Help to Empower Teachers to Intervene in Bullying when they see it
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Schools Need To Focus More On The Bully Behavior Then The Victim Defending Themselves
Bullying is when a bully(s) targets a victim(s) to make them feel bad or make themselves feel better or seem cool. The victim of bullying usually applies to people who are seen as different or “not normal”. It is very common amongst middle and high school students but can happen in elementary school and college. There are three parts to bullying the bully, victim, and a group of bystanders. Bullying has been happening forever but schools have not really been focusing on it as a major problem a lot of the times people think of it as kids being kids or that nothing can be done about bullying. Schools need to focus on bullying as a major problem and need to do more to make victims feel safe and not alone. Schools need to put bullying first and not leave it as an afterthought they need to support the victim(s) and focus on extinguishing the bully's behavior.
Kids should not have to hold the burden of bullying by ignoring/”defending” themselves from the bully. The bully should be targeted and the school/counselor should try to stop the bully’s behavior so the victim does not resort to hurting themselves or the bully. On the points of view website Deborah Lee writes, ” In many past instances, a school's reaction to bullying has been to ignore the bully but ‘educate’ the victim, promoting assertiveness or counterattack or the adoption of a meek, non-threatening attitude designed to deflect the bully's intention. These attempts not only force the victim to bear--wrongfully--the burden of bullying, but also to run a high risk of provoking even more aggression” (Lee). Schools need to focus on stopping the bullying and not telling the victim to “defend” themselves and making them responsible for dealing with the bully. Lee explains, ”The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center estimated in 2007 that almost 30 percent of young people in the United States--over 5.7 million--had been affected by bullying, as bullies, victims, or both. A national survey of students in grades 6 through 10 found that 13 percent of them had bullied others, 11 percent had been targeted by bullies, and six percent had both bullied others and been victims of bullying” (Lee). If the victim is being seen as the problem the bully is not going to get a consequence and they will think it is okay to bully. If schools focus on it as a much bigger problem bullies will feel more cautious about doing it because they can not do it without getting consequences.
Since bullying is not viewed as a big problem in schools victims feel like they can’t get help and will start to be scared to go to school and sometimes this will affect their performance in school. Obama states, ”Bullying has been shown to lead to absences and poor performance in the classroom and that alone should give us pause,since no child should be to go to school in this country” (Obama). Kids are scared to go to school because the schools will not focus enough on bullying. Kids will not do well in school because they're scared and sometimes will even skip and move schools because of how miserable they feel. Obama explains, ”Today, bullying doesn’t even end at the school bell-- it can follow our children from the hallways to their cell phones to their computer screens” (Obama). Sometimes kids are still bullied even when they get home through technology this will make victims even more upset and will make them think they can never get away from the bully and won’t be able to focus on more important things like school work.
Some argue that kids should be able to defend themselves against bullies. McMahon states, “When parents or teachers discover that a child is the victim of a bully, or multiple bullies, there may be a natural inclination to spring to that child's defense. This inclination, however - while it may address the specific behavior of a specific bully - may also serve to instill a sense of victimization in the person being bullied. Feeling like a victim may lead to an eventual inability to act independently of authority figures, such as teachers and parents” (McMahon). Victims should have to deal with the bully themselves this can make them feel alone and that nobody cares about them and will make them have to deal with the bully which is unfair because they should focus on more important things. McMahon explains, ”To teach victims to seek the help of someone else if they are bullied may exacerbate that child's feelings of inadequacy that somehow attracted the attention of a bully to begin with. The victims of bullies need to learn the self-confidence that removes any subtle label that says, ‘I am a target’” (McMahon). This explains that kids should learn to defend themselves against bullies but this is not true because if kids are left to deal with the problem themselves they may resort in a dangerous action like hurting themselves, or the bully, or suicide.
Schools need to focus more on bullying as a big problem and should focus on eliminating the bully's behavior then telling the victim to defend themselves and ignore the bully. If schools tell victims to defend themselves and ignore the bully they will have to carry the burden of bullying and will have to deal with a problem that they might not know how to solve this might lead to kids solving the problem with physical violence or even suicide/self harm. The only way to stop this huge problem is for teachers/schools to be more informed and for them to sign this petition to facilitate professional development for teachers to empower them to react to incidents of bullying.
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