Growing up we all have teased a friend. But it becomes a big thing when it starts playing on our minds. Bullying is seen in schools. But it has been noted that it is not reported as much as it should be. So, why do teachers ignore bullying? And why do schools downplay bullying?
Chapter 1:Bullying at School
Growing up you must have seen bullying at school. As a child, you might have gone through it yourself. For example, a new kid in school can be an easy target of the other kids in his class. Bullies may endlessly tease a younger kid who might be low on confidence or who has some learning or speech problem.
Do schools downplay bullying?
You would feel that if bullying is such a common issue at school, then the school must be doing something about it. Or do schools just downplay bullying? Are schools and teachers ignoring this issue?
To deal with bullying, some schools have programs and rules that stop or punish bullies. You will see anti-bullying slogans out on the school notice boards. Also, the school might put out the official “no tolerance” statements against bullying. However, these might not be effective in preventing or dealing with the problem.
The general outlook of the school is to focus on academics and a child’s skill development. The school wants to get the best results from its students. They want kids to shine in academic competitions, sports meets, science fairs, and other such events. Success at these events showcases the merits of the school.
However, in the race to be the best and outshine other schools, the focus of the school and the teacher can be only on brighter students and achievers. And the school might downplay or not focus on issues, such as bullying at all. Or it is possible that they just do not know how to deal with such social and psychological issues as bullying.
Chapter 2:Why Do Schools Downplay Bullying?
1. Teachers are too busyTeachers ignore bullying because they are too busy. In many schools, teachers play multiple roles. They not only teach their subjects but have added administrative responsibilities. Also, they may be head or in charge of certain activities or groups at school. When you consider all these roles, you can imagine that the teacher’s day is packed. They might barely get any time to do anything else. They may be struggling to keep up with these duties. Additionally, they too are under tremendous pressure to meet deadlines. So, if you look at all these issues, then you can conclude that someone who is so overwhelmed with their work might not have the time to get into things that are not these duties. Hence, a teacher might feel that there is something wrong with a kid. Also, he/she might be a witness to an incident but they do not take it up.
2. Teachers do not know about bullyingAnother reason why a teacher might ignore bullying is that they do not know that bullying is happening in the class. Schools downplay bullying because they may be ignorant about it. The kids who bully others do not act in that manner in public. They do not bully someone in class when the teacher is present. They can be smart about when to bully. Also, the kids who are bullied are scared. They have low self-confidence and might be afraid of the bully. So, they may not speak up about such issues. So, overall there is a lack of awareness that bullying exists in their school for the teachers, administrators, parents, and staff. And if you do not know about something how will you fix it!
3. Teachers are not sure what to doAt times, the teacher might see that a kid is teasing another kid and the teasing is really bad. The kid who is being teased is very disturbed by this. The kid who is a bully has no shame or regret for his actions. However, teachers would still ignore this bullying. Why so? Because she/he does not know what to do about it! Teachers are not trained to handle such situations. They may be ignorant about many aspects of bullying
- they may not be able to identify that this is bullying
- if it is, then they might not know how to control or stop it
- they may be unaware of the effects of bullying
- they might not know what the rules and procedures are to report bullying