When was the student bullied?
A student is bullied when he is frequently and permanently exposed to negative behavior by one or more students. Bullying is a type of cruelty that is directed toward others in order to feel powerful and by causing mental or physical pain.
Bullying among peers can be divided into:
- Physical – hitting, pushing, pinching etc.
- Verbal – insult, rumor spread, constant teasing, cheating, etc.
- Emotional – intentional exclusion of victim from class activity.
- Sexual – unwanted physical contact and insulting comments.
- Cultural – insults on national, religious, racial grounds.
- Economic – theft and money laundering.
Peer bullying is present if three basic elements are represented:
- a) Negative procedures – physical, verbal, nonverbal (these are forms of social isolation)
- b) Repeatedly and permanently – to exclude insignificant conflicts between children from the outbreak of violence at school.
- c) Asymmetrical power ratio – actual or perceived power ratio.
The role of children who observe violence
Most students do not bully or are victims of bullying, but they often watch it without the desire to help the victim. It is often the case that they observe the perpetrator’s actions or actively participate in harassment of the victim. Why is this happening? We have some explanations.
- a) The bullies enjoy a certain reputation among their peers.
- b) The fear of the bully switching to them if they are on the side of the victim.
- c) Sometimes observers begin to violently behave as they are part of the group and are considered less responsible in that case.
Perhaps one of the main reasons why children do not react is that many of them think that adults would not help them. Obviously they feel they are not sufficiently protected.
From the above you can derive that this is the responsibility of the school, parents and teachers.
It is necessary to actively ensure that observers are aware that they can prevent bullying in school. The following list contains some advice on what you can teach your child:
- Teach children how their behavior can instigate or discourage the bullies.
- Teach them the skills that observers can use to prevent the bullying that they observe (emphasizing that they inform each adult about bullying, and never respond with violence to violence).
- Observers must be held accountable for bullying if they join the abuser or do not report the violence.
- If the student is isolated and sad, check what has led to such feelings.
- React strongly to the smallest form of violence.
- Teach students to report if someone is abusive towards them.
- Supervise children during vacations, especially places where they gather in groups.
The way that the parents provide support to their children is of great importance. Even though it is important for a child to belong to a group of peers year after year, it is very important for parents to remain a safe base for children to return when they are experiencing difficulties.
It is crucial that parents encourage their child not to feel guilty about the violence that is happening to them and that such behavior from the abusers is wrong. This way, the child will be more confident about himself/herself and will always know that he is not responsible for the abusive behavior of other people.
In the end, what needs to be re-emphasized to the child:
- a) A victim of abuse is not responsible for the actions of others.
- b) Abusers must face the consequences of their behavior.
- c) It is of crucial importance to adequately address the problem of peer violence in schools.