Bullying can be defined as aggressive behavior that takes into account unwanted and negative actions toward another person or group of people. It is a situation whereby people repeatedly and intentionally use actions or words against others with an aim of causing distress and risks to them. Bullying is mostly evident when there is an imbalance of power among individuals.
For instance, powerful or influential people are said to practice or bully other learners (Olweus, 1993, p. 20). In addition to this, those in power tend to bully others with an aim of making them feel less powerful. Bullying is totally different from conflict though it has been evident that some people bully others because of conflict. The purpose of this study is to explore bullying as it applies in the learning institutions such as schools (Olweus, 1993, p. 45).
There are three different types of bullying namely face-to-face bullying, covert bullying and cyber bullying. Despite their differences, the results are the same that is distress and pain to the people being bullied. Face-to-face bullying is an interesting area of study because it clearly demonstrates bullying in school (Espelage & Swearer 2004, p. 71).
Students tend to think that bullying is harmless by considering it as a part of life or growth for juniors to experience. In contrary, bullying is harmful because it can result to physical harm, loneliness, insecurity and unhappiness to students being bullied. Face-to-face bullying involves actions such as kicking or punching, insulting and name-calling (Smith, Pepler &Rigby, 2004, p. 57).
Historical roots of bullying
Students consider bullying as a school culture even though it is contrary to the school rules and regulations of schools. From historical point of view, bullying is often associated with senior students who perceive themselves as being more powerful than juniors.
In regard to this, new comers or first year students are the victim of bullying (McGrath, 2006, p. 23). It has been noted that bullying gains its historical roots from the discipline of the school. This is to mean that the origin of bullying could be traced back to the history of the school based on the aspect of discipline.
In schools whereby discipline is lacking, there are high levels of bullying among students because there are no active rules that can hinder them from bullying each other (Van- Krieken, Habibis, Smith, et al, 2010, p. 34). However, it was further noted that students bully each other because they have been bullied before meaning that they bully others as way of revenge of what happened to them (Rigby, 2007, p. 61).
Research and Statistical Reports on Bullying In Schools
Through a review of several researches conducted in the U.S. based on bullying in public school it was evident that eighty percent (80%) of public school experience some incidence of bullying among the students for instance, public schools with students of different or varying races such as the black American and the whites (Rigby, 2007, p. 36). In such schools, segregation of students by race is highly witness with white students bullying black American students because of ethnicity background (Beane, 2010, p. 25).
Nearly in every school there is a certain level of bullying because bullying is perceived as a school culture whereby students nickname each other, insult, and punch or kick each other. Statistically, in every 100 fresher’s, at least twenty percent are bullied by senior students. Second year students are said to practice bullying more often than any other students because they tend to think that first years are powerless students in school.
The research findings indicated that schools with high levels of bullying experiences low levels of academic performance among the students. For instance, according to Beane (2010), 90% of bullied students attain poor grades in school because their concentration is interfered with by bullies (Beane, 2010, p. 43).
Bullying in schools is highly associated with the level of discipline practiced in schools meaning that schools with low levels of disciplines provides fertile grounds for aggressive behaviors leading to incidences of bullying. As mentioned within the context of the study, bullying is applicable in every public school in varying levels of implications.
Africa- American students are prone to bullying by the whites students in America public schools. Bullying can only be eliminated if discipline is given a place to play in school but it is quite difficult to clear or do away with bullying in its totality because it is perceived by students as a school culture.
Beane, A. L. (2010). Bullying prevention for schools: A step-by-step guide to implementing a successful anti-bullying program. New Jersey, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.
Espelage, L. D. & Swearer, M. (2004).Bullying in American schools: A social-ecological perspective on prevention and intervention. New York, NY: Routledge.
McGrath, M. J. (2006).School bullying: Tools for avoiding harm and liability. London: Corwin Press.
Olweus, D. (1993).Bullying at school: What we know and what we can do. New York, NY: Wiley-Blackwell.
Rigby, K. (2007). Bullying in schools and what to do about it: Revised and updated. London: Aust Council for Ed Research.
Rigby, K. (2010). Bullying interventions in schools: Six basic approaches. London: Aust Council for Ed Research.
Smith, P., Pepler, D.J &Rigby, K. (2004). Bullying in schools: How successful can interventions be? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Van- Krieken, R., Habibis, D., Smith, P., et al (2010). Sociology. 4 Edn. Sydney: Pearson Education.