Bullying happens in most schools, and it is a practice that has carried on for a long time, but over time the practice has reached dangerous heights prompting schools to implement bullying awareness programs. Kids are bullied in school for a variety of reasons including their race, ethnicity, and even their physical appearance. Bullying has moved from the physical altercation and is now present via the internet. This change is brought on by the changing society and the accessibility we have of the World Wide Web. Students are now in constant communication, and it is easy to spread information whether true or false. When faced with incidences of bullying, students have constant nightmares of going to school, and some even plead with their parents to have them stay at home. The kids will be stressed, and this will affect their academic and their social life. Some of the students will voice out what they are going through but most will not for fear of repercussions. It is not right for the students to walk around fearing for their lives and for this reason; schools need to educate students on the impact of bullying both short and long term.
A large number of students say that they do not feel safe in their schools and an even more significant percentage are aware of someone who is being bullied or are victims themselves. Recent shootings in schools have been linked more with bullying than any other cause (Greene, 2008). It is necessary for schools to have bullying awareness programs that teach bullies the effects of their actions and provide them with guidance on how best to handle the frustrations they face and ultimately become better members of the society (Baldry et. al., 2007). These programs teach tolerance among students, and they learn how to live in peace and accepting of each other regardless of their background. The concept that bullying is normal and part of school life should be done away with. Such thoughts have seen schools and even parents pay little attention to the stresses faced by their children and some of them have ended up taking their lives since they felt that nobody cared for them.
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The only way to effectively end bullying in schools is to raise the awareness and not bury our heads in the sand. Students who are accused of bullying should be punished both by their parents and the school, and the keywords should be zero tolerance for any bullying. Creating awareness through these programs will help unite students, and they will be on hand to look out for one another as the teachers cannot be in every place every single moment. Students should not be faced with the constant worry of what will happen to them in the school halls, bathrooms, bus or cafeteria; instead, they should be focused on their studies, hanging out with their friends and so forth in a safe environment (Cohen & Elias, 2011).
When these programs are implemented, schools will shift the focus of the students to their future endeavors, making good grades and honing their skills. Consequences of bullying should be applied regardless of the student involved. The school faculty should be on hand to stop any bullying activities by enforcing rules and codes of conduct. Parents have a role to play, and they should be required to sign off on the handbooks or the codes of conduct expected of all parties in the school community. The implementation should not wait until a student suffers harsh or fatal consequences from bullying for the school to react but the programs should be a top priority for each school.
Baldry, A. C., & Farrington, D. P. (2007) Effectiveness of programs to prevent school bullying. Victims and Offenders, 2 (2), 183-204.
Cohen J. , Elias M.J. ( 2010 ). School climate: Building safe, supportive, and engaging classrooms and schools. National Professional Resource s.
Greene, M.B. ( 2008 ) Reducing violence in schools: School-based curricular programs and school climate . The Prevention Researcher , 15, ( 1) 16 .