Bullying and cyber bullying at school
|Topics:||😨 Bullying, Communication, Cyber Bullying, High School, Self Reflection, Social Psychology, 🗣️ Interview|
Table of Contents
The act of bullying among children has been in schools for many decades and has resulted in different outcomes depending on the intensity of the vice to the affected child. With the constant development of technology, various methods are now being used to expand the reach of bullies and the extent of harm. This method of using technology is referred to as cyberbullying, and it involves the repeated and willful damage inflicted through the use of different technological devices including tablets, cell phones, computers and other electronic devices. Additionally, this type of bullying refers to incidences where adolescents use technology to harass, humiliate and to hassle their peers, for instance, some of the teens have created web pages and social platforms through which they share their videos, text messages, and rumors about other children (Perren, Corcoran, Cowie, Dehue, Mc Guckin, Sevcikova, & Völlink, 2012). The continuous harassment of the victims has often resulted in numerous negative outcomes as most of them end up committing suicide or have a problem socializing with the community. As such, this research will evaluate different academic studies done on the effect, identification and prevention mechanisms of cyberbullying among children. Moreover, the research will use other scholarly documents that provide alternative methods of reducing the vice and the mechanism adopted to ensure that children feel safe both in schools and at home.
The article cyberbully: Identification, Prevention, And Response by Sameer Hinduja and Justin Patchin is a unique research document that provides an elaborate aspect of the vice and how it has affected different areas of the society. Further, the study provides the roles of various people in the community including parents, school administration and the government in ensuring that bullying is discouraged. The authors’ state that the most recent type of bullying used among children is through technology which can reach many people at the same time. Notably, some of the children especially the adolescent record unauthorized videos of other kids and upload them to different networks that are aimed at humiliating or embarrassing the victims. Consequently, the vice results in different adverse outcomes. Most of the victims report feeling depressed, angry sad and frustrated (Hinduja & Patchin, 2014). However, the act of bullying their peers in various digital networks gives the perpetrators a sense of freedom that is different from the method used by the traditional bullies who were closely monitored by their teachers. Other affected students stated that the vice changed them both mentally and physically thus disabling them from performing specific tasks such as going to church, school and playing with their friends (Donegan, 2012). The authors also note that cyber bullying leads to other problems including low self-esteem, family problems, school violence and academic difficulties.
Initially, many of the bullying cases took place in chatrooms but over the years the development of different social platforms such as the snap chat, Facebook, Instagram and tweeter that enable the sharing of videos and pictures which are the most used forms of bullying. The vice has over the years increased in schools in various countries including the United States and Britain. On average, the number of children who experience cyber bullying range between 10-40% depending on the age and the method used. According to Hinduja & Patchin, (2014) 25% of teenagers have experienced different forms of cyberbullying through their cell phones and the internet. Moreover, 11% of the children reported that most of the mechanisms used; photo or video was taken from them without their knowledge and consent. Moreover, over 55% of children using the internet in the United States have experienced bullying either to their classmates or to their friends (Stauffer, Heath, Coyne & Ferrin, 2012). In essence, 12 % of the students in high schools said that they had been bullied on different occasions while 4% said that that they find it difficult to share their experiences with adults (Hinduja & Patchin, 2014).
While cyberbullying may be similar to the traditional forms of bullying, the varying techniques and intensity differ by a greater margin. With the modern way; cyberbullying, the victim may not know who the bully is or why they are being targeted. Notably, most of the perpetrators can use false accounts or hide their identity behind the computer to avoid being identified (Hinduja & Patchin, 2014). Additionally, cyberbullying is viral and can reach many people at the same time as opposed to the traditional method that only focused on a particular group.
In many countries, cyberbullying has become a significant problem as it has led to deaths of many children. In the United States, over 95% of the children use different online platforms while 75% can access internet on their phones (Donegan, 2012). The increased ability to connect with people from various geographical locations and has opened up their connectivity and development of undesirable behaviors. However, it is the duty of schools stakeholders to ensure that some of the vices are prevented and disciplinary actions taken against the bullies (Stauffer, Heath, Coyne & Ferrin, 2012). Importantly, numerous schools have implemented distinct procedures that will be used to promote responsible use of the internet.
Students are taught the various forms of cyberbullying and the appropriate actions to take in case they experience any type online harassment. As such, it is essential to incorporate this study into the school curriculum and to engage student on the best method to ensure that the vice is reduced both in schools and in the community (Hinduja & Patchin, 2013). The school administration should also put signage around the institution that promotes proper use of the technology to ensure that the stated rules are strictly followed. In essence, it is important for the school administration to establish and maintain an environment that promotes integrity and respect and where violations of the set policies may result in either formal or informal sanction (Sabella, Patchin & Hinduja, 2013).
The interview was conducted in the US in the state of Georgia. The interviewee was Kelvin Washington, who is 23 years. He works as a cashier at a local grocery store and still in college. The interview took place at 6.30 pm in the store’s parking space after Kelvin had finished his working shift.
I first experienced cyberbullying at the age of ten when a photo showed a picture of me wearing female clothes at my birthday party.
Summary. The response shows that bullying in schools does not depend on age but rather the damage they can course to the self-esteem of the victim. Equally, at that tender age, the effect of bullying can cause a child to avoid attending school or even choose to transfer to a different institution (Hinduja & Patchin, 2013).
What caught my attention in the photo was that the picture dressed me as one of the famous school cheerleaders who was also my classmate. The bully even painted makeup on my face. I had to avoid going to school for a week due to the embarrassment and abusive comments from my classmates.
Analysis. Bullying affects different aspects of the victim’s life. Through the humiliating picture, Kelvin could not go to school for fear of humiliation and frustrations from his classmates. Equally, the victim develops low self-esteem that interferes with their social life both in school and at home.
At first, I did not know who the bully was or the grade he was in but later I found out that it was Tim, our neighbor who I had also invited to the birthday party. He was two years older than me, and he was in the fifth grade when I was in the third grade.
Analysis. In most of the bullying cases, the victim may not know the perpetrators as they hide their identity. Most of the online platforms’ do not take a keen interest in a person’s original identification documents, therefore, making it easier for the bullies to hide or use false identities. Notably, 15% of the bullying cases reported in the United States are carried out by people close to the victims (Sabella, Patchin & Hinduja, 2013). In kelvins case, he trusted and never expected his friend Tim to commit such a vice and therefore took him a long time to know the real culprit.
The bullying incident took place during the lunch hour when I was with two of my friends; David and Crag. It was a humiliating scene as the entire hall was filled with laughter and mockery all directed to me. There was nothing me or my friends could do, and I had to leave my lunch and run to the bathroom.
Analysis. Most of the bullies choose an appropriate platform and venue to unleash their wrath to their victims. In kelvins case, the perpetrator decided lunchtime when everybody can access the internet and when the victim was around. Through this, he would be able to watch the reaction of the victim and the level of frustrations they are going through.
I responded by avoiding direct confrontations with anybody. I just went to the bathroom and cried for almost one hour then left when everybody was back in class. I avoided the afternoon classes and had to walk home to avoid boarding the school bus.
Analysis. Various victims react differently to bullying instances. For instance, Kelvin decided to leave the hall and be on his own. He even left his friends due to the level of humiliation he had experienced. The occurrence affected his relations with his friends and his education as he had to avoid anything that brought them together.
When I was in the fifth grade one of my friends Emma, experienced one of the worst bullying experiences of her life. The bully chose to share Emma’s personal pictures and a frustrating video. At first, it was hard for me to control her emotions as I could not reach her either by phone or through the social media platforms. Her mum could not allow any of her friends to see her, and she blamed me for her daughter’s experience. Surprisingly, Emma’s mum even reported to the school administration that I was the vice. The victim missed school for a month while I was suspended from school for two weeks. She later transferred to a different school and left me with no contacts. Six months later, the bully who had shared Emma’s photo was found. Surprisingly it was her cousin Chris who had stolen the pictures from her laptop and uploaded it on Facebook using an anonymous account.
Cyber bullying in schools has different effects to both the student and his friends. The school administration should ensure that proper mechanisms are set to ensure that children engage in proper use of the internet and any case of bullying punished accordingly. Additionally, both parents and school administration should ensure effective counseling procedures are adopted to hem bullying victims recover from the ordeal.
- Donegan, R. (2012). Bullying and cyberbullying: History, statistics, law, prevention and analysis. The Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, 3(1), 33-42.
- Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2014). Bullying beyond the schoolyard: Preventing and responding to cyberbullying. Corwin Press.
- Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2013). Social influences on cyberbullying behaviors among middle and high school students. Journal of youth and adolescence, 42(5), 711-722.
- Perren, S., Corcoran, L., Cowie, H., Dehue, F., Mc Guckin, C., Sevcikova, A., … & Völlink, T. (2012). Tackling cyberbullying: Review of empirical evidence regarding successful responses by students, parents, and schools. International Journal of Conflict and Violence, 6(2), 283.
- Sabella, R. A., Patchin, J. W., & Hinduja, S. (2013). Cyberbullying myths and realities. Computers in Human behavior, 29(6), 2703-2711.
- Stauffer, S., Heath, M. A., Coyne, S. M., & Ferrin, S. (2012). High school teachers’ perceptions of cyberbullying prevention and intervention strategies. Psychology in the Schools, 49(4), 352-367.