Harassment or Bullying in Traditional Schools
Although the word “bullying” is typical of English, it has spread throughout the world as a term to refer to the violence and intimidation that people, especially children, receive in places like school. Bullying is all violent or aggressive attitudes that a person or group of people develops against another. It is a type of harassment or persecution that does not allow the affected person to feel safe, perform their activities normally or live their school life in peace.
According to data published by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), official source of statistics for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goal in relation to education; approximately one third of the world’s teenagers have suffered bullying recently. To understand the subject a little better, it is prudent to know its characteristics, which are described below.
- These are repeated aggressive behaviors. When we talk about bullying, we mean the persecution and intimidation that does not happen only once but repeatedly. A child who suffers bullying faces these problems daily and on a recurring basis.
- It can be physical or psychological. Many of the students who suffer from harassment are victims of physical abuse such as pushing, punching, among others. However, in some cases, the most common form of bullying is psychological and this happens through insults, harassment, teasing, and so on.
- Bullying is encouraged by a student who is supported by a group of people against a victim who is usually lonely and defenseless.
- Bullying is maintained because the victims or the people around them enter a state of passivity or ignorance in which they fear that the situation will worsen or they do not know who to turn to for help.
- The affected child or adolescent develops negative feelings towards the environment in which he suffers bullying, creates fear or rejection of the environment and lowers his school performance considerably.
- Bullying affects the social skills of the victims. Someone who suffers bullying can isolate themselves and hardly relates to others.
- The violent and aggressive lifestyle of the aggressor is reinforced. This happens because he feels he dominates the situation and has control over it.
- Bullying is a typical behavior in traditional or brick and mortar schools since, usually, the amount of students is greater and teachers cannot attend to the attitudes of each child individually.
Once you understand how and in what way it can manifest, it is ideal to study a little the types of bullying that exist. Among them, are the following:
- Physical: This is the most frequent type of bullying in elementary school. It is one that involves aggressions such as blows, kicks, shoves or the use of objects in order to harm the victim’s body.
- Verbal: It is the most common type regardless the age of the victim. It happens through insults, contempt for a group, shouts, among others. Usually, the physical defects of the victim are highlighted in order to make fun of him.
- Psychological: It is intended to cause terror in the victim. The aggressors foster the feeling of fear and attack the self-esteem of those that are affected.
- Social: Seeks to isolate a person from the rest of the group of students or classmates. The victim may be ignored and excluded or may suffer contempt in public. The aggressors prevent the victim from participating in activities.
It should be noted that, in the most extreme cases, all forms of bullying can occur simultaneously.
According to a UNESCO report published in early 2019, the region of the world with the most children suffering bullying is Sub-Saharan Africa (48.2% of children), followed by North Africa (42.7%) and Middle East (41.1%). Bullying is less frequent in Europe (25%), the Caribbean (25%) and Central America (22.8%). Alarming figures if we take into account the negative impact that bullying can have on student growth.
Bullying affects children of all social conditions and can have catastrophic consequences on the mental and emotional health of each victim. For that reason, each department of education must ensure the well-being of its students, promote good values, create awareness about bullying and provide the necessary support to those affected.