal with school bullying and what impacts it has on their children. Many adults may brush off bullying as a form of social rough play which can be dangerous and leave lasting impact on the child.
The Impact on Victims
Several studies have already been done to showcase the impact of bullying on their victims in both genders. Physical bullying is often the most common form of school bullying on male students, while female students are subjected to psychological bullying.
Here are some of the impacts of bullying on their victims:
Unable to Focus
Victims of bullying are unable to focus on their studies because they fear what their bullies will do with them if they suddenly do well in school or do something to their looks or academic performance. This causes undue stress in them as shown in these signs and symptoms.
Skip School to avoid abuse
If the abuse happens every day and it is becoming severe, some victims will do their best to skip school to avoid their bullies. Because of this, their attendance rate is affected and unable to attend their classes.
Unable to do normal activities
As victims are focused on trying to escape their bullies, they won’t be able to focus on their normal activities in the fear their bullies will suddenly appear out of nowhere. They will also be self-aware of their performance because their bullies may use it as a reason to harass them further.
Loss of appetite & sleep
Some victims may show signs of loss of appetite and sleep because of bullying. Some of them will be unable to eat because they associate eating time to be the time their bullies come to get their money or food, while their sleep is affected because all they can think about is their experience.
Grades begin to slip
Since they are unable to focus, go to school and even do their normal activities, their grades will definitely drop. Some bullies may target the victim because of their academic performance so the victim will definitely drop their performance so their bullies won’t attach them.
Every individual counts when tackling bullying
There are many ways to deal with bullying, but if we want it stopped, all the people involved must contribute to the campaign.
Victims can do a proactive response to bullying
Victims of bullying are targeted by bullies for a variety of reasons – from their physical appearance, personal characteristics to their academic performance.
A good way to respond to bullying if one is a victim of one is by reaching out to their peers, parents, teachers and other adults who can teach them how to deal with bullying.
Some of the things they can do to protect themselves include avoiding situations when they are wide open for attack, being sociable, learning to become self-confident and be encouraged to report and recognise any bullying they see or experience.
Nobody wants to be a bully
If one looks into the reason why bullies become bullies, you will notice that they are also insecure like the victims they pick. For them, bullying is a way for them to get control over their lives after several bad things have happened to them such as their parents getting divorced or a family member passing away. The bully may be suffering in silence.
If we want to stop bullying, it is crucial we find out why bullies are acting in a certain way and help them cope and learn how to change their behaviour. Without doing this, it is possible that the bullying will happen again and they won’t be able to stop.
Bystander Is Powerful
Bullies often see bystanders as fuel to their actions because they know they are too afraid to stop them. However, they are also the ones who can stop these bullies from their actions.
It is crucial that we teach students who may end up seeing bullying around them to have compassion and courage and needed to be proactive in helping the fight against bullying.
Bystanders should also understand that they are also responsible in stopping bullying when they see it happening. If they don’t do anything, they are actually encouraging more bullying from happening. If they think they can’t stop what is going on, they should act immediately and report it to those who can.
Teachers are responsible
It is the teachers who are responsible in creating a safe environment for students and make them feel welcome.
If students are confident that they are safe from bullies in the classroom or in school, they will be confident to report bullying. Teachers must take it upon themselves to be familiar with the school’s policies on bullying and know what are the necessary actions to stop it.
Teachers must also be consistent in their actions against bullying and be aware of what is happening to their students. They must immediately act if they see any bullying behaviour in the classroom or in the school. They must also reach out to parents and counsellors to help understand why bullies are like this and intervene in changing their behaviour likehow we shown here.
Parents are responsible too
Finally, parents must also be responsible for the behaviour of their children.
Although it is a parent’s instinct to protect our children’s side, it is important that they recognise the warning signs that they are acting out against the things they teach.
Parents should have open communication with their children so that they can talk about things that are bothering them and find ways to help them become more confident and help others. They must also work alongside teachers to address the effects of bullying holistically.
Bullying is an issue that can easily be resolved if we can immediately act upon it. It is important that everyone works together to build a working approach to deal with bullying. If we are unable to do so, the cycle will continue and destroy the lives of not just its victims, but also the lives of bullies who could have been helped if teachers and parents reached out to help them.
Here are some more articles on bullying: