Essay Example on Bullying. Sample Composition Writing on Bullying
Bullying Common Among
Teens. Almost a third of teens either were
bullies or were bullied, a new study of 16,000 students found. But
whether these bullying behaviors contribute to more aggressive and
violent acts in the future is debatable, experts say. The research
found 30 percent of 6th through 10th graders are involved in
bullying at school, according to researchers at the National
Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
The frequency of bullying was found to be higher among 6-8th graders
compared to 9-10th graders, and was more prominent among boys
compared to girls. The study, led by Dr. Tonja Nansel, analyzed
surveys of almost 16,000 students throughout the United States and
appears in the April 25 Journal of the American Medical Association.
Bullying as defined as when a teen’s behavior is purposefully meant
to harm or disturb another child, when it occurs repeatedly over
time, and when there is an imbalance of power between the kids
Types of bullying behaviors cited in the study included verbal
belittling regarding religion, race, looks, or speech; hitting,
pushing or slapping; rumors; and sexual comments or gestures. The
study also found that both the perpetrators and the victims are
lonelier than most kids and do not have very good relationships with
“Bullying and being bullied appear to be important indicators that
something is wrong, and children who experience either or both need
help,” stated child psychology experts Dr. Howard Spivak of the New
England Medical Center, in Boston, and Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith of
the Harvard School of Public Health, commenting on the research. In
light of recent school shootings, parents and educators have become
concerned about whether bullying behavior or being the victim of one
may contribute to more serious acts of aggression.
But experts disagree about predicting future violent behavior from
earlier bullying tendencies. Dr. Robert Findling, director of child
and adolescent psychiatry at the University Hospital of Cleveland
believes "aggression is a very stable trait that is long-lasting."
Dr. Carl Bell, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at the
University of Illinois, in Chicago, adds, "there is some link
between bullying behavior and later violence, but we are just not
certain how strong it is." One commonly cited British study reported
that individuals with a history of bulling had a four-fold increase
in criminal behavior by the age of 24. The British study, however,
examined only violent behaviors - such as beating someone up after
school, and not the more benign behaviors like name-calling or
giving someone the cold shoulder.
But some see bullying as part of the more normal aspect of
children’s behavior, not leading to excessive violence later on. Dr.
Eugene Beresin, director of child and adolescent psychological
training at McLean and Massachusetts General Hospitals says, "school
shootings are an anomaly, over-rated, exaggerated, and extremely
rare ... Bullying, however, is very common and has definite serious
social effects ... we should be much more concerned with bullying
and self-inflicted violence." In fact, when the Secret Service
recently attempted to figure out the “profile,” of a child that acts
out with gun violence, it found a student's tendency to become a
"school shooter" cannot be predicted based on involvement in
Poor academic performance and psychological disorders also were not
indicators of potential violent behavior. The Secret Service
concluded, " the use of profiles is ineffective and inefficient."
Essay Example 2: How to Prevent Bullying
Many argue that there is
no real way to prevent bullying. Kids will be kids and that is all
there is to it. But, because of the incredibly negative effects that
have recently been found to occur to the victims of bullying, there
has been an active effort to limit bullying. The solutions are easy
ones, and easy to practice.
Kids can make bullying seem unappealing. Often times, students fall
victim to the bystander effect, simply letting the bullying occur.
But, it has been found that if students take an active resistance
when they see a fellow classmate being bullied, the bully is less
likely to act out in this way. By simply telling the bully that what
they are doing is not right, a bully will often cease their actions
because the cause of their bullying is many times a search for
social acceptance. With these facts in mind, kids can help combat
the problem of bullying.
Many of the suggestions to prevent bullying, however, seem to be
counterproductive. In one article, the author – Laura Egodigwe –
gives suggestions on avoiding bullying, not necessarily preventing
or stopping it. She says to, “Ignore or avoid. If a bully asks for
your lunch money, keep walking and act like you don't hear them,”
and “Be aware. Knowing who's in front of you or behind you in the
hallway or in a line at school can help you to avoid bullies”.
These, though they are great suggestions for avoiding bullies, they
really do not solve anything. They are as helpful as, say, telling a
child that the best places to hide are behind the jungle gym and by
the vending machine.
More proactive approaches involve actions like walking over to
someone who is eating alone at the cafeteria (Rinaldo, 2005). As
anyone can recall, high school is a social hierarchy, and to do
this, one may risk social ostracizing, but they will also be taking
an active role in making sure that the other child alone is not
being bullied. It will in turn make the school a more pleasant
environment. Rinaldo writes, “Experts say that bullying is much less
common in schools where kids take the time to make friends with
students outside their regular social group” (Rinaldo, 2005).
There are also groups like Students Against Violence Everywhere
(SAVE) that serve has mediators and helpers when bullying arises. It
is natural to assume that where there is bullying, there is
violence, and the members of SAVE are aware of this fact. SAVE
attempt to take a group of individuals – who are often powerless
against the pains of bullying – and turn them into a cohesive group
So, how do we prevent bullying? It is in the hands of the kids and
the teachers. The teachers need to listen and watch. They have to
pick up on the clues that a child is being bullied. As for students,
to embrace the victim is to tell the bully that what they are doing
is unacceptable. The bully will stop if the bully knows that they
are not getting the kind of attention they sought through bullying.
It is a group effort, and an effort that is worth it.
If Your Child Is
First, listen to your child. Just
talking about the problem and knowing that you care can be helpful
and comforting. Make sure that your child knows that you do not
blame or feel disappointed in him or her. Ask your child what he or
she thinks should be done. What has your child tried? What worked
and what didn’t?
Encourage your child not to retaliate against the bully or to let
the bully see how much he or she has upset your child. Getting a
response just reinforces the bullying behavior. Tell your child that
if at all possible, he or she should stay calm and respond evenly or
firmly (e.g., "I don't like your teasing and I want you to stop
right now" or "Stop doing that now. If you keep on, I'm going to
report you to the principal."). Some children find it works to just
say nothing and walk away. At other times, it can be more effective
to make a joke, laugh at oneself, or to use humor to defuse the
situation. Brainstorm with your child to develop some effective
responses. Then role-play different approaches and responses with
your child so that he or she will be prepared the next time.
Encourage your child to go immediately to a teacher, principal, or
other nearby adult if he or she feels seriously threatened.
You may also want to help your child to develop strategies to avoid
situations where bullying can happen and to avoid being alone with
bullies. If bullying occurs on the way to or from school, your child
may want to take a different route, leave at a different time, or
find others to walk to and from school with. If bullying occurs at
school, your child may want to avoid areas that are isolated or
unsupervised by adults, and stick with friends as much as possible.
Encourage your child to form strong friendships. A child or teen who
has loyal friends is less likely to be singled out by a bully, and
they can be valuable allies if your child is targeted. If your child
lacks friends, help him or her to develop more friendships.
Encourage your child to participate in positive social groups that
meet his or her interests, such as after-school groups, church
groups, extra-curricular activities, or teams. In addition to
helping your child make friends, these activities can help to
develop your child’s special skills and rebuild his or her
In many cases, bullying won’t require your involvement. If the
bullying is persistent and is harming your child’s emotional health,
you need to intervene by talking to your child’s teacher, school
counselor, or principal about the problem in order to make sure your
child is safe, that effective consequences are applied toward the
bully, and that monitoring at school is adequate. Advocate for the
involvement of the bully’s parents. Suggest that the school
implement a comprehensive anti-bullying program.
If Your Child Is Bullying
If you learn that your child
is bullying others, sit down and talk with your child immediately.
It is important to take the problem seriously, because children and
youth who bully others are at a greater risk for serious problems
later in life. Give your child an opportunity to explain his/her
behavior, but do not accept any excuses or justifications. Make it
clear that bullying will not be tolerated and outline the
consequences for further unacceptable behavior. If the problem is
occurring at school, tell your child you support the school’s right
to punish him/her if the behavior persists.
Encourage your child to try to understand how the bullying feels to
his/her victim. Bullies often have trouble empathizing with their
victims so it is important to discuss with your child how bullying
feels. How would your child feel if it happened to him/her? If you
or someone close to you has been bullied in the past, you might want
to share the story with your child, discussing the emotional impact.
Increase your supervision of your child’s activities and
whereabouts, and know who your child is spending time with. Make an
effort to observe your child in one-on-one interactions. Stop any
show of aggression immediately and help your child find other,
nonviolent ways of reacting to certain situations. Praise your child
for appropriate behaviors.
If the bullying continues, you need to seek help for your child.
Without intervention, bullying can lead to serious academic, social,
emotional and legal difficulties. Talk to your child's pediatrician,
teacher, principal, school counselor, or your family physician. If
the bullying continues, a comprehensive evaluation by a child and
adolescent psychiatrist or other mental health professional should
be arranged. The evaluation can help you and your child understand
what is causing the bullying and help you develop a plan to stop the