Whole-school Bullying Policy Essay

Bullying and the Effects Of Academic Achievement In Elementary School Students Brandman University This paper was prepared for Introduction to Sociology, Section 101, taught by Professor Kimberly Kenney. Abstract As violence in school becomes more and more common in our society, teacher need to be more aware of the many types of bullying, how students are affected by bullying, how often students are being bullied and how to prevent bullying from occurring.

With bullying happening in schools more frequently and at the elementary school level, it’s important that schools look into the types of anti-bulling programs available and start implementing them if there was a need for a prevention program at their school. Early intervention is critical as studies show there is a relationship between bullying and a student’s academic achievements. Bullying and the Effects of Academic Achievement In Elementary School Students

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Bullying, whether, direct or indirect is a physical or psychological intimidation that occurs repeatedly over time to create an ongoing pattern of harassment and abuse (Batsche & Knoff, 1994). Constant harassment and abuse puts a damper on an environment in which our children have the right to learn and feel safe. Formal research has shown that not only the students who bully, but the students being bullied have suffered lifelong negative consequences including a decline in academic achievement.

Though most of the research has been conducted in other countries like Great Britain and Japan, bullying and its consequences has been addressed and discussed wherever a formal school environments exist (Banks, 2013). Our students of today are our future and we need them in class to stay connected to all of the educational opportunities that are available to them. Bullying is growing to become the biggest problem in our elementary schools and now is the time for educators to create a plan to counter this growing problem.

Looking at the Big Picture Research professor Dan Olweus (1993) states that 15% of elementary students are either being bullied or are the initiators of bullying behavior and that bullying seems to increase through the elementary school years, peaks in the middle/junior high school years and declines during high school. As physical types of bullying are more apparent in the elementary years, they seem to decrease with age, however, the verbal types of bullying seem to remain a lot longer.

School location, school size and racial composition do not seem to be a contributing factor in predicting bullying, but it has been shown in studies that boys seem to engage in bullying behavior and be bullied more frequently than girls do. What is Bullying? Bullying is comprised of behaviors such as teasing, taunting, threatening, hitting, and stealing that are initiated by one or more students against a victim. In addition to direct attacks, bullying may also be more indirect by causing a student to be socially isolated through intentional exclusion.

While boys typically engage in direct bullying methods, girls who bully are more apt to utilize these more subtle indirect strategies, such as spreading rumors and enforcing social isolation. Characteristics of Bullies and Victims Bullies, unlike their victims, seem to have very little anxiety, have a stronger self-esteem and most of the time are not bullying because they feel bad about themselves. It is said that most students that bully come from homes where involvement with others is lacking so they prey on the weak to make themselves feel better.

In everyday society people build their lives using the idea of status, a social position that a person holds (Macionis, 2011, p. 95). Often time’s bullies are seen as popular, strong and daring and that attract others to imitate the same behavior. In order for a bully to maintain their “cool” status they must play the role and execute the behaviors expected of them (Macionis, 2011, p. 95). Victims of bullying are usually more anxious, insecure, cautious, and suffer from low self-esteem.

It has also been shown that the bullied rarely defend themselves when confronted by the bully. They may lack social skills and friends, they are often socially isolated and labeled as “nerds,” and “weak. ” Victims tend to be close to their parents and may have parents who can be described as overprotective (Batsche & Knoff, 1994; Olweus, 1993). Resist and Resent Based on the information from the article, Bullying: The Biggest Problem in Elementary Schools (n. d. parents are shuddering at the fact that their children are no longer able to go to school without the worry of being picked on and having it exposed to everyone. More and more children are becoming the victim of bullying simply because they are shy or cannot wear the same clothes as the popular people. Elementary school children are now fearing school and think that it is unsafe and unhappy place which is causing missed assignments due to skipped classes, truancy and falling behind academically (Banks, 2013).

Low attendance is very common for a child that is being bullied, it is also a killer for their self-esteem. There are eight stages of development, as stated by Erik H Erikson (Macionis, 2011, p. 74) but for this particular review the focus is on the 4th stage. The 4th stage is the preadolescence stage concentrating between the ages of 6 and 13. During this stage children are entering school, making friends, feeling proud of their accomplishments or fearing that they do not measure up.

This is an age where they should be learning and developing their personalities and not having to worry about whether or not they want to go to school and be tormented. Intervention Programs Olweus (1993) states that bullying is a problem that occurs in the social environment as a whole. The bullies’ aggression occurs in social contexts in which teachers and parents are generally unaware of the extent of the problem and other children are either reluctant to get involved or simply do not know how to help.

Most children fear that they will become a victim of bullying if they tell so they try to turn the other cheek. Even though all bullying situations are all different effective interventions should involve entire schools rather than just the individuals that are involved. Olweus (1993) developed a whole-school bullying policy, to implement curricular measures, improve the school ground environment, and empower students through conflict resolution, peer counseling, and assertiveness training. Below are details to an approach that involves interventions at the school, class, and individual levels.

It includes the following components: * An initial questionnaire can be distributed to students and adults. The questionnaire helps both adults and students become aware of the extent of the problem, helps to justify intervention efforts, and serves as a benchmark to measure the impact of improvements in school climate once other intervention components are in place. * A parental awareness campaign can be conducted during parent-teacher conference days, through parent newsletters, and at PTA meetings.

The goal is to increase parental awareness of the problem, point out the importance of parental involvement for program success, and encourage parental support of program goals. Questionnaire results are publicized. * Teachers can work with students at the class level to develop class rules against bullying. Many programs engage students in a series of formal role-playing exercises and related assignments that can teach those students directly involved in bullying alternative methods of interaction.

These programs can also show other students how they can assist victims and how everyone can work together to create a school climate where bullying is not tolerated. * Other components of anti-bullying programs include individualized interventions with the bullies and victims, the implementation of cooperative learning activities to reduce social isolation, and increasing adult supervision at key times (e. g. , recess or lunch). Schools that have implemented Olweus’s program have reported a 50% reduction in bullying. Conclusion

Bullying is a serious problem that can affect the ability of students to progress academically and socially. An intervention plan that involves all students, parents, and school staff should be required to ensure that all students can learn in a safe and fear-free environment. By increasing awareness of the problem of bullying and providing training on skills for effectively handling a bullying situation, teachers and school staff can work collaboratively with students to promote a safe and supportive learning environment.

References Banks, R. (2013). Bullying in Schools. Retrieved from http://www. education. com/reference/article/Ref_Bullying_Schools/ Bullying The Biggest Problem in Elementary Schools. (n. d) Retrieved from http://www. america. edu/bullying_the_biggest_problem_in_elementary_schools. ht ml. Macionis, J. (2011). Society: The Basics. Upper Saddle, NJ. Prentice Hall. Olweus, D. (1993). Bullying at school. Malden, MA Blackwell. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.