Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bullying in High School


Bullying in schools is believed to be a normal part of school life, however, when people begin to have this mentality, they forget that bullying is physically and psychologically harmful to both the bully and the victim. Therefore, bullying must be eradicated from schools by raising awareness and increasing supervision.  If you or someone you know is getting bullied, then this blog is for you. School bullying refers to all types of bullying done on school property, whether, it is peer-to-peer bullying, bullying of younger children by older children, or bullying in which a teacher is either a victim or a culprit. If you find that unacceptable, you must do everything you can to stop the bullying.

History of Bullying

The word "bully" has interesting roots. Ironically, the word “bully” did not begin as having a threatening type of a meaning, instead it meant quite the opposite. The word “bully” appears to have both Dutch and German roots, evolving from words for “lover” and “friend” (The History of the Word Bully). It's surprising to learn that the earliest meanings of bullying were extremely positive!

The word “bully” was actually still used in its original meaning up until the early 1900s. We can see an example of the current meaning of the word being used in 1909 by Theodore Roosevelt. “President Roosevelt was sitting at his desk when he suddenly stopped writing, swung round in his swivel chair and said ‘I suppose my critics will call that preaching, but I have got such a bully pulpit" (PBS).

This quote by the former president has been cited and analyzed quite a bit. Perhaps because the word "bully" holds such a strong meaning. "In William Safire’s Political Dictionary, a bully pulpit is 'active use of the president’s prestige and high visibility to inspire or moralize.' That’s certainly the most common meaning, directly arising from Roosevelt’s usage, but it’s now wider in application than just the presidency and is used of other persons and also of organizations" (World Wide Word: Bully Pulpit).


There are a lot perceptions about what constitute bullying in today’s times. There are several instruments, as well as teaching tools to educate and bring awareness to recognize many different situations and circumstances when this ugly behavior becomes evident in our society. The origin that bullying derives from is when a person comes from an unstable environment, divorce parent situation, social class differences, cultural difference, cyber indegression or someone that believes negative superficial beliefs or stereotypes about another person that brings on acts of emotion and cause physical malicious to another person. This ineffective behavior usually becomes apparent, and is first recognize most often in the elementary years of social development when children begin to interact and socialize.

Many of these bullying acts happen in a various environments. The most common place a child may experience this act is often on the school, on the internet or in a local neighborhood. Most bullying occurs more frequently among boys than girls. Teenage boys are much more likely to bully others. While both boys and girls equally get bullied or bully. Boys are more physical such as slapping, pushing and hitting. Teenage girls mostly bully each other by using indirect aggression such as spreading gossip, rumors or reject other girls. Bully’s usually prey on those who they think are different and vulnerable just to be mean.

It is unfortunate that many children today come from broken families, divorce and different social circumstances that instigate and teach this negative behavior. For those who are victims of this compelling complicating, confusing act. It may lead to suicide ideation and cause a victim to feel inadequate, depressed, and possible anti-social if being bullied. It is a form of harassment. This harsh behavior is an act of vengeance brought on by another person whose actions cause emotion distress to another person because of jealousy, envy, discontent, or control issues. Bullying is damaging because it tears at another person’s self-worth. This distasteful dysfunctional act brings low self-esteem issue to victims. It is important to teach someone who is being bullied to report this behavior immediately to a teacher, peer or parent. So bullies can be held accountable and stopped.

Measures are being taken to stop bullying in the United States. There are 45 states that have passed anti-bullying laws passed through legislation; District of Columbia, Hawaii, Michigan, Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota with New York being one of the most recent to pass legislation. Many people have been bullied one time in their life but that doesn’t make it o.k. It is difficult for children to fight off this hate crime without programs in place to stop it from happening. So hopefully this informational blog will help others gain a better perspective to help spread the word that bullying won’t be tolerated.

Family Issues

In most cases, bullying originates at home.  Growing up in a violent home is one of the most terrifying and traumatic experiences a child can go through. It’s an experience that a child will not forget. Children that come from violent homes are susceptible to patterns that can cause them to enter into a vicious cycle of violence and abuse.  "Children who were exposed to violence in the home engaged in higher levels of physical bullying than youngsters who were not witnesses to such behavior, according to a study by researchers from the University of Washington and Indiana University" (Schwarz 1).

Video Games


        Though there are some skeptics, others say that video games can lead to bullying in high school.  We all remember the Columbine High School shootings where On April 20, 1999, in the small, suburban town of Littleton, Colorado, two high-school seniors, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, enacted an all-out assault on Columbine High School during the middle of the school day. The boys' plan was to kill hundreds of their peers. With guns, knives, and a multitude of bombs, the two boys walked the hallways and killed. When the day was done, twelve students, one teacher, and the two murderers were dead; plus 21 more were injured. The haunting question remains: why did they do it?  "Klebold and Harris were immersed in games like Doom, and that their lives were most gratifying while playing in a virtual world" "As they got into trouble, the two teenagers started to get their computer access restricted. Jerald Block believes that anger that was being projected into the games was now unleashed into the real world. (Columbine High School Massacre).


Sports coaches, especially at the high school level, are there to teach and to provide students with a positive experience they can take with them for the rest of their lives. This goal, however, often gets lost in the coaches zeal to win and be successful, often resulting in a coach being unseeingly harsh towards his players at times. "After a quarterback protected by a green jersey had been flattened by yet another improper tackle, coach Mark Elston pulled the defender up off a pile of others around the QB and started screaming" (LJWorld).

Peer Pressure

As they learn how to relate to others, children gravitate toward people they want to emulate. They have a natural tendency to copy behaviors they find attractive. If they are confident and secure, they will nurture their own personal growth by adapting their behaviors in positive ways.  But if they lack confidence, they will feel they have to relinquish who they are in order for potential friends to like them. Afraid to voice their own opinions and not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings, they become the person they think people want them to be instead of being who they really are.

Insecure children believe their opinions don't count, so they allow others to influence their decisions. Your child might like carrots, for instance, but if his new best friend thinks carrots are "disgusting," your son may decide he no longer likes carrots. Afraid that his food preference will offend his new friend, he decides to imitate his new friend. He now hates carrots because his friend hates carrots.

Examples and Effects of Bullying

The facts on bullying are getting a big problem between teens and children that can lead with serious emotional problems between the victim and the abuser. Bullying can happen anywhere. The most common places of bullying are the schools, and it doesn’t matter the age or a certain school. In this blog we are going to focus more on bullying with high school students from 11 grades to 12 grades; for example:

Verbal Bullying

Name calling, spreading rumors, threatening somebody, and making fun of others   are all forms of verbal bullying that intends to harm emotionally a person or a group of persons in repetitive times over and over again. For instance, a verbal bully may make fun of his victim or victims by teasing and insulting, and may call names based on their appetence. Verbal bullies are the one more difficult to identify because their attacks tend to occur only when and adult is not present. Even though this kind of bullying doesn’t create physical damage, but this type of abuse can cause a long lasting psychological problems on victims of this kind of bully.

Physical Bullying
In this type of bullying involves intentional physical harm to the victim like hitting and punching.
It is important for parents to discuss the facts on bullying with their children to help teach them how to watch out for bullying and to avoid being bullied. There are several signs parents can look for when evaluating if your child is a victim of bullying.
Ø Comes  home with unexplained injuries or with damaged or missing clothing or other    belongings
Ø Has change in eating habits
Ø Makes excuses not to go to school
Ø Has fewer friends
Ø Feels helpless
Ø Talks about suicide
Ø Acts out of character
Ø Avoids certain places or playing outside alone
Ø Feels like they are not good enough
Ø Has trouble sleeping

The facts on bullying also provide information on what types of signs to look for in children who might be bullying others.
Ø Becomes frequently violent
Ø Has trouble controlling anger
Ø Is manipulative and controlling of others and situations
Ø Is quick to blame others
Ø Does not accept responsibility for their actions
Ø Needs to win or be the best at everything
 Understanding these warning signs can help parents prevent their children from becoming bullies or help them not become a victim of a bully. Counseling or therapies are good methods in helping to treat a child who exhibits symptoms of bullying. Children who are victims may also need some kind of support or counseling to help resolve underlying issues of emotional feelings of inadequacy. Children who are confident and have higher self-esteem are less likely to fall prey to the attacks of bullying.

Reasons of Bullying

Information about bullying suggests three interrelated reason why students bully.
1.    Students who bully have strong needs for power and negative dominance.
2.    Students also find satisfaction in causing injure and suffering to other students.
      3.    Students are often rewarded in some way for their behavior with material or psychological rewards.

Cyber bullying is when a child is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or targeted by another child using the Internet, mobile phone, or other type of digital technology.

Report Cyber Bullying: When cyber bullying happens, it is important to document and report the behavior so it can be addressed.
-      Anonymity Bullying

There is a way to bully someone without the victim ever knowing who it is.  It is what we call Anonymity Bullying which "Most often, takes place because of the degree of anonymity that the Internet provides" (Harassment and Bullying Defined).

-      Facebook Bullying

Social websites like Facebook have made it possible for people all over the world to connect and stay in touch easily. However, kids’ bullying other kids on Facebook has become a problem. "Nearly 43% of kids have been bullied online. One in four has had it happen more than once" (11 Facts about Cyber Bullying).

-      Suicide 

       Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me” is not actually true.  Any form of bullying, whether it is physical or psychological, has long term effects.  “Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, resulting in about 4,400 deaths per year, according to the CDC. For every suicide among young people, there are at least 100 suicide attempts. Over 14 percent of high school students have considered suicide, and almost 7 percent have attempted it” (Bullying Statistics).


If you suspect your child is bullying other, it is important for you to look for help for him or her as soon as possible. Without any intervention, bullying can lead to serious problems in academic, social, emotional, and legal difficulties. The parents should talk to the teachers at school, counselor, or family physician. If the bullying continues, a comprehensive evaluation by a child and adolescent psychiatric or other mental health professional should be arranged. This evaluation should help him or her to understand what is causing the bullying, and develop a plan to stop the destructive behavior.

If you are the victim of bullying, seek for help, talk to your parents, teachers, counselor, and try not to be alone. If on the other hand, if you suspect your child may be the victim of bullying ask him or her to tell you what is going on.  You can help by providing and open conversation in an open and honest way. It is important for the parents to respond in a positive way and accepting manner. Tell him or her not to feel guilty or that is their fault and that they did the right thing by telling you. Do not encourage your child to fight back, instead, encourage them to walk away to avoid the bully or to look for help from a teacher or and adult person. 

       If you or your child becomes depressed or do not want to go to school, or if you see a decline in school performance, additional consultation or intervention may be needed.  Seeking professional help for a bully victim, lessen the risk of lasting consequence for a child.

So, if you’re wondering what to do when getting bullied, here is a list of ideas you can try:

 - Telling someone
- Avoiding bad situations
- Gaining confidence to face the person who is bullying you!
- You can also just try and ignore them or tell them to stop.
- See school councilor ( or any councilor)
- Talk to your mother
- Warn teachers about it
- Try figure situations out by yourself or it could become worse with other people interfering

- In the cases of cyber bullying, never reply. Ever! Tell someone (a teacher or parent) they will sort it out. Cyber bullying is against the law and can be tracked to the place it came from no matter what! Yes even if all messages have been deleted.

- Make sure an adult in authority who is watching over you knows what is going on A.S.A.P. This can help because when they know the bully ought to stop. The person who has authority over you is like a threat to the bully because she/he can punish or call the parents. The bully will continue
what he is doing to you without you telling an authority.

- Ignoring the situation, whether its cyber bullying or physical/emotional bullying, will make the bully bored of you. So eventually he will stop.

-  Going up to the bully and standing up to them face to face can sometimes help but can also be a bad decision. The bully may not think of it seriously enough and will continue to bully you. But it might all just be misunderstanding. Maybe the bully thought you did something to you that he/she didn't like and wanted to get back at you. But that is not the right way to solve anything. But whatever the situation is you should try to talk it out. Maybe he/she will understand.

- Avoiding the situations with the bully and avoiding him/her in the hallways at school is a good idea but you will have to face the bully sometime. Whether which one will be your choice and decision I wish you the best of luck and remember that the bully isn't any different than you. We're all human.

As you search for answers, please know that:

  • You are not alone
  • There are real solutions that will work to stop the torment
  • You can get beyond this and back to happiness

Bully Official Trailer #1 - Weinstein Company Movie (2012)

This year, over 5 million American kids will be bullied at school, online, on the bus, at home, through their cell phones and on the streets of their towns, making it the most common form of violence young people in this country experience. The Bully Project is the first feature documentary film to show how we've all been affected by bullying, whether we've been victims, perpetrators or stood silent witness. The world we inhabit as adults begins on the playground. (YouTube)

Lady Gaga Speech on Topic of Bullying


Works Cited
"11 Facts About Cyber Bullying." Do Something. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 July 2012.

"American Experience: TV's Most-watched History Series." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 22
       July 2012

"Bully: A Vicious, Cowardly Word With a Long History." The History of the Word
      Bully. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 July 2012

"Bully Official Trailer #1 - Weinstein Company Movie (2012) HD." YouTube. YouTube, 
       21 Feb. 2012. Web. 27 July 2012.

"Bullying and Suicide." - Bullying Statistics. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 July 2012.

"Columbine High School Massacre." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 23 July 2012. 
      Web. 23 July 2012.

"Harassment and Bullying Defined - Lake Washington School District." Harassment and
      Bullying Defined - Lake Washington School District. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 July 2012.

Joel Schwarz "Violence in the Home Leads to Higher Rates of Childhood Bullying."
      University of Washington. September 12 2012. Web. 23 July 2012.

"" Thin Line Can Separate Coaching and Bullying in Schools . N.p.,
      December 14 2011. Web. 23 July 2012.

"World Wide Words: Bully Pulpit." World Wide Words: Bully Pulpit. N.p., Feb 1 2012. 
      Web. 25 July 2012.


Gemina G said...

Hello everyone! I am agree with the origen of bullying and all the couple or marriages that are having conflicts or if they can not stand each other because they are living a toxic relationship, they should get separated to stop the cycle of bullying. Because in many cases bullying originates at home.

Christian said...

To think that young children cannot see any hope for their future because they are living in fear of another person who has flaws of their own is sad. No child in high school should be in fear to live their life. I hope this blog (that took time to do) changes the way people approach bullying and learn how to deal with it properly and give the victim the support so that they can realise how important they actually are.

Amy Brown said...

I believe as parents it is important to communicate and talk to our children about anything and everything today. Being a good parent starts in the home. Unfortunately, when this doesn’t happen we need to rely on role models and educators in our communities. I also feel that zero tolerance for bullying should be implemented into the public school system curriculum so students are held to a higher standard to protect the victims and those who break the rules.

Gemina G said...

i am agree with Amy that we as perents have a big role with our kids at home. The same we act with them as a family, they will act the same way out the house or at school. If we teach them violence, they will share violent, but if we each them peace, they will share peace.

Christian said...

Amy Brown - Because bullying has become such a big deal in the United States and there are now 48 states that have passed laws governing anti-bullying. This issue has become a huge trend that celebrities such as Lady Gaga has started an organization called “Born the Way Foundation” which will support all programs which will deal with all aspects to empower youth.

Christian said...

Amy Brown - Sometimes kids going through psychological changes need others to care. This blog is an attempt to bring information to reach out to those victims that have been bullied. It is an educational tool to bring awareness and target kids in the grades 5-12. It should be taught by educators in a school auditorium and added to the school newspaper websites.

Christian said...

Gemina G - To all the viewers of this blog please help us to stop the bully problem by talking with teachers, parents, and counselor at school thanks.