Sample Term Paper
Over 6 million boys and 4 million girls are involved in bullying or violence every year on school grounds. Many are physically threatened while a huge number of students are also robbed. Bullying has become a very demanding topic today. It has been in the news and the topic of talk shows recently. The problem has been around for a long time, but it has only been lately that we have become watchful enough to do something about it. Mental and physical signs for parents to look for to find out if their child is being bullied include: Cuts, bruises, torn clothing, headaches and or stomach pains before it’s time to go to school, or a disinclination to go to school, poor appetites, poor grades, decline or withdrawal from usual activities, anxiety, not many friends, always loses money, depression, fear, anger, nervousness, and relates healthier to adults and teachers than children.
Bullying In School-Meaning and Details
Bullying is more than just one single act of violent teasing or fighting. Current definitions of bullying behavior stem from the original research performed with Norwegian and Swedish students by Dan Olweus, who stated,
“a student is being bullied or victimized when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time to pessimistic actions on the part of one or more other students. Negative actions can include physical contact, words, making faces or dirty gestures, and intentional barring from a group. An additional criterion of bullying is an inequity in strength (an asymmetric power relationship). The student who is bare to the negative actions has difficulty defending himself or herself” (Olweus, 1995; 196).
Bullying behaviors have been further classified as either direct or indirect; with direct bullying distinguished by open attacks and indirect bullying characterized by social isolation, exclusion, or selection (Bosworth et al. 90). Thus, the characteristic of bullying behavior is a continuing pattern of physical or psychological aggression that is intimidating, coercive, relentless and leaves the victim feeling powerless. The bully is not necessarily bigger or stronger but rather is someone who is scary. Often, bullying does not occur exclusively in the context of a one-to-one relationship. In fact, there are typically more than one bully and more than one victim. Characteristically the bully has an assistant and an organization of helpers, referred to as the bully’s “henchmen”, who may carry out the action. The bully may be in charge but may not be one caught.
Incidence of Bullying
Bullying is a pervasive problem for school children in the U.S. as well as globally. Studies of incidence range from a high of 80percent, where “only 20 percent reported no bullying behavior” in a 30 day period (Bosworth et al. 99) to studies illustrate a conservative 10 percent of kindergarten through high school students being bullied (Hodges and Perry 4-7). Some groups of children are also at greater risk, for instance, Garrity & Barris reported on a study finding “that 33 percent of mainstreamed, special-needs children had been targets of bullying, compared to 8percent of their normal classmates” (p. 97).
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