Wednesday, July 10, 2019

How to Deal with Bullying

There was a tragic death of 12 year old Shukri Yahya Abdi, a Somali refugee who came to the UK alongside her mother and siblings for a better quality of life and safety and instead was a victim of bullying at the Broad oak High School, Bury, Greater Manchester, a town (formerly in Lancashire).,where potential failures to protect this student by staff may have inadvertently led to her death last week. The girl seems to have made various complaints about bullying to the school, however, the complaint was overlooked by the school authority. The child was helpless and thus took her life. There is a petition on ( which promotes reform of the schooling system, so incidence like this won’t happen again to any other student.
This is a case which happened in the United Kingdom. However, in the United States there are also cases of bullying which takes place in schools. There are preventive measures taken by Schools. But the bullying does exist.
According to the U.S. Department of Education’s national survey of student safety in secondary schools, 16 percent of all students reported being the subject of rumors, and 5 percent reported being excluded from activities on purpose within the past school year. Approximately 4 percent of students reported being the targets of cyberbullying, including acts intended to damage social relationships or status. Specifically, 2 percent reported that hurtful information had been posted about them online, and 9 percent reported that they had been deliberately excluded from online activities (Nieman, 2011).

What is Bullying?

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

Bullies are like pack of hyenas they may not attack individually; they may always run in packs. One person will start and others will follow that person blindly. They just want to be seen as part of the dominant group; they will follow the dominant leader and do as their leader says.

Types of Bullying
There are five types of bullying:

1. Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:
  • Teasing
  • Name-calling
  • Inappropriate sexual comments
  • Taunting
  • Threatening to cause harm

2. Social Bullying: Research and school-based prevention practices have generally focused on the more visible and widely recognized forms of physical and verbal bullying. However, as public understanding of youth bullying behavior continues to evolve, definitions have been expanded to recognize social bullying as an important form of youth aggression.
Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:
  • Leaving someone out on purpose
  • Telling other children not to be friends with someone.
  • Spreading rumors about someone
  • Embarrassing someone in public
3. Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
  • Hitting/kicking/pinching
  • Spitting
  • Tripping/pushing
  • Taking or breaking someone’s things
  • Making mean or rude hand gestures.
 4. Cyberbullying: With growing technology like Instagram, snapchats, Facebook etc. teens have engaged themselves in communicating through these sources. Most teens have become addicted to technology. They have created their own world around these technology.
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.
The most common places where cyberbullying occurs are:
• Social Media, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter
• SMS (Short Message Service) also known as Text Message sent through devices
• Instant Message (via devices, email provider services, apps, and social media messaging features)
• Email

5. Sexual bullying/Harassment:
 Just like other kinds of bullying, sexual harassment can involve comments, gestures, actions, or attention that is intended to hurt, offend, or intimidate another person. The bully can pass comments on person’s appearance, body parts, sexual orientation, or sexual activity. The harasser can verbally abuse the person or use technology to harass him/her sexually. For example, by sending inappropriate text messages, pictures, or videos. Sometimes, a bully can try to take sexual advances too. Sexual harassment happens usually in teens. 

Where and When Bullying Happens:
Bullying can occur during or after school hours. While most reported bullying happens in the school building, a significant percentage also happens in places like on the playground or the bus. It can also happen travelling to or from school, in the youth’s neighborhood, or on the Internet.

A child is being bullied in school.
Contact the:
1. Teacher
2. School counselor
3. School principal
4. School superintendent
• School superintendent
• State Department of Education
• U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights
U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
State Department of Education

Someone is feeling hopeless, helpless, thinking of suicide.So
Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline  online or at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
The toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in our national network. These centers provide 24-hour crisis counseling and mental health referrals.

What Can I Do?
There are many things that you can do if you're being bullied or know someone who is. You can:
• Talk to your parents immediately once you are been bullied. Speak to your teachers, school counselors. Parents should see to it that they address the issue as soon as possible. Always email the teachers and school principal about the incident so you have the complain documented. School would also take action immediately when they have an email in hand. If not you can escalate the matter further.  

• I know it is difficult but you can always try ignoring the bullies by walking in front of them as if nothing happened, just ignore them completely. Do not respond to their comments.
• As I said earlier, bullies are like hyenas they work in packs, and you are all alone so don’t try to go to them when they are in group.  Just try to stay away and ignore them. But, let me tell you that you are the Lion, so do not fear these hyenas. They are not strong enough so bullying is their way of releasing all negative energy/emotions. Do not feel bad but put a brave face and move on.
• Talk to your school counselor or teacher, and Parents. They would definitely give you support and address the issue.
Schools and classrooms must offer students a safe learning environment. Teachers and coaches need to explicitly remind students that bullying is not accepted in school and such behaviors will have consequences. Creating an anti-bullying document and having both the student and the parents/guardians sign and return it to the school office helps students understand the seriousness of bullying.

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