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Our Teens & Bullying

Students that are bullied at home commonly become the school bullies. They take out their rage on smaller or weaker children in order to give themselves power since they are powerless at home. Another reason a student may bully another is self-protection. Sometimes a child will participate in belittling another person to prevent the bullies from picking on them. They divert the attention to another and become part of the power rather than be victimized.

Human groups, even children, are made up of leaders and followers. Because of their perceived strength, children often respond to bullies as they would a leader and do what they are told (giving up their lunch money, or doing someone else’s homework). But there is a real difference; a natural leader takes charge with good intentions, while a bully will dominate another person at all costs. There are circumstances where a leader is also a bully. Most bullies have low self-esteem and feel powerless at their core. The dynamic of predator/prey can change for the victim if the bullying is caught early and parental involvement occurs.

Bullying in schools has become a national dilemma. It affects students and makes many students not feel safe. Bullying has both short term and long term effects on the victim as well as the bully. Most of these problems will start in middle school and continue throughout high school. Many schools have a zero tolerance for harassment; however, many of these schools do not follow their own rules. Students are bullied in all sorts of places such as, the hallway, locker room, bus, and the classroom. Teens who are bullied are usually teased, threatened, mugged, or hit. There can be physical or nonphysical bullying that both have the same emotional effect.

In today’s society, bullies will use technology to spread rumors and make up stories that can ruin someone’s life. Facebook, Myspace, and Twitter are all social websites that can be used by bullies to spread rumors and to say harsh words to or about the victim. Statistics show that about one half of teens have been harassed online and the same amounts of teens have been the intimidators. Those who are bullied online feel vulnerable, so only one in ten teens who are being bullied will tell their parents. Exclusion from a group is a fear that a majority of teen girls have. Most of them want to fit in somewhere and when they are bullied, they feel isolated and alone. In most cases, the mean girls are the popular ones in which many people wish to be friends with for their looks, or what they think is their personality.

Many studies have shown that an average of 15% of students have been bullied regularly. In some cases, the bully may have their own personal backgrounds that make them be mean to others. Some of them want to have a sense of control or power and to feel accomplished or satisfied from seeing someone else suffer. Sometimes, bullies come from bad homes which do not teach them any better than to denote others. Parents are a major influence in this problem. They are responsible for teaching their children correct morals, values, and how to act with other children. In some cases, parents are clueless that their children are involved in those matters therefore they will do nothing about it.

Students who are antagonists talk back to adults and often have strong self-esteem. On the other hand, victims of bullies have bad anxiety and low self-esteem which makes them vulnerable. According to, there are 4 different types of bullying:

1. Physical Bullying: This is the most obvious form of bullying. In this type of bullying, the instigator attempts to physically dominate another teen. This usually includes kicking, punching and other physically harmful activities, designed to instill fear in the one bullied, and possible coerce him or her to do something.

2. Verbal Bullying: When someone verbally bullies another, he or she uses demeaning language to tear down another’s self-image. Bullies who use verbal techniques excessively tease others, say belittling things and use a great deal of sarcasm with the intent to hurt the other person’s feelings or humiliate the other teen in front of others.

3. Emotional Bullying: This is even more subtle than verbal bullying. Teenage bullying that includes emotional methods aims at getting someone else to feel isolated, alone and may even prompt depression. This type of bullying is designed to get others to ostracize the person being bullied.

4. Cyber Bullying: Electronic bullying is becoming a very real problem for teens. This type of bullying uses instant messaging, cell phone text messages, and online social networks to humiliate and embarrass others. This can be especially devastating to the people being bullied, since they cannot even find a safe place in the virtual world.

In the US alone, close to 30% of the population have been subjected to bullied, while 13% of the student in grades 5 to 10 have bulled others. On the other hand, at least 20% of the American teens have harassed or physicality harmed their classmates while over 20% of the American teens have agreed to have ostracized their classmates. However, in spite of the high statistics, bullying is more common among boys than amongst girls.

Despite all the negative effects of bullying, there are even far more serious consequences. People who have been bullied sometimes become so upset, scared, or depressed that they see no worth in themselves and no way out of their torment. There have been countless reports over the past few years of students committing suicide because they were bullied. Meanwhile, there are times when victims see no recourse but to seek revenge by serious acts of violence against the bully and instigators. As a result of bullying, people can lose their ability to love and trust, denying them the chance to experience a quality relationship later in their life. They might find themselves as a submissive partner or they may want to be completely alone. Compounding all of these problems, victims often develop eating disorders, begin to self-injure, or require extensive counseling. Social bullying can also leave people without a supportive group of friends that they can lean on and spend time with.

Education can help stop teen bullying. For example, teaching teenage bullies about the long terms effect of bullying on the victims and teach the teenagers how to avoid being victims. Educating the parents can also help them understand their children especially the bullied because bullying has underlying causes that drives their bully teens. Parent should understand their children because the teenage bullying has underlying emotional and psychological causes. Both formal and informal sanctions may be introduced to help eliminate teenage bullying. Some of the common informal social controls include ridicule, criticism, and shame. These sanctions can help teenage bullying because teenage bullying is a form of deviant behavior.

Numerous high school students have died when stalking, threats, and attacks went unreported and the silence gave the bully license to become more and more violent. Sometimes the victim of repeated bullying cannot control the need for revenge and the situation becomes dangerous for everyone. Adults in positions of authority often can find ways to resolve dangerous bullying problems without the bully ever learning how they found out about it. If you're in a bullying situation that you think may escalate into physical violence, try to avoid being alone (and if you have a friend in this situation, spend as much time together as you can). Try to remain part of a group by walking home at the same time as other people or by sticking close to friends or classmates during the times that the bullying takes place.

Tips For Handling A Bully (sidenote: these tips make not work for some, but I feel most could possibly benefit from them):

1. Ignore the bully and walk away

2. Hold your anger

3. Don’t get physical

4. Practice confidence

5. Take charge of your life

6. Talk about it

7. Find your true friends

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