The Effect of Bullying on Child School Performance
Most of the problems seen in today’s society are outcomes of unfriendly behaviors. The way people socialize and interact in the modern generation is of great concern. The rise in global arguments and disagreements among countries is pointed to the poor relationship among countries, as well as the anti-social behaviors showed by citizens of various countries. Focusing on the United States, a number of societal problems are in existence, especially in large cities such as New Haven. Educational institutions in New Haven have raised complaints about the rise of bullying, which has greatly affected child performance. Research shows that in Connecticut, approximately 28 percent of students between the grades of six and twelve have been victims of bullying. Unfortunately, in the region, the reason for the rise of the anti-social behavior is the underestimation by teachers on how much bullying occurs in their institutions. Bullying in Connecticut has been seen to take different forms: relational, reactive, verbal, as well as physical. In 2012, information revealed that a student in a New Haven magnet school had been bullied by colleagues because of his race (Singh 1). The student, Ryan Rodriguez, was stabbed in the back with a mechanical pencil (Singh 1). Seemingly, he was the solitary white student in his class. Apart from the physical assault, Ryan was often abused and called names such as “stupid white cracker” (Singh 1). The behavior happens more in New Haven’s schools because teachers are not made aware of it. It has resulted in the poor performance of several students. Besides, others have taken the culture of changing schools. In a bid to get rid of the behavior, the New Haven Unified School District policy has banned threats, annoyance, discrimination, and bullying based on gender, disability, religion, nationality, race, or sexual preference.
Bullying is not only a practice in schools in Connecticut but exists all over the world. The negative effects of bullying have affected the social interactions and relations among students across the globe. The fact that people continue to dismiss bullying and consider it as part of growing up has made it a serious problem in the world today. Thus, bullying has become part of a larger occurrence in the world today. First, in the world today, social interactions are limited and this is owed to the depression, anxiety, increased feelings of sadness, loss of interest in social activities, as well as loneliness displayed by people. The limitation of social interactions among children and that has continued among adults is an issue of concern in the world today (Seeley et al. 2). It is assumed that this will affect other sectors and how global development is achieved. Secondly, victims of bullying in school often experience health complications (Seeley et al. 2). If the health complications are not addressed early enough, there is a possibility of people losing their lives later on. Thus, a small percentage of deaths that are experienced in the world today are characteristic of bullying. This is worsened by the failure to address the health complications caused by bullying at an early stage. Third, the global economy today has been affected by the decrease in the number of qualified people released into the job market. With decreased academic achievement caused by bullying, the likelihood of students dropping out of school is relatively high (Seeley et al. 2). This then reduces the number of students who successfully complete school and proceed to the job market. Addressing the global economic issue would mean that educational institutions across the world are examined, and practices such as bullying in the institutions are eliminated.
The effects of bullying have forced educational institutions, governments, and other organizations to come up with ways of addressing it. First, programs have been put in place to increase student engagement. Studies show that through engaging victims of bullying in school activities, they are likely to attend class and achieve more in the long run (Lazarus et al. 2) In a bid to enhance student engagement, schools and administrations have provided every bullied student with caring adults who advice and counsel them. Schools carefully monitor attendance of bullied students to ensure that they get engaged in school activities. In fact, the monitoring strategies involve calling home every time a student is absent as well as allowing them to make up for the things that they missed with the support of teachers. Engagement of bullied students in schools has also been facilitated through the promotion and promoting of parent and community engagement. This is an clear plan in schools that come up with afterschool, summer and holiday programs where parents, teachers and students come together to discuss the progress and experiences of their students. Other schools have facilitated the engagement of students through the provision of school-based mentorship programs. Second, institutions have addressed bullying by promoting model caring behavior among students. Schools have provided controlled environments where other students are appointed as leaders to provide care to other students (Lazarus et al. 2). The role of student leaders is to demonstrate that bullying especially through physical abuse is not an appropriate way of exercising power and authority. Instead, the student leaders prevent that people need to exercise power in ways that are non-abusive and mentoring. The promotion of model caring behavior in schools is a role played by teachers and administrators. Hence, a good number of schools have offered training programs for their teachers and administrators on how model appropriate caring and leadership behavior can be enhanced among students. Third, through the provision of opportunities for community service, bullying has been reduced significantly in a number of schools (Lazarus et al. 3). Community service involves students engaging in outdoor activities such as cleaning the environment, helping the needy people, and many other activities. These activities are good platforms or venues for mentoring. Community service activities have for a long time given students the opportunity of breaking their chain of command within the classrooms. Through the activities, students can show new strengths and abilities, mentor others, and show leadership skills. To some extent, community service activities have counteracted the isolation and pain that accompany bullying in schools. Fourth, in order to bring the practice of bullying to an end, there is need to address the difficult transition that exists between elementary school and middle school. Research shows that most students have a hard time adapting to the life in middle school when they complete the elementary school. The transition leads to most students losing bonds with their teachers. During the transition, students also come across expanded classroom sizes and different methods of teaching. In fact, the teaching in middle schools often becomes more lecture and test-based, and it reduces the interaction among students. As a result, there is an increase of opportunities for separation, unfriendliness, and disengagement. Thus, there are higher chances of bullying in such conditions. Fifth, beginning prevention programs during early stages is likely to help reduce the practice of bullying in educational institutions across the globe. Unless the practice is stopped during early stages, the chance that it will evolve into something more dangerous is very high. Sixth, it is famous that bullying has been on an upward trend because of the poor strategies and curriculums of counteracting it (Rigby 12). For instance, there are schools where teachers use canned anti-bullying materials. Besides, the teachers are not trained on how to use the anti-bullying materials they are provided with. Therefore, in order to address the problem at hand, there is need to resist the temptation of using prefabricated curriculums. There are several interventions and strategies of addressing bullying in schools. Proper implementation of the interventions mentioned above together with others not mentioned will ensure the practice is destroyed. Debates about whether some interventions used in fighting the practice are effective or not are great difficulties to their implementations. Human activists and international organizations have argued that the provision of opportunities for community services for students has made possible irresponsible behavior among students rather than helping reduce bullying.
On the other hand, several interventions adopted by schools in reducing bullying have been effective. The increase in student engagement has played an integral role in motivating the participation of bullied students in school activities. Such students have developed the confidence of informing their teachers about their experiences of bullying. They have also had the opportunities of socially interacting and developing good relationships with other students. It is without doubt that these channels have helped control bullying in schools. The provision of mentorship programs in institutions has improved the confidence of students in school. Hence, bullied students have approached and stopped the actions of bully students. Mentorship programs have also provided good platforms for the bullied students to share their experiences with their mentors (Rigby 13). This has helped them relieve the stress, depression, and pain that result from bullying. Although not all schools have addressed the difficult change between elementary and middle school, the few that have done so hoping that their students no longer experience bullying when joining the middle school from elementary school.
There are several unplanned results of bullying. When a student bullies another, he may not have the outcomes of his actions in mind. A good number of school going children have been forced to drop out of school because of the seriousness of the consequences that accompany their actions of bullying (Sharp 3). There are several instances where bullying has led to the death of innocent students. This occurs when the bully uses excessive force to physically abuse another student. Another unintended consequence of bullying is health complications (Sharp 3). Several people today suffer from health complications such as mental problems or disabilities that they attained because of bullying in school. Moreover, there have been cases where bullied students end up committing suicide because of the physical abuse and harsh treatment they receive from their colleagues. Therefore, in order to avoid such unintended consequences, the best solution of addressing bullying in schools is increasing student engagement. This solution acts as a channel to other solutions. This is owed to the fact that without student engagement, provision of mentorship programs will be a waste of time. Besides, without student engagement, addressing transition difficulties and participation of students in community services will be close to impossible.
Several researchers have been concerned with the poor performance shown by students in schools. The bullied students should not be blamed for their poor performance. Instead, teachers, administrators, as well as the students who bully others should bear the responsibility. Research and several studies have been done in institutions of higher learning to evaluate bullying, as well as its possible solutions. The increase in the rate at which students drop out of school is worrying, and his has forced media companies to do research to evaluate bullying and the possible interventions of getting rid of the anti-social behavior.
In conclusion, the poor performance of most students in schools can be caused by bullying. When schools and administrations allow a few students to exercise their power and authority on other students, the outcome is bullying. Therefore, the bullied students end up separating themselves and develop the fear of approaching their teachers for help. They also end up getting depressed and anxious, and this affects their performance in class. Schools and administrations need to step up and ensure that bullying is done away with in schools worldwide. Interventions such as the increase of student engagement should be implemented. More mentorship programs should be introduced in schools if people are to realize the vision of ending bullying in schools.
Lazarus, Philip J., et al. “Bullying Prevention and Intervention: Information for Educators.” Helping Children at Home and School III. Bethesda, MD: NASP (2010). Available online at: http://www.nasponline.org/resources/bullying/bullying_info_educators.pdf
The article articulates that the practice of bullying is rampant in schools yet nobody has stepped up to stop it. The article adds that the practice inflicts pain on observers forcing them to come up with ways of addressing it.
Rigby, Ken. Bullying interventions in schools: Six basic approaches. Aust Council for Ed Research, 2010. Available online at: http://www.bullyingawarenessweek.org/pdf/Bullying_Prevention_Strategies_in_Schools_Ken_Rigby.pdf
The study examines how the problem of bullying should be deal with effectively in schools. The article also recognizes bullying as one of the major problems that educators face. Successful interventions to stop bullying are also discussed in the study.
Seeley, Ken, et al. “Bullying in Schools: An Overview. Juvenile Justice Bulletin.” Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (2011). Available online at: http://www.ojjdp.gov/pubs/234205.pdf
The Study states that bullying has harmful effects that cannot be overstated. According to the study, victims of bullying are likely to faces shooting, severe beatings, and they may end up committing suicide. The article opines that such effects have triggered public action that aims at bringing the practice to an end in schools.