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Bullying is a form of scurrilous treatment which mainly entails emotional, physical or verbal harassment directed towards people of certain levels, gender, race and religion just to mention but a few. It mainly occurs when there is imbalance in power such that those deemed to be on the lower physical or social levels are bullied by those in the higher levels of power and social status.
Bullying can occur in many contexts especially where human beings interact with each other such as in the work places, learning institutions, family, churches among others. It is however more prone in schools as compared to the other areas. When bullying occurs, it causes oppression to the affected parties thus affecting their social life and studies in the case of students.
This paper is therefore an analysis of the possible causes and ways of preventing instances of bullying in schools by the police. Past and present approaches of addressing the issue of bullying in schools will further be discussed.
Bullying in schools
The problem of bullying in schools has been a major problem for many school going children and individuals. This is mainly because those who have undergone it or have seen fellow students in that situation will always have the fear of being in the same environment with the bullies.
As a matter of fact, recent research has shown that the instances of bullying in schools have been on the rise. This has been caused by the absence of ethos making some of the students or rather the bullies to obtain aggressive behavior to bully others.
It is for this reason that there has been need for the intervention of the community and the government to address the issue of bullying schools lest the school environment becomes the worst place to be in.
What the Police can do to prevent bullying in schools
The fact that bullying in schools is very detrimental to the growth and psychological effects of most school going children leading to instances of depression, low self-esteem and in some cases suicide makes it require immediate causes of action to prevent it.
If this vice is left untreated, the school bullies end up being the societal criminals. School bullying has been identified to result into other antisocial behaviors such as shop lifting, drug and alcohol addicts, vandalism just to mention but a few. It therefore because of this reason that the police force comes in to prevent this act before it develops into more serious crimes.
To begin with is the enactment of the School Bullying Prevention Act which states regulates the control and discipline of school children thus prohibiting them from any form of harassment, bullying or intimidation in the school environment. Through the guidance of this policy, the police are therefore in a position to act in accordance to its provisions thus making any offender punishable under the law.
The police force can prevent instances of bullying in schools by visiting the nearby schools to give them presentation on bullying. This way, the students will understand the effects and consequences of bullying thus shun away from this practice.
Through the establishment of a good relationship with the school, the police force will educate the students on violent prevention and how they can deal with cases of bullying. This is to make sure that the students that nave been bullied report the matter to the authorities without fear since they are well informed of the measures to be taken. Through this information, the rate of bullying in schools will be reduced since the bullies will be aware of the impacts they could face after such acts.
A major obligation of the police force is that of provision of safety in the society. Therefore, the police force can use this as one way of dealing with bullying in schools. This is such that they ensure the school’s environment is very safe by making routine visits to the surrounding.
This will reduce bullying instances as the bullies usually use the hidden or the not-open ground to bully others. Thus in the instance that they are ware of police making visits in the school compound, they will deter from doing such acts for the fear of being caught.
Last but not least, the school’s administration should have direct hotline link with the police forces to ensure immediate response in case of bullying.
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Community policing strategies
The problem of bullying in schools is not for a few but for everyone in the society. This is because the school children will at one point in time be members or leaders of the society. Therefore the community is no exception when it comes to dealing with the issue of bullying in schools. There are various community policy strategies that are applicable in stopping bullying in schools some of which include the following;
- Involving professionals, parents, volunteers and the youth in the fight against bullying in school- This entails involving different groups and categories of people to advice and guide the children on bullying effects and impacts. These people could include the counselors who will have counseling sessions in schools to educate the children on how to deal with the problem of bullying for those addicted to it or on how to report it for the victims of bullying. Parents also play a great role by raising their children in a disciplined manner. All the aforementioned groups of people can again come together and form ‘stop bullying in schools’ campaign.
- Raising community awareness; since bullying is often difficult at most times to understand, the community can raise awareness and inform people of how they can predict and recognize bullying. This will be through educating them on the signs of bullying and the consequent measures be taken.
- Assessing the strength and needs of the community- This entails finding out how the society perceives the bullying vice and measures that have been put in place to deal with it. This way, one will be in a good position to know the requirements of the community in terms of the issue of bullying in schools.
From the above discussion, it can be clearly seen that bullying is a bone of contention for many people. Nevertheless, it is the responsibility of all ambers of the society to deal with the issue of bullying in schools and not to be left on the hands of the school administrators only. Despite the fact that bullying instances have been on the rise in the recent past, ideal measures have been put in place to deal with the issue unlike it was in the past years.
Carey, T. (2003) Improving the success of anti-bullying intervention programs: A tool for matching programs with purposes. International Journal of Reality Therapy, 23(2), 16-23
Whitted, K.and Dupper, D. (2005). Best Practices for Preventing or Reducing
Bullying in Schools. Children and Schools, Vol. 27, No. 3, July 2005, pp. 167-175(9).