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Bullying has been a problem in schools for a very long time. Bullying affects everyone- the one who is bullied, the one who is the bully and the ones who witness bullying. Also, it can traumatise students in many ways. It is sad, that school authorities do not take many actions on this matter. In fact, a lot of students are quitting school and prefer homeschooling. Therefore, there is no doubt that bullying can affect children. Have you ever thought about why school is not doing anything about bullying? Before getting into that, let us understand what bullying is and its effects on children
What Is Bullying?
Bullying is an aggressive and harmful behaviour among school children that is a result of perceived or real power imbalance. Bullying is repeated behaviour. Therefore, it has long-lasting effects on the one who experiences bullying and the one who bullies others.
Children Who Are BulliedThese children can have long-lasting impacts on their lives. Further, children who are victims of bullying are most likely to experience:
- Anxiety, feelings of loneliness and sadness, depression, changes in eating patterns, low self esteem and self confidence.
- They have may have other health complaints
- They maybe unable to perform well in school- grades start to drop, they wish to not go to school or even sometimes they drop out of school.
Children Who Are BulliesThese children who bully others can engage in risky and violent behaviour into adulthood. Children who bully others are most likely to:
- Abuse Alcohol and other substances during adoloscence and adulthood.
- Engage in fights and drop out from school
- Have involement of criminal activities
- Engage in risky sexual activities
- Abusive to their romantic partner, children, spouses etc in the future as adults
Hence, the effects of bullying are very distressing. Moreover, these children are more likely to have troubled adolescence and adulthood. In spite of school authorities being aware of this, it is unfortunate that schools don’t take action to address and tackle bullying in their schools. Surely, there maybe be reasons why schools are not acting upon this issue effectively. Hence, let us look at the reason why schools don’t do anything about bullying.
4 Reasons Schools Don’t Do Anything about Bullying
There are numerous reasons why the administration or teacher might ignore a bullying complaint raised by a student. Here are some reasons why they do not want to act upon this matter.
Teachers Have Many ResponsibiltiesTeachers have very busy schedules. They have so many responsibilities. The administrators put a lot of work on teachers. Similarly, teachers are finding it hard to meet their daily responsibilities and duties. Therefore, when a child comes up with a bullying complaint, teachers do have time or even energy to deal with the situation. While it is true that this is not a valid reason why teachers remain silent in such situations. Teachers should take such matters seriously. Children seek support and comfort from teachers. Children feel unheard when they see their own teachers do not act on bullying. Further, makes the child feel hurt and lonely.
Educators Dont Pay Attention to What Happens Outside the ClassroomsMost often bullying happens outside classrooms. In fact, bullying usually takes place in different settings that educators may not pay attention to. Hot spots such as hallways, common rooms, canteens and even on buses. As a result, educators tend to only focus inside the classrooms. They must be more mindful of the students’ lives on campus. Teachers are not only responsible for a child’s academic development. In fact, teachers should pay attention to the emotional, social and environmental aspects of the child. They should take on a holistic approach to educators.
In fact, bullies exactly know where the adults and teachers will be present. For the same reason, bullying can often go unnoticed by adults. However, the teachers who put the effort to connect to their students will be able to see what is happening outside classrooms.
Teachers Dont Have Support to Address BullyingThe reality is that some teachers want to address bullying but do not have the support from authorities to make it effective. This happens very often. In fact, teachers send the student to the office when there is bullying only to have them sent back. Hence, no proper measures are taken for bullying. What is most surprising is that most schools do not have proper functioning prevention programs against bullying. In spite of all these years of children suffering. It is very unfortunate that serious measures have not been taken up by school authorities. It is difficult for a single teacher to bring this matter to importance. Moreover, it is even more difficult when the other teachers and the administrators are not on the same page. Therefore, for successfully preventing bullying there is a requirement of a team in every school to act on it.
Educators Have Misconceptions about BullyingOf course, there is better outreach about bullying in schools compared to before. But, there are some educators who have to believe bullying is good for the child in the future. This is such a misconception that some teachers and educators have. They believe that bullying toughens them up and makes them strong. If you think about this, there is no logic to it. Bullying is a terrible thing and has negative effects on the child. Hence, it should not be taken lightly. It leaves children with deep scars resulting in self-esteem and self-confidence issues into adulthood. Therefore, it is untrue that bullying has positive impacts on the child in the future. In fact, bullying can only have negative impacts.
Have you wondered what you can do for your child who might be getting bullied? Bullying can affect many aspects of your child’s life. Here are a few things you can do for your child in such a situation:
5 Steps to Take If Your Child Is Getting Bullied
Love and Care for Your ChildBefore anything else, you need to care for your child and his/her needs. It is important for kids to know their parents are going to be there for them. Parents need to put their best effort to be there for their children. Just listening to your child or even spending time with them can do more good than you can imagine. In doing so, children often feel like they can talk about bullying to their parents. When you start showing that you care for your child’s feelings, this encourages your child to tell you the whole story.
Get to Know What is Actually HappeningThis step can be hard, but it is a very important step. Ask your child in a very gentle tone, if anybody in school is doing anything or saying that makes them embarrassed, upset or uncomfortable. Try to use open-ended questions which will encourage your child to tell you the truth. The moment you know something is not right, don’t shy away from asking specific questions such as ” Are you receiving hateful comments from social media? Do you know who they are? Since how long?
Next is to reach out to people who can make this evidence solid. Once you get to know all the basic details about who, what and when. Find documents that can show that your child is being bullied. It could be printouts of emails exchanged or screenshots of social media as well as voice notes.
Report the Bullying and Monitor the Schools ResponseIf the bullying was happening in the classroom, you may want to address it with the teacher. If it occurs outside classrooms, it is better to directly address it to the principal. Ask the school staff if they know about the bullying. During the meeting, share the documents and disclose your child full story. Also, ask what measures the school is going to take up and when.
Make sure you are monitoring the school’s response and actions. If you see bullying continuing, make it a point to report these new incidents to the school and ask them what will they do to address them. Always remember to care for your child and comfort them during this time.
Take it to the Higher Authorities, Get Legal HelpIf the school has not taken up any call for action, then it is best you take it up to the higher authorities. Share all the facts, the meetings attended with school etc. Ask them for help to end bullying. If bullying still persists, contact a lawyer. This way you can get justice for your child.
At Espychonline we have a series of self-help courses including ” Low Self Esteem” that can help you improve and find ways to build your self-esteem. Please visit the Courses page to find more about it. You may also find it interesting to read up a bit more on “How to Stop Bullying and Identify Different Types of Bullying” to have a broader understanding of bullying.