Have you ever wondered what to do about being bullied?
This article will explain what it is and what we can do about it.
Our article also published on BW business India.
There are two types and four styles by which students can be bullied or can bully others. The two means of bullying include direct (e.g., by a student or a group or Adult who target less powerful students as the victim and that occurs in the presence of a targeted student) and indirect (e.g., mental prohibition from students groups or spreading rumors.
Can you recall the nursery jingle “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? Observably that was not and is not the reality and can never be especially in the case of Bullying that takes place at schools. Bullying is a behavior that is purposeful and contains an imbalance of power or strength. It is a behavior that is physical, verbal, or relational. While boys may bully others by more physical means; girls often bully by social rejection. Bullying has been a part of the workplace and School for a long period. More recently through technology & social media bullying has extended its reach. Cyberbullying is the example which takes place online and via cell phones.
There are two types and four styles by which students can be bullied or can bully others. The two means of bullying include direct (e.g., by a student or a group or Adult who target less powerful students as the victim and that occurs in the presence of a targeted student) and indirect (e.g., mental prohibition from students groups or spreading rumors. In addition to these two modes, the four types of bullying include broad categories of physical, verbal, relational (e.g., efforts to harm the reputation or relationships of the targeted youth), and damage to property.
More than one out of every five (20.8%) students report being bullied according to a report from National Centre for Educational Statistics.
Most bullying happens in middle school. The most common kinds are verbal and social bullying.
83% of students who bully others online also bully others in person.
84% of students who were bullied online were also bullied in person.
Who are at Risk?
Usually, children who are bullied have one or more of the following risk factors:
Professed as different from their peers, such as being underweight or overweight, having short height, wearing glasses or different clothing, new to a school, or being not able to have materials that kids consider as ‘Cool”.
Seen as weak or unable to protect themselves.
Depressed, concerned, Uneasy or with low self-esteem.
Failing an exam/class or securing fewer marks.
Less popular than others or like to live with the small group of friends.
Do not get along well with others or are generally punished by teachers.
Though, if a child has all these risk factors, it doesn’t mean that they will be bullied.
Where Bullying Occurs?
Bullying can happen at any number of places, situations, or locations. At times that place can be online or through a cell phone. Bullying that occurs using technology (including but not limited to cell phones, chat rooms, instant messaging, email, and social media posts) is considered electronic bullying and is viewed as a context or location.
Mostly Bullying takes place in the playgrounds, school buses, cafeteria, in restrooms, hallways, and locker rooms.
Disconnect Between Adults
It is found that most often there is a disconnect between students and an adult understanding for a case of bullying. Adults often don’t know how to react when they do identify a case of bullying. Considerably only about 20 to 30% of students who are bullied inform adults about it.
Promising Prevention Strategies
Staff and students should try and notice when a child is bullied or left out during the games, Lunchtimes etc. This involves the efforts of everyone in the school environment—teachers, Principal, administrators, counselors, non-teaching staff (such as bus drivers, nurses, school resource officers, cafeteria workers, and school librarians), parents, seniors, and students. They should be trained in bullying anticipation and involvement and how to respond if they observe bullying & its prevention.
Also, a group can be formed to coordinate the school’s bullying prevention activities. The work of that group can be to motivate staff, students, and parents; prevent rules, policies, and activities; and ensure that the efforts continue over time. A student advisory group can be formed to focus on bullying prevention and provide valuable suggestions/ feedback to adults.
Bullying and Suicide
The relationship between Bullying and suicide is somehow coinciding in many cases in schools and colleges. Much psychological research says that bullying leads to isolation, depression, low self-esteem and in return suicidal behaviors is found in individuals. The major variety of people who are bullied do not become suicidal. Some youth, such as LGBTQ youth, are at increased risk for suicide tries even where bullying is not a factor.
It is vital to be aware of the laws made to control bullying in India so that the problem is nipped in the bud.
Laws in Schools
Former HRD minister formed a committee of experts to analyze Bullying in school and to prevent it. Following is the CBSE School Bullying Protection Law guide:-
If any student is found Bullying or ragging it will be given a written notice and can even result in rustication for that particular ward.
Putting a notice on Notice Board that if any students are found bullying will be liable for strict action
A Committee member to prevent bullying it shall include the vice principal, a senior teacher, doctor, counselor, parent-teacher representative, school management representative, and legal representative and peer educators.
Laws in Colleges
The government of India in order to stop/prevent bullying has created a guideline called “UGC Regulations on Curbing the Menace of Ragging in Higher Education Institutions, 2009” which is applied to all the colleges or higher education institutions and are as follows:
FIR: The victim can avail thirteen provisions under Indian Penal Code and can register an FIR (first information report) in the police station under the area where the crime has taken place. The person can apply various Indian sections of Laws, such as:
Section 294– Obscene acts and songs
Section 339– Wrongful restraint
Section 340– Wrongful confinement
Section 341– Punishment for wrongful restraint
Section 342– Punishment for wrongful confinement
Section 506– Punishment for criminal intimidation
When there is a case of extreme bullying or ragging that includes extreme violence:
Section 323– Punishment for voluntarily causing hurt
Section 324– Voluntarily causing hurt by dangerous weapons or means
Section 325– Punishment for voluntarily causing grievous hurt
Section 326– Voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means
In a case where a victim has lost his/her life
Section 304– Punishment for culpable homicide not amounting to murder
Section 306– Abetment of suicide
Section 307– Attempt to murder
Though, these UGC anti-ragging measures and the laws of IPC are not applied to schools.
If the student is been a victim of cyberbullying it can file a complaint under the Indian Penal Code. Under the I.T. Act, 2000 the victim can apply for two kinds of offenses Section 67 of punishment of information which is obscene and breaches of confidentiality.