Bullying of Students in Schools and Suggested Solutions
Bullying of students in schools has both long ranging emotional and physical problems to both the students being bullied and the bully. The emotional problems that the bullied children encounter are quite enormous (Olweus, 1994, p.23). Some of these problems are lack of self esteem for the student since if the form of this bullying involves teasing; abuses or even physical beating they weigh down the emotions of the child leaving them feeling unworthy to live.
Stress is eminent in children being bullied in school and this will always cause the child mental problems in the future if not mitigated in time to allow the child to live a normal life (Craig ,1998, p.13). The issue of stress will generate a further problem in the child where you are likely to witness diminishing academic performance. Bullying can also lead to lack of social confidence. This occurs mainly because the child will feel they lack in their social standing and that is why they are constantly bullied by their peers. They also feel that they are being silenced and that way they may not have the confidence to even face those in authority and explain what is happening to them. This fact aggravates the situation because this will give their bullies the confidence to perpetrate this vice further.
Behavioral change occurs in students who constantly get bullied. this may manifest itself in all manners ranging from withdrawal symptoms, unhappiness, poor appetite, complaining of being always 'sick' so as to avoid going to school even in situations where the student had been very enthusiastic about it daily, and avoidance of using certain routes which the student used routinely (Craig ,1998, p.16). These issues will always affect the students’ ability to live a free life due to the fear of being attacked by their bullies.
Being frightened is also a problem associated with bullying in schools. Students who are constantly bullied are always frightened and this will hamper the students' ability to socialize freely with the people around them. The underlying problems generally associated with bullying not only affect the bullied students but also affects the bully themselves. These behaviors may culminate in poor academic performances on these bullies since once they do it they may have a sense of satisfaction thus leading poor concentration on studies. Some of them do it to get noticed by their peers and this also gives them a sense of pride despite poor grades in school (Salmivalli, Lagerspetz & Björkqvist, 1996, p.7).
Students who bully their fellow students may carry this behavior to their adulthood leading to poor social interrelations which may impede their pursuit of fine jobs since they do not fit well at work place. These behaviors may also lead to poor relationships in adulthood and affect their ability to establish family relations and even raise one (Whitney & Smith, 1993, p.11). Students who get bullied are also affected physically. The physical attack on a student will leave the student with bodily harm which may be bruises or even serious injuries such as fractures in severe cases or deep cuts to the body.
Severe bullying may also leave the students’ health deteriorating day by day. This may manifest itself in form of serious body weight loss. Students who have severe stress as a result of bullying may experience loss of appetite and lead to serious health problems such malnutrition, lack essential vitamins(Whitney & Smith, 1993, p.11). Poor health may lead to poor brain development depending on the age of the student and in the long run lead to poor academic performances. Early childhood development being a crucial stage in life ought to be handled carefully so as to give the child a great future (Kaltiala-Heino, Rimpelä & Rantanen, 2000, p.6).
When the above problems are noticed in school going children, it is imperative for parents and guardians to take the first step to establish what is bothering their children (Smith, 1999, p.5). This is because knowing and understanding the causes of their children's problems will give them the next cause of action towards eliminating the causes and helping their children to heal.
Firstly, talk to your children and encourage them to talk freely about what they are going through, assuring them that whatever they are going through can be solved if they reveal all the details of their problems (O’Connell & Pepler, 1999, p.18). It is important that you clearly tell the child all that you have noticed them in terms of behavioral change and also assure them that whatever they are undergoing is not their own fault and therefore revealing information will lead to solving all the problems they are undergoing.
As a parent or guardian it is important to get to the bottom of the matter by gathering all related information from the child. This should include who has been bulling your child, when and where this occurred and maybe what may have triggered this to happen (O’Connell & Pepler, 1999, p.18). Once these details are obtained from the child it gives the parent clear guidelines on how to approach the whole situation
Parents are advised to encourage children to report the matter or any form of bullying to the school authorities whenever they occur, giving all the details of the vice to the best knowledge of their child (Olweus, 1991, p.12). In cases where the child is too frightened to speak about the same .parents are advised to take up the matter firmly and go to the school authorities and give the all the details as obtained from their child. By doing so, the authorities will find the matter more serious and give it immediate attention (Olweus, 1994, p.8). Schools are also advised to partner with the government so as to formulate policies of addressing cases of bullying in learning institutions for this will set up a framework within which schools will generate policies in line with the set legal framework.