Bullying is an act where the perpetrator intentionally wants to case harm to others using verbal pestering, physical violence and other more devious methods to intimidate and influence some people. Even today there is no generally accepted definition of bullying but it is thought that when an individual is for a long period of time is exposed to repeat negative actions and behavior by one or more person this negative behavior and action here is when it is intentionally meted out on someone through verbal or physical actions. It can be occur in any palace and is not just limited to school, it can occur at workplace and it can target a certain class gender or social group.
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In the case of school bullying the characteristics generally displayed by the bullies is:
- The bully wants to control and suppress other students and make all the decisions
- The bully is not only very rash and reckless but also can get angry very easily
- He or she usually is disobedient and hostile towards his or her parents and other adults
- The bully is not sympathetic towards those who are victims
- In the case of boys the bully is more stronger than other boys
On the other hand the victims usually display the following characteristics:
- The victim usually is precautious, overly-sensitive, silent, introvert and timid
- He or she is usually nervous, apprehensive, discontented and have low self-respect
- The victim is depressed and in some cases more suicidal then others
- He or she does not have a good friend and usually relate better with adults rather then peers
- In case of boys they may be weaker physically then others
In terms of peer acceptance capacity the bullies would be in the controversial category while the victim would be in the rejected or neglected category.
Some of the methods are:
- Making reporting of bullying easier
- Creating awareness among people
- Supporting the victims
- Working with bullies to change their behavior
- Increasing playground supervision
The author in this article talks primarily about two things which lead to bullying and which also encourage bullying behavior. First of all in schools children don’t understand diversity and since it’s new for them they approach it in a negative manner. They demonstrate an insensitivity and intolerance of any kind of variance from the standard in form of ethnicity, sexual orientation, social acceptance and even in the ability of doing things. It is the ignorance and intolerance of diversity which make students at school behave as bullies. The author gives an example of a Puerto Rican girl who was being teased and insulted because she came from a different place. In another case a gay teenager was harassed by his peers because of his sexual orientation. In another incident as mentioned by the author another girl was called names and labeled because of her choice of clothes.
Secondly bullying is so prevalent in school is because most of the other students who are witnesses of acts of bullying are actually ready to stand up for the victims but they just know what to do or where to go or the steps to take so that they can prevent such occurrences. Most of the cases schools don’t generally have a reporting system which supports creating awareness for such altruistic actions and most of the students generally are unaware of ways if they actually exist.
Play-back Theater is a very effective way of preventing bullying because:
- It creates awareness among the children about the prevalence of bullying and gives both the victims and the bullies a chance to see for themselves what it is to be like in their place.
- Secondly it creates awareness and leads to students becoming more aware and tolerant as they appreciate that there are other societies and therefore allow the student to learn about other and accept them as they are.
- Third it can be incorporated into the curriculum in such a way that the regular curriculum is not affected and through it the students learn about issues from different perspective, like civil rights and when they discuss and write about it.