Bullying is being malicious to others repeatedly and can include teasing, threatening physical harm, spreading rumors, the deliberate exclusion of others, physical attacks, and verbal abuse.
Bullying no longer just takes place in person, for the Internet has opened the door to what is now known as cyberbullying. This type of bullying transpires online, through text messages or via emails. The bully posts rumors on social media sites such as Facebook, shares pictures or videos that are embarrassing to the victim, as well as creates phony profiles or websites all in the hopes of shaming and humiliating the victim.
While the victim is often the main focal point in the bullying cycle, it is important to note that victims are not the only ones to suffer. A bully may also have life-long issues related to bullying.
In addition, bullying behaviors are more apt to continue into adult relationships. Husbands, wives, children, and significant others are at risk of being abused. The strong influence of bullying leaves the bully with the unhealed wounds that caused him or her to bully in the first place.
Moreover, it leaves the victim feeling inadequate, worthless, and fearful. These are all feelings that drive criminal activity and domestic violence (NoBullying.com 2014).
From my observation as a classroom teacher, there is definitely a similarity between a student and their academic achievement when it comes to being a victim of bullying. The victim’s focus moves from being successful academically to focusing on fear, blame, being ashamed and the overwhelming feelings of powerlessness.
Schoolwork suffers when a student begins to worry and only focuses on his or her safety and well-being. To some, coming to school may feel more like going to prison instead of a place of learning. School years should be for learning academically, learning social skills with your friends/peers, and participating in after-school sporting activities.
Please send your questions and comments to getsmartaboutbullying.blogspot.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jacqueline Y. Smart is a middle school teacher and has been employed with the Savannah-Chatham school system since 2000. She is a graduate of California State University and she has earned her Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Cambridge College School of Education. Smart has taught at the elementary, middle, high school and adult levels in inner-city as well as suburban schools. She is the 2017 Teacher of the Year for her school site. Upon entering middle school as a teacher, she noticed that bullying behavior among the sixth-grade girls was out of control. She became passionate about the issue of bullying behavior in schools and this interest led to her dissertation research. Smart has presented several anti-bullying workshops for elementary and middle school students. She is a firm believer that prevention of bullying is the responsibility of every human being.