As in the rest of the world, unfortunately, in our country’s schools, children are exposed to bullying behavior in the schoolyard every day; threatened, mocked, and persecuted. For some children, bullying is seen as a fact of life that they are told to accept as part of growing up. When you fail to recognize and stop bullying behaviors as soon as they occur, violence is often unwittingly incited. Uncontrollable and allowing bullying behavior often leads to greater and prolonged violence. This not only harms the targeted victims, but also negatively impacts the climate of schools and the opportunities for all students to learn and succeed in school.
WHAT IS PEER BULLYING?
According to a report by UNICEF (2018), half of all 13- to 15-year-old students worldwide (approximately 150 million) experience peer violence in and around school. Bullying is the abuse of power to physically or psychologically harm someone who is unable to defend themselves easily. Bullying among children is generally defined as intentional, repeated hurtful actions and words or negative, tormenting behaviors of one or more children towards the other, such as naming, threatening, and isolating. Victims who are subjected to these negative acts do not intentionally provoke the bullies. For such acts to be defined as bullying, there must be an imbalance in actual or perceived power between the bully and the victim. Children’s physical or mental capacity differences (weak-strong), family wealth (rich-poor) or family status (high-low level) or gender differences (girl-boy) can be given as examples of this power imbalance. Bullying can be physical, verbal, emotional or sexual in nature. For example: Physical bullying includes punching, poking, strangling, hair pulling, beating, biting, and excessive tickling. Verbal bullying includes actions such as hurtful nicknames, teasing, and gossip. Emotional bullying includes rejection, intimidation, blackmail, defamation, humiliation, rating/ranking of personal characteristics such as disability, ethnicity or perceived sexual orientation, manipulating friendships, isolating, ostracizing, and peer pressure. It includes some or most of the acts that include sexual bullying, exhibitionism, voyeurism, sexual solicitation, sexual harassment, and actual physical contact and sexual assault.