The Impact of Bullying on Students and Schools
Today at school, Rosa saw a boy being bullied. Other kids were in a circle around him, calling him names. Rosa knew this was wrong, but she didn’t know what to do to help this boy. She worried that if she said anything, the other kids would start bullying her. After seeing this boy getting bullied, Rosa doesn’t feel safe at school anymore. Bullying doesn’t involve only those doing the bullying and those being bullied. Bullying involves and affects the entire school community. The three main groups that are affected by bullying are the students who are bullied, the students who bully, and the witnesses or bystanders who see it happen, like Rosa. The Impact on Bullied Students
Students who are bullied can develop physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach pains or sleeping problems. They may be afraid to go to school, go to the lavatory, or ride the school bus. They may lose interest in school, have trouble concentrating, or do poorly academically. Bullied students typically lose confidence in themselves. They may experience depression, low self-esteem, and suicidal thoughts or they may lash out in violent ways--the most serious being school shootings. The Impact on Students Who Bully
Students who bully do not fare much better. Research shows that these students are more likely to get into frequent fights, steal and vandalize property, drink alcohol and smoke, report poor grades, perceive a negative climate at school, and carry a weapon. Long-term research has also shown that these students are at increased risk to commit crimes later in life.
It’s important to note, however, that not all students who bully others have obvious behavior problems or are engaged in rule-breaking activities. Some of them are highly skilled socially and good at ingratiating themselves with their teachers and other adults. For this reason it is often difficult for adults to discover, or even imagine that these students engage in...
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