Effectively Reducing Bullying Essay Example
Bullying is a facet of human interaction that presumably has been around since the dawn of humanity. Within all forms of communication between people there can be subtle variances between the opinions, ideals, and actions of others that can lead to differences and disputes between independent parties. To delve further into the contributing factors and impacts of bullying we have to look deeper into the issue than face value. Bullying can occur in almost any form, physical or verbal, even emotional, and this is presented in many ways from the time most people are young.
We can all remember that one child in elementary school who no matter what they did, it seemed they had the world against them, other students might have hit them or harassed them, called them names or made fun of them for disadvantages they had been presented with in life. The purpose of this research paper is to identify forms of bullying and be able to better understand the causes and sources. Bullying is an epidemic, the treatment of bullying runs further than understanding that it is wrongful action, steps must be taken to understand why bullying takes place, and how to effectively reduce it. The positive support of peers through community effort is an effective method in which to minimize bullying.
The beginning is to provide a strong sense of community, and to help enable people to understand the impact of their bullying not only on oneselves but outwardly towards others, and to analyze underlying issues that can cause the power imbalance of bullying and support all peers within your community. As proposed by Mark Van Clay,
“Due to technological innovations, cultural ambiguities, political gridlock and diversified school populations schools now, more than ever need the north star of cultural glue. With it, schools can build from a framework of common expectations and beliefs as the world around it becomes ever more rapid and complex.(Cultural Glue)” The descriptors for the term cultural glue, as proposed by Clay is the ability of a community to overlook or embrace cultural differences and ideologies in order to establish a strong code of morals and outward values.
The purpose of this structure is to enable people to have a core set of values from which they can grow and move forward from harmful practices like bullying, in other words, having and agreeable core set of morals can allow people to live more symbiotically, and rather than do harm they can help to boost each others status. In times now more than ever of cultural and political unrest it is important to be in a suitable, comfortable environment that allows for differences in people to resonate as an opportunity for growth rather than presenting a disadvantage.
Developing a method in which to identify bullying within a community, or system is important to being able to develop better core community values. Some of the precursors to bullying, can stem from issues due to socio-economic status, power, identity issues, and psychological issues. These factors can cause insecurities that can produce adverse effects,
“The bully is regarded as a child who has a bad temper, an angry or bad personality, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), or poor self-esteem; is mean; feels insecure; feels bad; or does not know what to do with all the anger inside. Bullying is then explained as a result of these kinds of personal problems or characteristics in the bully.(Thornberg, 317)”
Why and Where Bullying Takes Place
To take into consideration the conditions in which a bully can be created is a key component to identifying why and where bullying can take place in a specific group of a community. Outbursts due to insecurity, low self-esteem and potentially underlying mental health are contributing factors to the overall risk of bullying. Understanding variances of status within communities also allows for the categorization of potential risk areas within the demographic of students, people, or workers.
“Teachers provided more detailed accounts than did students, especially with regard to the contexts in which bullying arises, such as tolerance and apathy on the part of bystanders, lack or failure of interventions initiated by teachers, or dysfunctional family or school systems. In other words, acts of bullying do not arise solely out of the relationships between bullies and victims, according to the perspectives of teachers; instead, they believe that wider contextual factors (for example family and school systems) should also be considered when examining the reasons behind bullying.”
When faced with bullying, specifically within a school system, issues are presented with more information than the face value of a traditional bully-victim scenario. As a more personal connection is established with the bully typically, background factors like family and environment are taken into account for the actions of a bully. This can allow for the formation of a structure that can be produced through statistical data, showing what groups, ethnicities, genders, and socio-economic statuses can produce the environment in which bully behavioral patterns are at risk to be developed, or more at risk to be received.
How to Reduce Bullying Issues
In order to effectively combat the ever prevalent issue of bullying and toxic behavior in schools, a stronger community and support base needs to be established. This tactic is supported by the idea of “Cultural Glue”. It states that the creation of a code of conduct and ingrained morals in a self sustained community is paramount to the deconstruction of empirical bullying.
“The mobilisation of bystanders, or the silence of the majority witnessing bullying, are key to success. Research has demonstrated that peer witnesses’ responses are crucial to inhibit or fuel bullying. Further, some of the highly effective programmes... rely on enhancing bystanders’ awareness, empathy and self-efficacy to support victimised peers, instead of reinforcing the bullies’ behaviour.”
In order to tackle the issue of widespread bullying, it is important to uncover the underlying sources contributing to the factors of bullying. As well as taking into account pre-existing conditions of bullying, it is important to have a strongly community based effort to effectively prevent it. As written by, , developing a support system of peers that are aware of ongoing bullying, and an understanding of its impacts, allows for a more systematic approach of effectively minimizing bullies. To be able to have a group ideology that goes against the harmful practice of bullying, and actively watches out for and speaks up when someone is being victimized is very important. To properly minimize bullying, it is important actively discourage negative behavior and reinforce positive behavior.
Methods relative to the reduction of bullying based behavioral patterns that have proven to be effective are systems such as KiVA. KiVA is a Finnish organization that provides tactics to combat bullying. Their ideology for prevention of bullying fits the descriptor of this strong community based interaction in order to prevent bullying from expanding past its roots,
“KiVa antibullying program has been conducted during the year 2013-2014. The sample involved 7 primary and secondary experimental schools as well as 6 primary and secondary control schools. Overall, 1,825 students (920 KiVa students; 905 control students) completed the questionnaire at the beginning and at the end of the school year: 876 students were in grade 4 and 949 were in grade 6. Results showed evidence of effectiveness for the program in relation to bullying and victimization behaviors in both primary and secondary schools: in KiVa primary schools, there was a reduction of 52% in victimization and a reduction of 55% in bullying others.”
In trial studies conducted through the KiVA organization, this method of bullying prevention proved to have positively impactful results after only one year. This is applicable to all modes of life, the same idea can be shared in any community that a person is placed in, work environments, school, and society as a whole.
Though bullying is an ever growing epidemic, with impacts that can last farther than the singular event, or repetition of bullying. It is most effective to discourage bullying through positive affirmation of positive action, and disencouragement of negativity. In order to reduce the impact of bullying within a sustained system a support structure to identify and prevent bullying must be instilled within the community members.
Thornberg, R. (2010). Schoolchildren’s social representations on bullying causes. Psychology in the Schools, 47(4), 311–327. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=afh&AN=48453758&site=eds-live&scope=site
Wong, Ching-Tsai, et al. “Multiple Perspectives on the Targets and Causes of School Bullying.” Educational Psychology in Practice, vol. 29, no. 3, Sept. 2013, pp. 278–292. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/02667363.2013.837030.