Bullying in Schools and Workplaces

Introduction

The issue of bullying in schools and workplaces has been the subject of public discussion for a long time now; however, despite the fact that educators and social workers had applied a considerable amount of effort to design effective social mechanisms for prevention of bullying; this problem did not become less acute. In its turn, this points out at ideological premises, upon which the designing of anti-bullying policies continue to be based, as being conceptually wrong.

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In this paper, we will aim at substantiating such our thesis, as well as exposing what amounts to social preconditions for bullying. Also, we will provide readers with our own view on how bullies should be dealt with, in order for them to be less prompted to seek pleasure in humiliating others.

Bullying

There can be no doubt as to the fact that the practice of bullying poses a great danger to society’s well-being, because people that are being continuously picked upon are very likely to develop a variety of unhealthy psychological anxieties, which can result in only one logical consequence – bullied individuals becoming deprived of their sense of self-esteem. And, it goes without saying that people that have lost faith in themselves, can hardly function as productive members of society.

In his article “Understanding and Preventing Bullying”, David P. Farrington provides us with the insight on psychological implications of bullying, as such that simply cannot be ignored by responsible policy makers: “Bullying is surprisingly common; there is evidence that over half of children have been victimized and over half have been bullies. It causes immediate harm and distress to the victim and has negative long-term consequences for the victim’s mental health” (Farrington, 1993, p. 382).

It is important to understand that, unlike adults, most children are incapable of understanding that the reasons why they are being subjected to bullying, do not necessarily correspond to existential inadequateness, on their part. On the contrary, as practice shows, it is often children that refuse to participate in their “ethnically unique” peers’ anti-social activities, such as drug trafficking or practicing “gangsta” lifestyles, which usually become the target for bullies.

However, when normally developing children are being continuously referred to as “nerds”, simply because of their dedication to studies, they eventually grow to believe that there might be something wrong with them for real. As a result, they often succumb to depression, which sometimes assumes truly extreme forms, with bullied kids becoming suicidal.

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There is plenty of empirical evidence as to validity of such our suggestion. For example, in 2008, 9 years old Stephen Patton from Prestonsburg, Kentucky, had shot himself in the head, as the result of his peers having turned him into their favorite victim for bullying.

Stephen’s parents are now suing Allen Central Middle School, where Stephen used to study, for failing to protect their only son. In her article “School Sued in Bullying Suicide”, Cassondra Kirby provides us with details of this story: “In the months after Stephen’s death, the Pattons say his classmates and other parents have approached them with tales of harassment and severe bullying that Stephen endured daily at the Floyd County School, which has a little more than 300 students. Sheila and Lawrence say they are outraged that no one from the school informed them of the situation” (Kirby, 2008).

Again and again, we get to hear about children becoming mental wrecks, often before they even reach the age of 12, because of their classmates’ bullying viciousness. And, what is the most striking about this situation, is that problem of bullying in America’s places of learning becomes ever more acute, as time goes by, despite the fact that governmental officials spend millions of dollars annually, in order to hire additional hordes of social workers, psychologists and councilors, so that young people in this country would be able to “embrace tolerance”.

It is needless to mention, of course, that professional activities of “experts on tolerance”, who often get paid as much as $50 an hour for simply yapping away, can hardly be effective, because most of these “experts” lack theoretical understanding of what causes children to act as bullies, in the first place.

Nowadays, the majority of conservative citizens tend to think of bullying as the essential aspect of process of children growing up. “If you don’t want to be picked upon, you’ll need to learn how to stand your ground” – they tell their sons and daughters, without being able to understand that in today’s America, which prides itself on being multicultural, school bullies do not simply strive to impose its “authority” upon their physically weaker classmates, but to reduce them down to nothing, in psychological sense of this word.

The phenomenon of bullying is just as old as the world itself, but it is only after native-born citizens in Western countries were being told that “celebrating diversity” constitutes their foremost existential priority, that the children of these citizens became especially susceptible to bullying-induced depression, because unlike their parents, they realize the full extent of a danger, associated with them being victimized by bullies in multicultural classrooms.

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The reading of Lois Rogers’ article “Mother Slams Multiculturalism as Cause of Muslim Bullying of her Son”, comes in particularly handy, within a context of validating this paper’s thesis, as it points out to absolutely objective subtleties of high school students’ fear of bullying: “The mother of a 15-year-old boy left with brain damage by an Asian gang is blaming multiculturalism for the way ethnic minorities get away with violent bullying in schools…

Her son, who was a pupil at Ridgeway comprehensive, near Swindon, was set upon by a 16-strong Asian gang, smashed on the skull by repeated blows from a claw hammer and left for dead… ‘culture of timidity’ among teachers is stopping them from clamping down on ethnic minority bullies because they fear accusations of racism” (Rogers, 2008). It goes without saying, of course, that bullying in form of one’s head being repeatedly hit with claw hammer, is equally capable of causing “depression” among both: youths and adults.

The “little dirty secret”, regarding the issue of bullying, upon which Medias rarely focus their attention, corresponds to the fact that this issue cannot be strictly discussed within a context of school students having to deal with intolerance, on the part of their physically stronger peers.

Apparently, bullying is just as commonly spread out among adults as it is the case among children. Whatever the illogical it might sound – even psychologists and councilors, who are expected to be able to educate others on what represents the best way of addressing this social phenomenon, often find themselves being just as vulnerable to bullying as those young “nerds” they strive to instill with the sense of self-respect, thanks to introduction of “affirmative action” policy at workplaces. In her book “Building a Culture of Respect: Managing Bullying at Work”, Noreen Tehrani states: “Nurses, doctors and other care professionals are not immune to bullying.

The need for increased ‘performance’ with a very low level of investment compared to other western European countries, has affected the way in which many trusts and health authorities have treated their employees” (Tehrani, 2003, p. 192). Thus, it appears that the phenomenon of bullying can no longer be discussed in terms of “decline of morals” or the “lack of tolerance”, as suggested by majority of those who consider themselves being the “experts” on this particular subject – the very realities of living in multicultural society create objective preconditions for institutionalization of this despicable practice.

We need to understand that, unlike adults, most adolescents are unable of perceiving objective reality through the lenses of political correctness, and this is the exact reason why young people are having a particularly hard time, while trying to cope with bullying. White children that are being picked upon at school know perfectly well that, had they stuck to teachers’ advices to report bullies, it would make them even more vulnerable to their peers’ attacks as “snitches”.

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However, since these children have been deprived of their sense of racial solidarity by being subjected to politically correct brainwashing, they are also incapable of defending themselves against bullying by the mean of creating “society within a society”, as representatives of racial minorities do. Such situation leaves them with only one possible choice – to build a “mental wall” between themselves and the rest of the world, while indulging in social absenteeism on ever-progressive scale.

This explains why most of the parents, whose children suffered from bullying, were not even aware of this fact, up until the time when this situation would resolve in tragedy. According to article “Bullying: Information for Parents and Teachers”, available on the web site of Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System, the most characteristic traits of bullying in today’s schools are as follows: “Bullies come from homes where there is poor supervision, and modeling of and tolerance for aggressive behavior (Hispanics?). Victims tend to be quiet, passive children with few friends. Victims do not respond effectively to aggressive actions. Bullying is often done so that adults are not aware of it. Victims are ashamed, and often don’t tell an adult” (CCFJS, 1996). As lawyers say – we rest our case.

Conclusion

Thus, it is not only that bullying is directly linked to episodes of depressive behavior among children, subjected to it, but it also accounts for such children’s inability to attain social prominence in the future. Moreover, bullying cannot possibly be eliminated by forcing students to attend the “lessons of tolerance”, as many naïve people believe – it is only when designing of socio-political policies in this country will be adjusted to the notion of sanity that our children might cease to think of public schools in terms of “hell on earth”.

Bibliography

Beran, T. & Shapiro, B. (2005). Evaluation of an Anti-Bullying Program: Student Reports of Knowledge and Confidence to Manage Bullying. Canadian Journal of Education / Revue Canadienne de L’éducation, 28 (4), 700- 717.

The effectiveness of anti-bullying programs depends on great many factors, which means that educators must always observe the specifics of a classroom settings, while designing such programs.

Boven, L. (2000). Pluralistic Ignorance and Political Correctness: The Case of Affirmative Action. Political Psychology, 21 (2), 267-276.

By being subjected to politically correct intellectual censorship, people are very likely to develop a variety of unhealthy mental anxieties, as the result of their privately held beliefs not corresponding to what is required of them to believe.

Bullying: Information for Parents and Teachers. (1996). Centre for Children and Families in the Justice System. Web.

Bullying is behavioral phenomenon that negatively affects students’ chances to succeed with their studies. In order for teachers to be able to effectively deal with this issue, they need to understand what makes children especially susceptible to bullying, as well as they need to understand factors that account for one’s inclination to become a bully.

Farrington, D. (1993). Understanding and Preventing Bullying. Crime and Justice. 17 (5), 381-458.

Bullying tends to occur in classrooms where supervision is minimal, which means that, while coming up with suggestions as to how prevent students from bullying their peers, teachers must strive to spend as much time with them as possible.

Johnson, D. & Lewis, G. (1999). Do You like What You See? Self-Perceptions of Adolescent Bullies. British Educational Research Journal, 25 (5), 665-677.

The biggest challenge that educators face, while trying to combat bullying, is the fact that bullies are being entitled with particularly positive self-perceptions. Therefore, it represents the matter of foremost importance for teachers to be able to convince bullies that their intolerant attitude towards their peers is nothing to be proud of.

Kirby, C. (2008). School Sued in Bullying Suicide. Kentucky Protection and Advocacy. Web.

Sheila Patton’s 13 years old son Stephen had committed a suicide, as the result of being subjected to bullying g in school. Stephen’s parents are now suing school, where he used to study, for failing to provide their son with the safety of classroom environment.

Kochenderfer-Ladd, B. & Wardrop, J. (2001). Chronicity and Instability of Children’s Peer Victimization Experiences as Predictors of Loneliness and Social Satisfaction Trajectories. Child Development, 72 (1), 134.

Children’s tendency to indulge in social absenteeism significantly increases their likehood to fall victims to bullying. Therefore, educators must be able to recognize such tendency early enough, in order to adopt a proper approach towards helping such children to continuously experience a sensation of social belonging.

Poole, J. (2005). Journey toward Multiculturalism. The English Journal, 94 (3), 67-70.

By being exposed to multicultural realities, children automatically become respectful towards people’s existential; differences. Therefore, the more there is ethnic diversity in the classroom, the lesser number of students is going to be subjected to bullying.

Rogers, L. (2008). Mother Slams Multiculturalism as Cause of Muslim Bullying of her Son. Times Online. UK Edition. Web.

Liz Webster’s 15 years old son Henry had been severely beaten by the gang of Asian bullies, which resulted in him sustaining a brain injury. Henry’s mother now openly accuses the policy of multiculturalism for having resulted in many public schools in Britain turning into “Academies of Crime”.

Tehrani, N. (2003). Building a Culture of Respect: Managing Bullying At Work. London: Taylor & Francis.

Employees must be continuously taught what author refers to as “culture of respect”. It is namely when employees adopt such culture that they will be less likely to be affected by bullying or to bully others.

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