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The Problem of Bullying and Possible Solutions Essay

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Updated: Dec 25th, 2020

Introduction

People encounter numerous problems, ranging from broken home appliances to difficulties of communicating with friends or colleagues every day. They have many different ideas about solving them, though these notions are often too theoretical and lack feasibility. Therefore, individuals cannot successfully deal with new challenges. Nevertheless, these abstract ideas are crucial, as they lead to positive outcomes if combined with tangible solutions. Without any doubt, bullying is an enormous and complicated problem affecting a multitude of humans and institutions, which fail to manage it despite all efforts. The reason for it is that people place too much reliance on governmental policies and various campaigns and ignore their responsibility. However, each citizen can handle it only by employing practical responses to the problem. In general, bullying is a critical and complex issue prevailing among children; thus, it is essential to adopt different solutions to tackle it.

The Problem of Bullying

It is vital to clearly understand what bullying means and how it affects individuals before discussing the responses to the challenge. According to Cornell et al., the Center for Disease Control and Prevention emphasizes three characteristics of bullying: “willful aggression, power imbalances between aggressors and victims, and reoccurrence of aggression” (par. 5). The first and the second characteristics are critical and define the problem, while the third one is widespread but not required. It is essential to note that bullying is always intentional and involves people whose power and influence are different. Unfortunately, in most cases, bullying is not a single episode but occurs regularly. It is prevailing among everyone regardless of their socioeconomic status, religion, gender, or nationality, though children are the most vulnerable population. They face aggression not only at schools but also in the street and on the Internet. The government, local authorities, community members, school staff, and parents work diligently to eliminate the issue, but only some succeed due to its complexity.

Furthermore, the effects of bullying are adverse and long-lasting, destroying both aggressors and victims’ lives. It is noted that the bullied’s confidence and self-esteem are undermined, and their sense of security is destroyed (Safe from Bullying on Journeys 3). The issue influences every aspect of life, ranging from academic success to home relationships. Children mistreated by their peers may fail to fulfill their potential and make the most of their talents. At the same time, aggressors develop bad manners preventing them from future progress and face severe criticism. Bullying considerably alters everyone leading solely to adverse outcomes. Nassem states that even though wealth research has been conducted and effective interventions have been made, bullying is still “a prevalent problem causing depression, anxiety, and even suicide” (par. 1). These results are likely to make an enormously damaging impact on children who undergo mental and physical development. Unfortunately, the consequences of intentional aggression may be impossible to alleviate unless an urgent response is received.

In addition, numerous institutions and individuals fail to tackle the issue effectively. It needs practical solutions and personal responsibility but not abstract notions and reliance on the government and social activists. Cornell et al. argue, “Today’s laws and policies about bullying are fragmented and inconsistent” (par. 4). The solutions presented below are tangible and can be adopted by staff members of any particular school without governmental regulations. People need to realize that not knowledge but action can lead to eliminating the issue. Simultaneously, it requires much time and effort, though all the hard work is worth the possible positive outcomes.

Solution 1: Positive School Climate and Progressive Discipline

A positive school climate leads to effective learning, fruitful collaboration, and valuable experience for all stakeholders. Parents and staff members can create it in many different ways. For instance, designing a code of conduct promotes positive student behavior, and building respectful and healthy relations between educators and learners is incredibly useful (Progressive Discipline). Children spending much time in such an environment are discouraged from mistreating others. Even though bullying cases may still occur, aggressors are likely to be criticized by other students inspired to support victims. In a positive school climate, bullies cannot gain power, respect, or influence by threatening others, as a school community regards it as unacceptable. Therefore, within the local area, the school administration should arrange meetings involving staff members and parents willing to collaborate on designing a positive environment.

On the other hand, it is not enough; thus, adopting progressive discipline is required. It encourages every student to feel more accountable for their actions and proves that inappropriate conduct causes negative consequences. At the same time, staff members implementing progressive discipline should consider many factors, such as social background and age, before imposing punishments or supplying support. It is evident that “providing students with the opportunity to reflect on their own actions and the impact of these actions is essential to student learning” (Progressive Discipline 2). Otherwise, they cannot alter their behavioral patterns and realize what is right and what is wrong. Principles can determine the ways to either support or punish aggressors. For instance, talking with them, reviewing their perspective on appropriate conduct, and involving social workers are examples of supportive practices (Progressive Discipline). Simultaneously, additional assignments, detentions, suspensions, and expulsions are examples of punishments (Progressive Discipline). Hence, the local authority needs to consider making the progressive discipline approach mandatory.

Solution 2: Using Posters with Slogans

People should encounter an idea several times in their daily lives to realize it. However, they need to be constantly reminded about this idea to adopt it and change their thoughts and behavior. Perversely, children are exposed to bullying not only at schools but also in the street and on public transport where adults cannot intervene directly. Research proves that “fears about safety limit young people’s use of local amenities” (Safe from Bullying on Journeys 9). Everyone can alleviate the problem by taking small steps, which may primarily affect aggressors, victims, and witnesses of bullying.

Spreading posters with slogans outside of school settings can promote the idea that bullying is inappropriate in any form. The case study of the borough-wide initiative on bullying out of school is inspiring. Throughout a series of workshops, social workers determined the places where children face bullying the most often (Safe from Bullying on Journeys). Students designed posters with slogans on intentional aggression, which were displayed at bus stops, subways, and park play areas (Safe from Bullying on Journeys). They indicated that these locations are zones free of bullying and encouraged children not to withstand it even if they are not involved. It is an example of how small actions can lead to considerable changes. In addition, small businesses can also get involved and make their impact. For instance, they can incorporate posters on their premises and print out slogans on T-shirts worn by employees or products. Hence, community members should spread anti-bullying posters around the local area, and the authority ought to encourage launching an anti-bullying campaign involving businesses.

Solution 3: Involving More People

Numerous adults encounter children every day and may witness bullying on their own. Without any doubt, “All organizations and adults (paid or unpaid) who work with children owe them a duty of care and must take all reasonable steps to ensure their safety (Safe from Bullying on Journeys 11). Everyone can contribute to dealing with the issue by realizing one’s responsibility, speaking up, and taking action. At first, it may seem that shop assistants or bus drives can do nothing to solve the problem, but it is far from the truth.

Bus drivers and conductors often meet children and communicate with them during their workdays. Sometimes they may be present when bullying occurs, though they are not required to intervene. Therefore, they often choose to ignore the issue, as their response can be regarded as unprofessional and even cause some problems. However, they can make remarks or ask an aggressor to leave a vehicle. Undoubtedly, bus drivers, conductors, and train guards should be instructed on how to act in such situations and be able to contact school representatives to report the cases of bullying. For example, in Birmingham, England, bus drivers reach schools by contacting a safer travel team on their concerns or actual incidents (Safe from Bullying on Journeys 14). Such cooperation between different organizations helps to identify bullying cases and reduce their occurrence. Hence, the school administration needs to start cooperating with local transportation providers and shopping malls.

Furthermore, teachers are the most critical stakeholders, as they have enough power and knowledge to successfully deal with the problem. According to Nassem, “Bullying often happens because of a desire to be popular and to relieve boredom.” The author offers teachers to endeavor to help students to find alternative ways to fulfill their desires. For instance, involving children in exciting activities giving everyone a particular role is a useful technique. Numerous activities promote collaboration and engage students, and teachers have to use them. Thus, the school administration should arrange training sessions for teachers.

Conclusion

Millions of children face bullying every day worldwide, and it adversely affects their academic success, relationships, confidence, self-esteem, and prospects in general. Even though much attention is paid to the problem, the progress in alleviating it is not satisfactory. Governmental policies may be ineffective, and the influence of social activists may be weak. Therefore, everyone has to accept one’s responsibility and adopt practical solutions. For example, employing progressive discipline, creating a positive school climate, spreading posters with slogans, and involving everyone are the steps needed to be taken in every community.

Works Cited

Cornell, Dewey G. et al. “Do U.S. Laws Go Far Enough to Prevent Bullying at School?” Monitor on Psychology, vol. 47 no. 12, Feb 2016, . Accessed 2 Nov. 2020.

Nassem, Elizabeth. “Bullying is Still Rife in Schools. Here’s How Teachers Can Tackle It.” The Guardian, 17 Jan. 2018, . Accessed 2 Nov. 2020.

Progressive Discipline: Part of Ontario’s Approach to Making Schools Safe Places to Learn. 2016, . Accessed 2 Nov. 2020.

Safe from Bullying on Journeys. 2009, . Accessed 2 Nov. 2020.

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