Peer victimization, also commonly labeled harassment or bullying is not a new problem in American schools. However, since the new millennium began, it appears to have taken on more epic proportions. With the outcome of many school shootings and violent acts that are occurring among our youth, the concerns about bullying have increased tremendously. Survey data indicate that any where from 30% to 80% of school-age youth report that they have personally experienced victimization from peers, and 10% to 15% may be chronic victims (Card & Hodges, 2008). The need for safety has become more prevalent within the past decade than ever before. The rise of bullying incidents and violence in our schools has reached an all time high and has become the source of major concerns. In ABC Elementary School the rise of bullying behavior has gone far beyond name-calling. Incidents that occur at ABC Elementary School in this study have escalated over the past two years and no longer include mere name-calling. The students that attend ABC Elementary School range from pre-kindergarten to fifth grade.
Although bullying occurs at ABC Elementary School, there are procedures put in place for bullying situations. ABC Elementary School follows the districts bullying policy and has zero tolerance for bullying. All bullying incidents are followed up on and handled in a proper manner.
The problem is that many elementary students in urban areas are experiencing a rise in violence in their schools. Students that attend ABC Elementary School, who are in the fifth grade are experiencing bullying and have gone on to become bullies themselves. The problems vary from verbal bullying, to outright physical bullying. Students have complained of being called derogatory names, being pushed, punched, kicked, or otherwise hit on a constant basis. The fact that these students have been bullied or victims of bullying could have an impact on their academic failures or successes. The type of bullying incidents that are now rising seem to be more aggressive than verbal bullying. Students that attend ABC Elementary School are bringing weapons, such as pocketknives, hammers, screwdrivers etc… They are planning fights in and out of school and also participating more in-group bullying behaviors. With the increase in bullying behaviors at ABC Elementary, teachers are now complaining that some of the students involved in these behaviors are falling behind academically.
The role in which bullying plays in a school setting and its affects on academics is a topic that continues to be researched by researchers because of its nature and outcomes that it has on students. The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of bullying on the academic performances of fifth grade students in an elementary school located in South Florida. The students who appear to be involved in the bullying incidents are students who are performing at a lower academic proficiency level than the other students in the class. This qualitative study will investigate the extent to which bullying effects the academic levels of students who are being bullied.
Bullying is defined as a student bullied when he or she is exposed repeatedly and over time to negative actions on the part of one or more other students (Olweus, 1993). A bully is defined as a person who is habitually cruel or overbearing, especially to smaller or weaker people. A bully is also person who exposes others repeatedly and over time to negative actions on the part of one or more other students. It is a negative action when someone intentionally inflicts, or attempts to inflict, injury or discomfort upon another (Hughes, Middleton, & Marshall, 2009).
Victim is defined as a person that suffers from harm or death from a circumstance or act. Victims of bullying usually have fewer friends and tend to not participate in activities in school. Victims are usually shy, timid, and rejected by peers. They are usually called loners.
Bystanders are defined as people who are present and witness school bullying situations was used in the current study, therefore bystanders behaviors may vary from intervening in support of victims, remaining uninvolved or supporting perpetrators’ harassment (Oh & Hazler, 2009).
It is a known fact that bullying exists in schools through out the world. As parents, administrators, and teachers, it is our job to better educate students about awareness and prevention of bullying acts or activities. There are several issues involved in the lives of individuals who bully. However, no one knows exactly what key factors that individuals go through to actually carry out bullying activities. As educators and parents, it is important to work together as partners to help students be aware of bullying activity and be prepared to handle bullying situations. There are many factors why children bully one another. People often think that individuals, who bully others, most likely have a bully in their lives at home, or have witness some form of bullying in their lives before.
Does bullying have an impact on the academic performance of students? Is the grade level a factor in bullying? Bullying which occurs world wide, has many aspects and contributors. The problem is that many elementary students in urban areas are experiencing a rise in violence in their schools. Students that attend ABC Elementary School, who are in the fifth grade are experiencing bullying and have gone on to become bullies themselves. The problems vary from name calling, to outright bullying. Students have complained of being called derogatory names, being pushed, punched, kicked, or otherwise hit on a constant basis. The fact that these students have been bullied or a victim of bullying could have an effect on their academic failures or successes. There are some children who are both the bully and bullied by others. They may provoke and/or retaliate when attack, which may lead to long-term victimization (Brock, Nickerson, O’Malley, & Chang, 2006). These children are often called bully-victims. Schwartz (2000) reported that these children exhibited higher levels of academic failure, peer rejection, and emotional distress than did nonaggressive victims of bullying.