Bullying is the act of displaying aggressive, unwanted behavior among school-age children that is based on perceived or real power imbalances. In this case, the behavior will be repeated over time or has the potential to be repeated and both bullied kids and those who bully others may suffer serious, long-lasting problems.
In recent times following the death of 12 years old Sylvester Oromoni, a Junior Secondary School JSS 2, student of Dowen College who died as a result of torture by school bullies as claimed by the family. In this article, we will address how to stop bullying, how parents, teachers and kids can stop bullying, different types of bullying, how to prevent bullying in school, causes of bullying in school and more.
Nigerian schools, especially boarding schools, are rife with bullying and harassment, but nothing is being done to combat it. As social media has become so prevalent in schools, bullying has become a very public issue, as inappropriate interactions between kids can occur outside of school hours, during the break time, or through emails, texts, and social media.
Identifying bullying is the first step Schools, teachers, parents and kids should be aware and also learn like Physical bullying (pushing, Spitting, kicking, threatening to cause harm, punching, or hitting) is one form. Other forms of bullying are verbal (name-calling, Inappropriate sexual comments or threats); or psychological and emotional (spreading rumors, embarrassing someone in public, telling other children not to be friends with someone, excluding someone from a conversation or activity).
When it comes to dealing with bullying, knowing the victim and helping the victim is the first step.
As a teacher, how can you make an impact on students and prevent bullying? How do you stop the behavior?
- Educate your students on kindness and empathy
Participating in social-emotional learning activities can boost students’ learning. Try to find ways to help children appreciate and understand each other, which requires empathy and kindness. Kids can practice resolving conflicts, working through problems, and cultivating their understanding of others by engaging in conflict resolution activities.
- Use the arts
The arts can help young people see situations from different perspectives. With drama, literature, and visual arts as a vehicle for conversation, teachers can help students understand better the negative impact of bullying. Reading or watching stories with issues that surrounds bullying will help create a safe and open atmosphere for students to talk about bullying. Its easy to pick out the bullying behavior that happens in the classroom without highlighting specific events.
- Look out for bullying antics in kids
Small “bullying” behaviors can often signal the beginning patterns of bullying, although may seem difficult to detect But, if you recognized early, you could prevent bullying behavior. Eye rolling, Name-calling, causing physical harm on others, Laughing or starring cruelly, hitting, pinching, excluding others, and more
- Encourage communication
Encourage students to speak up when bullied, point out the behaviors, and ask them to report if they have experienced it. If bullies or victims are noticed in the classroom encourage them to speak up.
- Reward positive behaviors and Call out bad behaviors
Reward kids with outstanding behaviors, kids with positive impact on others, let the good kids outshine the bullies.
Call out bad behaviors and bullies in the school, let them be noticed for being bad and let them learn from the positive behaviors
- Engage parents
Be in communication with parents of both victims and bullies. Let’s parents be aware of activities going on in school for correction at home
What can parents do to stop bullying?
- Encourage the victim/child to talk about it
- Reassure the victim/child he or she is not to blame to help create an atmosphere that’s comfortable enough to talk about it.
- teach the child how to respond to being bullied
- Parents get information about their child’s bullying and bullies
- parents should contact the school admin and remain in touch with them to seek their help in alleviating the bullying.
What if your child is the bully?
- listening to his or her side of the story
- hold the child fully accountable for his actions,
- reprimand him or her and make him or her apologize for being a bully
- spend more time with him or her, monitor his or her activities, and supervise him or her appropriately.
- stay in close touch with the school to monitor for any other incidents and encourage child to engage in positive social activities with positive role models.
What to do if you witness a victim being bullied?
- As a Bystanders, discourage the act.
- Bring it to the notice of other people that will influence the situation by expressing their disapproval toward the bully
- Inform teachers or someone in authority
- The group of bystanders can decide individually or as a group to positively
- Encouraging the victim to ask for help from peers and authority figures.
What to do if a school downplays a report of bullying?
Parents are commonly advised to continue communicating with school personnel, administrations, counselors and authorities until the bullying has been addressed and resolved.
If unaddressed parents should consider addressing the bully and or parents of bully