Bullying in Primary and Secondary Schools

Last Updated: 20 Jun 2022
Pages: 16 Views: 952
Table of contents

“Bullying. This means threatening, harassing, persecuting or insulting others. Especially those who are weaker. It is a daily terror for many children, possibly your child without knowing it. And schools, some more than others are becoming infested with bullies taking advantage of smaller or timid ones. Is your child being bullied at school? This statement made by Professor Ramesh Deosaran is taken from one of his articles (Bullying, The Silent Terror, dated October 17, 2010) which has brought the problem of bullies and bullying within the school system of Trinidad and Tobago into the public domain.

Professor Deosaran is an internationally renowned scholar in criminology and social sciences; he has been recently conferred with the title Professor Emeritus at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus in Trinidad and Tobago. Today I would like to present some facts on “Bullying in Primary and Secondary Schools”. However due to time constraints, I will focus on three major aspects in hopes that I may raise your awareness on the severity of the issue. What is bullying?

It can be defined as persistent aggressive behavior by one pupil towards another, intended to cause the victim to suffer. It can range from verbal to physical and even indirect. (Chris Kyriacou, “Helping Troubled Pupils”). The incidence of it in primary and secondary schools in Trinidad and Tobago is quite difficult to estimate since a small proportion of cases are reported to teachers and administrators. These reports are often ignored or some corrective action is taken such as summoning of parents, suspension or even counseling by professionals. Why Do Some People Become Bullies?

Order custom essay Bullying in Primary and Secondary Schools with free plagiarism report

feat icon 450+ experts on 30 subjects feat icon Starting from 3 hours delivery
Get Essay Help

Most times, they are average students who come from households where discipline is excessive or inconsistent, where family relationships show little warmth and to act aggressively towards others, including adults is the norm. This is possibly because they are not listened to or valued by their family. To compensate for this lack of value at home, the bully finds it in other places such as school, in inappropriate or unhealthy ways. Others might be victims themselves, not only of being bullied but because of these personal problems in the home or even parental bereavement.

Many times, a bully does not feel that they can find any other means of fitting in, so they turn to being powerful in a way that they feel brings them respect. They feel that being feared is the way to gain friends and surround themselves with people who look up to them. “Psychologists used to believe that bullies have low self-esteem and put down other people to feel better about themselves. While many bullies are themselves being bullied at home or in school, new research shows that they actually have excellent self-esteem.

They usually have a sense of entitlement and superiority over others and lack compassion, impulse control and social skills. (St Clair, 2011). What Is The Impact Of Bullying On Victimized Students? According to a report done by the Global School Based Student Health Survey (GSHS) in 2007 on selected schools in Trinidad and Tobago, “victims of bullying have increased stress and a reduced ability to concentrate and are at increased risk for substance abuse, aggressive behavior and suicide attempts.

” Victims develop mental health problems, become truants or school refusers, perform less well at school academically than they otherwise would have done, especially those who are subjected to frequent and prolonged bullying. They are likely to have lower levels of self-esteem and they appear to have difficulty making friends. This is because they are labeled as “different” by the bully and peer pressure stops other students from standing up for them. In addition, the high level of depression for victims stems directly from the act itself.

(Roland, 2002). Sometimes victims are encouraged to believe that this something which all students must endure as a part of growing up. By accepting this mentality, the student’s emotional health and well-being are put at stake and the learning process undermined. The student may even develop a decrease ability to devise coping strategies. It may mean that these students may never learn to cope as adults and they cannot form long term relationships. What Is Being Done By the Authorities In Trinidad and Tobago?

Thus far, the Ministry of Education has placed Human and Family Life Education (HFLE) on secondary schools’ curriculum and it is taught in most schools. “The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is looking at the preventative aspect and at early detection and treatment of the problem. ” This statement made by The Minister of Education, Tim Gopeesingh, on the 14th of April, 2012. He added that there were preventative measures implemented such as “The Leader in Me” programme for preschool right up to secondary schools.

Student Guidance Support Units in schools are being expanded and a hotline is being set up for children who are bullied. Furthermore, the Chief Education Officer has sent a curricular to all schools asking principals to allow students to have one class per week (Form Teacher Period) in which they can tell of the difficulties they are experiencing. Challenges and Evaluation of Sources In gathering the information required for my research, I had encountered certain challenges along the way. I had an over-abundance of information.

It was extremely time consuming to summarize and pick out the most valid and relevant points. However trusted sites were used such as ttparliament. org, bullyonline. org, stopbullying. gov and youthoria. org. These sites were reliable as they were maintained by their organizations consistently and the articles were up to date. A book entitled “Helping Troubled Pupils” by Chris Kyriacou was very useful as it contained an entire chapter on the topic of bullying from which I was able to extract several valid points.

I considered the book a valid source since it was written by a psychologist specifically to help teachers and parents. Conclusion Recent increases in the incidence of bullying among youths in Trinidad and Tobago have led to growing concern about this serious issue. The Government is currently tackling the issue by implementation of preventative measures and by education of students and the public. Although bullying in primary and secondary in schools may never be eradicated,

Essay on Bullying in Schools

Bullying and cyber-bullying have become an increasing problem in the schools Everyday there is more and more stories on the outcome of what can happen when a person becomes a victim of bullies. Suicide and violence has risen in schools because of children being bullied. Adolescent children are among the highest at risk for bullying. What are the risk factors for bullying? Is one type of person more likely to be bullied? What are the schools doing to protect children from becoming a victim?

Bullying is a form of intimidation ( Baldry, 2010, Farrington, 2010 ): A bully may use force or coercion to gain what they want from a weaker person. This is their way to establish superiority over an individual. Bullying has been around for many years. Today, it has become a serious issue for children in schools and on the internet. According to ( Roberts,2010, Harlow, 2010 ) bullying was more common in children who were less physically attractive, overweight, and had disability problems such as sight, hearing, or speech deficits. There are different types of bullying verbal taunting, physical assaults and exclusion. Some signs

That a teacher or parent can look for to identify a child who is a bully may be aggression towards other’s, has little empathy, easily frustrated, and views violence as a positive way to solve problems. Some signs that a child is a victim of bullying may be fear of going to school, signs of depression, withdrawn, and signs of physical altercations such as bruises, and or scrapes. According to the National Center for Education Statistics report shows that middle school and elementary school children are bullied more than high school children. According to the Table below done at a Baltimore City public school, shows the number of tudents who were bullied or know someone who is a bully.  Bullying has been around for as long as anyone can remember. Not only do schools need to try to find a way to stop bullying but, in recent years the schools are seeing an increase in cyber-bullying among adolescents.

Cyber-bullying is, the modern communication technologies to embarrass, humiliate, threaten, or intimidate an individual to attempt gain power and control over them ( Stutzky, 2006 ). Cyber-bullying has become has become an increasing problem in schools today. I believe that this form of bullying is more severe and has much worse outcomes. Everyday the media writes stories of children who have become victims of cyber- bullying. In 2006 statistics showed that 75 to 80 percent of 12 to 14 year olds had been cyber bullied ( Meech, 2008 ). Because of the use of modern technology this type of bullying can be one without being face to face. The use of computers today by children to cyber-bully makes it harder for authorities to pinpoint who is posting negative messages toward another person. A person who bullies on-line can send text messages, and photos. Cyber-bulling can spread through the internet fast and damage a persons reputation. Most times children who are being cyber-bullied do not report it to their parents or an adult. Children are taught that home is where you feel safe, when an individual is being cyber-bullied they don’t have that feeling of safety.

Parents need to look for signs if they feel their child is being cyber-bullied. Some signs may be depression, becoming withdrawn, a decline in school activities, and how they may view themselves. One of the big problems that authorities have with cyber-bullying is, a bully can use the help of another person to do the bullying for them. This is called cyber-bullying by proxy. When this happens it makes it harder to identify the real bully. The different forms of cyber-bullying can range from embarrassing rumors to threats, harassment, or stalking. Young adults and tenagers are among the most common victims.

In the schools today computer technology is part of a child’s curriculum. Some schools are implementing a internet usage contract ( waiver), this contract or waiver will make the schools exempt from liability. students will be liable for what they do on-line. If schools are using these types of contracts they are not addressing the problem of cyber-bullying. If the issue of cyber-bullying is not addressed children will make the decision to take matters into their own hands. When this happens children think that revenge is their only option to protect themselves. Revenge can then urn into violence. This is when children start bringing guns and other types of weapons into school. Studies show that each day 100,00 students carry a gun to school ( American Justice Department). The impact that bullying can have children in schools is overwhelming. Some of the children that are bullied will develop mental and emotional problems, which they will carry into adulthood. Some children will become violent towards their peers. In most severe of cases children or youths begin to feel like the only way to protect themselves is to threaten the bully with a gun or weapon.

This can lead to shootings in schools or off of school property. At times when this happens the victim will take their own life. It can also lead to suicide. The suicide rate among adolescent children has gone up in recent years along with cyber-bullying. There have several reported cases of suicide in the last few years among teenage children due to cyber-bullying. The first steps that parents and teachers need to take when trying to stop a bully is to make sure to intervene when they see a child bullying another child. Watch for signs that a child is being bullied, or signs that the child is a bully.

Most schools have a zero tolerance for bullying but, there needs to be more interventions put in place for children who are victims to feel safe at school. Parents need to talk to their children on a daily basis about what goes on at school. If a parent talks to their children on a regular basis they may know if something is wrong. I believe that bullying is something that is learned from an early age. Children who are subjected to violent situations daily it will show in the childs behavior. The child may not be the bully but aides the bully. All children in school need to be aware that bullying an happen to anyone and if they are a victim they should report it. Teachers and parents need to inform children that if they bully someone that they will have consequences. Children also need to be told that it’s not their fault, they did nothing wrong and that no child deserves to be bullied. My son was a victim of bullying in 4th. Grade, he reported it to the principle like we had taught him. It stopped for a while and then it started again, he reported again to the principle but, this time it didn’t stop. As parents we felt it was time to step in and try to find a way to intervene with the bully.

The school informed us that they would address the situation and let us know what the outcome was. After some time we started to notice changes in our son, he was withdrawn, didn’t want to go to school, and his grades were dropping. The was notified and we set up a meeting with the principle. At the meeting we were told that our son needed to grow thicker skin because this is something that happens in school everyday. As parents we were shocked to be told this by people we trusted to keep our son safe. We removed him from the school and put him into a private school. His grades improved soon after e started he wasn’t withdrawn anymore and he wanted to go to school. My hope is that no child has to go through what our son went through. In conclusion, bullying in schools has become an increasing problem. It is our job as teachers and parents to make sure that our children feel safe at school. If children do not feel that the environment they are in is safe then, they will find ways to protect themselves. When this happens violence can occur. Teachers and parents are working to try to find a solution to stop children from being victims of bullying. As parents we should also work with our schools to elp find the solution. In the end the person that we are helping is our child.


  1. Farrington, D. P. & Baldry, A. C. (Jan. 2010). Individual risk factors for school bullying: Journal of Aggression, Conflict, and Peace Research. 2(1) 4-16.
  2. Ford, A. , (July 2009). Journal of Law & Education: School Liability: Holding Middle schools liable for Cyber-bullying despite their implementations of the Internet Usage Contracts. 38(3) 535-543
  3. Harlow, Kirk C. , and Roberts, Roe ( Jan. 2010). An exploration of the relationship between Social and Psychological Factors and Being Bullied: Children & Schools; 32(1), 15-26. 2p.
  4. Hymel, Shelley and Swearer, Susan. Bullying Special Edition Contributor, education. com: Bullying: An Age Old Problem That Needs New Solutions. 1-6 Meech, Scott. (August 2008), Tech & Learning: Cyber Bullying: Worse Than Traditional Bullying, article7284
  5. Stutzky,Glen. M. S. W, Clinical Instructor, ( 2006), School of Social Work, MSU, Cyber_bullying_information, 3p.
  6. Unnever, J. & Cornell, D. (2003). School of Education, University of Virginia, The culture of bullying in middle school. Journal of School and Violence, 2, 5-27.

Bullying in schools essay

School bullying is defined as unwanted repeated abuse and discrimination towards another student. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 5 American schoolchildren were victims of some form of physical, emotional, or social bullying and 15% were cyberbullied in the previous year. In the United States, every state has been delegated the power to establish its own anti-bullying laws and programs, and every school is responsible for providing a safe education for every child. Bullying is an issue that students should be able to address, yet only 20% to 30% of students actually report it (CDC). In order to promote a school culture that can seek to eliminate bullying and cyberbullying, the United States should reform and establish more effective bullying laws, support more programs that can assist students, and encourage students to increase confidence and participation to stand up against bullying.

Currently, the United States has no official federal law to combat school bullying, but it mandates states to enact its own anti-bullying laws. The National Academics of Science Engineering and Medicine states, “While all 50 states and the District of Colombia have adopted anti-bullying laws, there are significant differences in [the] content of these laws” (National Academics of Science Engineering and Medicine). Every state establishes its own reporting policy as well as whether or not to require risk groups protection, additional teacher training, parent intervention, and assistance of students outside the school setting. For example, the state of Georgia provides guidance to the bullied outside the school grounds, but North Carolina only recognizes bullying as an issue if it occurs in the school. The state of Georgia also requires parental notification, but Vermont has no rule that requires the attention of the parent or guardian. These drastically different state policies result in inequalities among students in different U.S. states and opportunities in the anti-bullying epidemic. In order to be able to establish and reform prevention laws, bullying must become recognized as an issue for students.

Furthermore, the cause of harmful behavior between adolescents is reflective on a number of correlated factors. In one study, researchers described some bullies’ actions “Students who were bullied by their peers before were more likely to bully others than those who were not bullied before” (Gardell, Guo, and Yang para. 26). Many bullies who were originally victims may continue to and repeat the same the actions inflicted in the past. Additionally, many school bullies may lack childhood support. Researchers Bryan Sykes, Alex, Piquero, and Jason P. Giovanio concluded, “We consider the impact of social, economic, and educational disadvantages on the likelihood of being a bully” (Sykes, Piquero, & Giovanio 1907). They can come from an underprivileged and difficult life such as financial hardship, traumatic childhood experiences, strained family relationships, and domestic abuse. Typically, bullying involves disparity between positions of power and dominance. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services describe student bullies often “use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others” (U.S. Depart. of Health and Human Services). The bully may feel a sense of superiority and choose to harm others in order to prove their sense of higher belonging among their classmates. As a result, power inequalities emerge due to contrasting characteristics.

On the other hand, victims can be perceived as inferior or abnormal by their peers. They tend to stand out from others and have qualities which make them different than the average student. Studies have positively correlated disabled students with bullying. Children with physical and mental disabilities are more likely to be harassed than their abled peers. Emerging research also shows Americans who are outside the healthy weight, as well as children who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transsexual (LGBT), are more targeted. Researchers William Ash-Houchen and Celia Lo support “results suggest that adolescents who are outside a normal body weight and those belonging to a sexual minority face increased risks of offline and co-occurring victimization” (Houchen & Lo para. 1). Overweight, underweight, and LGBT children do not fit in the typical norms of the student lifestyle. These traits can drive others to pick on them for being an outcast in school society which can lead to ostracism by their classmates. As a result, student harassment has been associated with a number of negative longitudinal effects.

Evidently, victims are affected by their health and education. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services founded “children and adolescents who have been bullied can experience negative psychological, physical, and academic effects” U.S. Depart. of Health and Human Services). Academically, victims are more likely to struggle in school performance and participation. Victims have a higher risk of mental illnesses and instability such as depression, anxiety, negative feelings of sorrow and hopelessness, low confidence, and thoughts of suicide; these mental instabilities can lead to actions such as self-harm, loss of interests and enjoyment in activities, drug and alcohol abuse, criminal acts, and suicide attempts. The increased levels of negative stress can put a toll on the adolescent such as sleeping problems, body pain, and immune and endocrine problems. In addition, bullying has been linked to the risk of adolescent suicides in the media.

Recently, the number of adolescent suicides has raised concerns for bullying after these children were allegedly victims of school bullying. Many are believing bullying can lead to students taking their own lives. According to CDC publication of The Relationship Between Bullying and Suicide, it claimed, “youth who report any involvement with bullying behavior are more likely to report high levels of suicide-related behavior than youth who do not report any involvement with bullying behavior” (CDC 3). Although the epidemic is fairly recent, studies have positively correlated bullying with suicidal tendencies. This is especially true for students in risk groups who are more likely to be bullied than others. One solution is allowing psychiatric communication with students who have depression and are suicidal. Schools should also support all students. Not only is bullying injurious towards the bullied, but also it can result in adverse effects for the student who torments others.

Surprisingly, students who act either physically or mentally abusive towards other adolescents can also be detrimental towards well-being. Criminology professors Bryan Sykes, Alex, Piquero, and Jason P. Giovanio cited “the physical and verbal behavior of bullies may carry over into adulthood, thereby placing such youth at risk of delinquency and criminal activity as adults” (Sykes, Piquero, & Giovanio1884). Bullies are more likely to commit criminal activity and are more likely to be harmful to other people. Signs of aggression and misconduct at a young age can be a major factor in shaping the individual in their behavior in adult life. Bullying can condition the individual to perform the same disruptive actions as they grow up. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention determined, “risks for both depression and suicide are higher among bullies and victims…being a bully is associated with alcohol and drug use” (CDC 470). Not only are bullies more likely to perform more risky activities like substances, but also they have a higher risk of facing psychological complications. In American education, several welfare programs and professionals are obligated for every student to use for his or her benefit; however, the established programs must be effective in their purpose in preventing or reducing bullying.

Despite the implementation of several national and local anti-bullying programs, these programs can have minuscule effects on assisting the youth. Bullying is an issue many people are unconfident or not knowledgeable to speak about. For example, a middle school student admits, “‘Yeah, I see kids get pushed around, picked on, [and] called rotten names at my school. Nobody stops it. It makes you feel bad inside. You can feel it in your stomach. Most of the time, I think I should do something, but it is like you are not supposed to’” (Lazarus and Pfohl 1). Majority of the students who report bullying in their schools are bystanders. While they do acknowledge its prevalence, students lack the expertise and confidence to help their peers. Students also omit from reporting being victimized themselves due to believing in a lack of reliable support or assistance from adults. As a result, bullying may persist despite the current use of an anti-bullying method. Similarly, school educators struggle to understand bullying as an issue.

The National Association of School Psychologists reported “bullying often occurs underneath their radar, teachers may grossly underestimate the amount of bullying that goes on in their schools… there is evidence that teachers are reluctant to intervene in bullying” (Lazarus and Pfohl 2). School professionals in some states lack proper training in bullying intervention. This lack of coordination results in an ineffective method that does little to no benefit towards ending aggressive student relationships. Developing an anti-bullying curriculum or program can educate students in understanding bullying and encourage them to notify an authority. This curriculum can also teach students to build appropriate relationships and discourage violence, offensive language, and ostracism towards each other; students need to develop respect for each regardless of identity. Teachers and other school professionals need additional training to be able to identify and end student oppression. Verbal and physical communication between adolescents must be monitored in order to control acceptable behavior.

However, opponents argue anti-bullying laws and programs may violate an individual’s right to free speech. Preventing verbal bullying requires a limitation appropiate language. While the United States citizens are obligated under the protection of the First Amendment, law professor Emily Suski cited “the Court concluded that schools have even more authority under the First Amendment to suppress student speech than when the school is merely tolerating student speech” (728). While the United States recognizes the amendment for every American student, the Supreme Court ultimately determined that schools limiting the students’ speech do not violate the amendment. The Court determined schools have the responsibility in protecting students civil rights even if it means they must suppress language.

Overall, bullying is an epidemic that continues to negatively affect schoolchildren in the United States. Preventing student bullying requires a number of proposed solutions which include new legislation for state anti-bullying laws in the United States, establishing effective prevention programs, and increase overall school and national awareness to encourage students and educators to take action. While the freedom of speech should not be withheld, the speech and actions should be controlled to prevent bullying. For the students, teachers, and other people in the school setting, ensuring a safe environment would be beneficiary for everyone, and eliminating bullying can promote that goal. Change in American society is done to better the livelihoods and outcomes for people. By improving student relationships and interactions, education can be changed for the better for American students.

Cite this Page

Bullying in Primary and Secondary Schools. (2016, Aug 20). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/bullying-in-primary-and-secondary-schools/

Don't let plagiarism ruin your grade

Run a free check or have your essay done for you

plagiarism ruin image

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. By continuing we’ll assume you’re on board with our cookie policy

Save time and let our verified experts help you.

Hire writer