School bullying includes any type of mistreatment that violates the safety and physical and psychological well-being of children. Thousands of cases have been registered annually worldwide, students suffer different forms of harassment, violence, humiliation and offenses .

These situations can be caused by a great multiplicity of reasons. The rejection and isolation of certain individuals is usually exercised by individuals in complicity with others. This is a subject that requires a deep analysis, in order to understand all the aspects that intervene in its development.

School bullying is not only a problem that affects educational institutions, the families of those involved and the victims themselves. It is considered to be one of many social problems and must be tackled at the root. It has been studied extensively from the point of view of psychology , pedagogy and sociology. 

What is school bullying?

The bullying is a word from English, which is used to refer to abuse and harassment . This takes place in the educational centers, the students commit aggressions inside the classrooms, playground, gymnasium and in other spaces belonging to the campuses.

School bullying is a type of harassment in which different methodologies are involved to create harm to the victims . That is, different ways are involved in which psychological, physical and social damage is achieved . These situations occur within elementary and secondary school facilities around the world.

Violent attacks occur repeatedly and with the passage of time the intensity increases. Victims are subdued in such a way that their will is bent, they perform acts against their will. Bullies not only do physical harm, they can also destroy or steal property belonging to the children they have targeted.

Threats can include blackmail that forces them to take certain actions and decisions. And there have even been cases in which sexual harassment is also included . Those who carry out these actions are usually classmates, but you can also count on the complicity of teachers and other people belonging to the academic community .

School bullying can be carried out in different ways, which is why a classification has been made taking into account the characteristics of the aggressions. These cases tend to occur in isolation , that is, they are not publicly known. Sometimes, the victims decide not to disclose the problems that affect them or the stalkers do so anonymously.

Characteristics of school bullying 

Bullying is mainly characterized by the search for harm through physical and psychological abuse . In this way, the victim is made to feel vulnerable , as well as publicly humiliated.

The objective of the perpetrators is usually the isolation of these individuals , they can exercise any type of actions in order to ensure that the victims suffer serious consequences. The main methods used are described below:

  • The physical harassment at school level is to exercise physical violence by hitting, pushing, punching, and kicking . Sharp objects can also be used to leave physical injuries on victims. In the most severe cases, fractures and dismemberment of body parts are recorded.
  • The verbal harassment employs a language rude , combined with the use of hurtful nicknames for victims. The insults often highlight aspects related to physical defects, economic condition or social status. An intimidating environment is created through threats.
  • Psychological harassment combines physical and verbal attacks. The victim is affected emotionally and also emotionally, consequently self-esteem will drop and negative thoughts will begin to be experienced.
  • Social harassment consists of ensuring that the victim is isolated from the rest of the companions. Perpetrators create lies, gossip, and other types of blackmail that promote public rejection.

Examples of school bullying

There are several examples that allow a better understanding of the reasons why offenses and humiliations are initiated. In most cases it is due to reasons such as prejudices and wrong preconceptions regarding some social aspects. Here are some examples:

  • The racism and rejection of people belonging to ethnic minority communities are some of the main reasons. Students are rejected because they differ in skin color or physical characteristics .
  • The economic possibilities of some students can be the object of ridicule. This is especially relevant in public institutions, because students of various economic classes attend .
  • The social status includes aspects such as the family name, origin, place of residence, parents ‘ work and possession of valuables.
  • Homophobia and transphobia are also causes of bullying. Children from an early age begin to show signs that are related to their identity and sexual preference.
  • Social prejudices regarding the aforementioned issues continue to negatively influence young people.
  • Students in schools with high academic scores are often the object of ridicule. Having a good performance in studies continues to be related to belonging to a low social role. This misconception often causes conflict among students.

How is it identified? 

The best way to identify bullying situations is by paying attention to details. That is, changes in the victim’s behavior and also in comfortable relate to their classmates.

For this, psychological profile has been created which allows a better understanding of the behavior and personality of both people. The characteristics of a stalker are described below:

  • They are people who need to feel superior , they need to feel that they dominate their environment.
  • They have little capacity for self-criticism . This is because their self-esteem is excessively high and they do not allow other people to make opinions about them.
  • They tend to show aggressive behavior and a strong temperament .
  • They do not have the ability to manage their emotions efficiently. They can easily get angry and are also impulsive .
  • They have a low tolerance for frustration . In addition, they do not possess skills such as empathy and the establishment of affective relationships.
  • They are described as cold people , who do not take into consideration the emotions and needs of others.
  • They show little social skills . From an early age it is possible to identify that they are people who cannot establish fluid communication.
  • They seek social popularity through behaviors that help them gain attention .
  • They constantly need to feel praised and have people’s attention through bullying.
  • They have affective deficiencies because in their family circle , they tend to have conflictive relationships and suffer from aggressions.
  • In some cases the lack of the establishment of limits, and a strict teaching that provides them with concepts such as respect, ethics and morals .
  • All are aspects that influence the antisocial behavior of bullies.

In the case of the victims, it has also been possible to develop a psychological profile that shows a series of characteristics in common. But it must be taken into account that not all cases will be the same, some victims will show a greater degree of vulnerability . Here are some common features:

  • They are people who show a passive and docile attitude . The ease in which they manage to be manipulated makes them an easy target for any type of aggression.
  • They are usually lonely people who also lack adequate management of social skills. Due to these deficiencies, they are unable to maintain good communication with their peers.
  • They are people who suffer from self-esteem problems and feel ashamed of themselves. They have feelings of guilt for various reasons, they may not feel accepted.
  • The shy and nervous personality makes them more vulnerable. In addition, they have a fearful and submissive behavior, which represents a limitation when interacting socially.
  • They show little self-confidence and suffer from anxiety . The lack of friends or close relationships with their peers, makes them go unnoticed.
  • The lack of support at the family and academic level, makes them feel the need to avoid showing that they need help. They are people who assume they are not important, and for that reason they usually do not defend themselves against the attacks of the stalkers.

Consequences of school bullying

Different types of bullying leave serious consequences for victims with regard to mental and physical health. In any of its forms, long-term damage is the result .

Several relevant aspects can be listed, however the most striking is related to emotional stability . That is, the person’s self-esteem is permanently affected. These are some of the most common consequences:

  • The performance school decreases significantly . This happens because the student stops showing interest in maintaining good results. In addition, emotionally and mentally, he has no motivations to continue.
  • Low self-esteem is also related to the first episodes of anxiety and depression . The victim will show little self-confidence.
  • Permanent damage to perception, resulting in a distortion of the image itself . It is combined with irritability and negative thoughts.
  • You begin to suffer from psychological symptoms typical of suicidal wishes . In some cases this fact is materialized.
  • The victims show interest in continuing to carry out social activities. The lack of integration into society will also lead to other problems as a consequence.
  • Communication with family and friends is limited . Due to a lack of self-confidence, these people develop characteristics of antisocial behavior.
  • Various traumas develop according to how the bullying episodes have happened. For example, the victim could stop attending places where these events occurred.
  • You avoid continuing to carry out activities that were previously daily. By association, the victims will begin to relate these actions to what they have experienced with their perpetrators. For example, stop listening to certain music, avoid playing sports and even not eating certain foods.

What to do to prevent school bullying?

There are different methodologies that prevent bullying from happening in schools and institutes. It is important to maintain good communication with children and adolescents, this is how changes in behavior can be identified. In addition, emotional support can be provided to those who need it most.

The directors and teachers of these institutes must implement contingency plans, which guarantee to be aware of the activities carried out by students within the facilities. The early detection is vital, it can avoid suffering the serious consequences that this violence stops.

Some methods are more effective than others. Most of the cases have been identified when one of the people involved decides to seek outside help . Unfortunately, when this occurs it is at a point where several serious incidents have already occurred.

It is proposed to always have a school representative available whose function is to identify and monitor the individuals who are considered most vulnerable. Performing psychological profiles allows you to be aware of the violent behaviors and behaviors of some students.

Schools have begun to implement the development of policies that regulate procedures agreed between teachers and parents. This way you can make complaints or make suspicions public . In addition, it establishes what are the steps to take to face and prevent the harassment from continuing.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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