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Cause and Effect of Bullying in Schools

By:   •  December 13, 2012  •  Essay  •  1,492 Words (6 Pages)  •  2,632 Views

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Freak, weirdo, faggot, dyke, queer, and loser: these are only a few of the slurs and derogatory remarks that are called out each day to our youth because they are different than the others in their schools. Bullies seek out those who are construed as different and harass and ostracize them because it makes them feel more powerful. Words alone can do a lot of damage, that old saying "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me" is untrue, words hurt; possibly more than any physical damage could. Words are not the only way bullies hurt they do use violence and intimidation these are common themes that we are seeing spread like wildfire through our school systems. Bullying is becoming a huge issue in our schools our children are afraid to be different, afraid to be themselves. The bullying that has been most in the news lately is that of young gay and lesbian students and too often the result is suicide. Following the infamous 1999 Columbine High School shootings, in which two students, both victims of bullying, went on killing spree through their school (Associated Press). Several schools have enacted zero tolerance policies towards planned, or even implied, violence within schools while this seems to be a good policy it also can effectively allow bullies to continue their harassment of weaker students. It does not allow the bullied student to ever fight back. Bullying can lead to emotional problems such as depression, low self-esteem and even suicide it can also lead to other harmful effects such as what happened at Columbine. Studies show that bullying has many harmful effects on our youth, something needs to be done.

One of the biggest problems that we are up against is that the face of bullies are not always readily recognizable. It is easy to tell the bully when there is physical harm done, but what about when the bullying isn't physical? Those bullies are possibly the most dangerous and the hardest to pick out. With all of the technology in the world now bullying can take on so many different forms the bullies no longer even have to be face-to-face. There is bullying through text messages, chat rooms, email and there have been instances of others using pictures and videos as weapons against people. One such incident took place September 19, 2010 when two students, Dharun Ravi and Molly Wei, live streamed a video of Ravi's roommate Tyler Clementi during a sexual encounter with another male. After the incident Tyler left a goodbye message on Facebook before jumping off the George Washington Bridge to his death(Emily Friedman).

Cyber-bullying has become the worst kind of torture because now for our teens it means the end of the school day is not the end of the bullying. Now it can follow them anywhere even into their own homes. Its maddening that some of our teens and young people never feel safe. Can you imagine how it would feel to never feel like being yourself is good enough? A lot of the young people that are taking their lives are gay teens that are made to feel like less than nothing. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youths are up to four times more likely to attempt suicide than their heterosexual peers, according to the Massachusetts 2006 Youth Risk Survey . Raymond Chase, Asher Brown, Seth Walsh, Billy Lucas are just a few of the other students that took their own life in 2010 because of the bullying that stemmed from their sexual orientation.

Since the beginning of time, being "different" or "unique" has been somewhat of target for a person. Whether it be a persons' sexuality, race, learning ability, appearance, culture, etc – being different from the socially constructed "norm" will cause people to take notice. While a lot of people are going to see different and people live their lives and choose to accept the differences, there will always be those who are ignorant and choose to belittle and degrade those because it makes them feel more powerful. Those who bully are usually insecure about something within them and making others feel bad about themselves makes the bully feel stronger and more in control. There have been strong correlations reported between the tendency to bully others and poor family psycho-social health. Those children involved in bullying are three times more likely to have problems in the home. Family therapists have long regarded positive and effective communication in families as a critical determinant of healthy family functioning among adolescents (Connely and Moore 560).

The act of bullying has long-term implications for both victims and perpetrators. Negative impacts of chronic victimization include increased rates of truancy and dropping out as well as different psychosocial and psychosexual relationships; the impact of bullying on its victims includes a loss of self-esteem and feelings of isolation which, according to new research, can last into adulthood (Dupper and Meyer-Adams 352). Bullies do not realize the type of damage they are inflicting on their victims. They say cruel things and use physical violence to intimidate those who appear weak and different. These things can cause long term psychological and physical scars.

What can be done about bullying? Is there anything that will work? Schools should take the threat of violence seriously every time. They should take complaints from children being taunted and harassed seriously. Every claim should be investigated. Children should feel


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