Is Bullying Really That Bad?
Chances are you already have a pretty good idea what bullying is and how it happens. But is bullying really that bad? It is a question that is being asked more regularly as young children under the age of 13 are becoming victims of bullying so significant that they are opting to take their own lives rather than to continue dealing with a bully. This suggests that yes, bullying really is that bad. Whether it is just one child bullying another or one bully taking advantage of several others, there is no question that bullying has no place in the school and should not be tolerated under any circumstances.
Bullying is defined in the dictionary as the intimidation or mistreatment of a person who is weaker than the bully or in a more vulnerable situation. When you stop to think about it, you may know a child who is a bully or who is being bullied but haven’t thought it was that big of a deal. The stereotype for what a bully is no longer exists in reality as the only type of bully that there is. Unfortunately, in the school setting, there are many different types of bullies and many children who are bullied regularly but feel that there is nothing that they can do about it.
Every child has the right to go to school and get an education, no matter what size, shape, color, race, disability or financial background they have. Any child who mistreats another child based on their appearance, ethnic origins, sexual orientation or any other reason is a bully. It does not matter if the bullying happens just once or is occurring regularly, it should be dealt with. No child should ever be made to feel that school is a place where they will be degraded, demoralized, singled out, hounded, discriminated against or taken advantage of in a vulnerable situation.
According to PhysOrg.com (2009), children who are bullied on a regular basis are at risk of developing psychotic symptoms as soon as early adolescent years. The National Center for Bullying Prevention held its fourth annual bullying prevention awareness week this year in October (Pacer.org) to help increase awareness and prevention. There are many more resources online that support the efforts to decrease and eliminate bullying in schools. Clearly, bullying has increased over the years and continues to plague many children who go to school to learn, not to be bullied by their peers.
So, to answer the question of whether or not bullying really is that bad, the answer is yes, it is. However, this answer is not the final answer and awareness is an important first step in helping parents, students, teachers and communities at large to learn more about how to recognize a bully and children who are bullied and to take steps to stop the bullying.