Bullying in Schools: An Argumentative Essay
Course Number and Name
Bullying in Schools
Bullying is a phenomenon that is not new in Australian schools. In Australia alone, three in five students have been bullied which has affected millions of students across the country. Many children have reported that they would rather stay at home because they feel unsafe in their learning environment due to cases of bullying (Fialho & Bakshi, 2016). If these children do not feel secure in their school environment, then it means that something must be done. Bullying can take many forms and can either be physical or verbal and both must be taken seriously. Certainly, in the modern society, students tend to take up some habits that prove to negatively impact their counterparts and have led to serious consequences (Fialho & Bakshi, 2016). Many schools take it upon themselves to ordain rules and regulations meant to completely ban bullying in order to protect students from oppression caused by bullying. This paper argues that bullying has detrimental effects on students and why some students end up falling victims to bullying, a behavior that continues to plague the society.
Bullying torments and emotionally disturbs students
The victims of bullying are always left in a tormenting state and are disturbed emotionally to an extent of them preferring to skip classes in order to avoid horrific moments. Those that encounter bullying on a day to day basis are found to experience great changes in their feeding and sleeping habits (Smith, 2018). Most of them become even more unhappy with themselves, their surrounding and those closer to them. In addition, victims of bullying are susceptible to depression and in extreme cases many contemplate suicide. Thanks to their disturbed emotional state, they report a drastic decline in their academic performance (Fialho & Bakshi, 2016). Most of these victims tend to lose interest in learning and their class participation also declines because they are afraid of their classmates’ comments. They also withdraw from many school activities with which they were initially part of such as sporting activities and as a result, they develop health problems such as obesity (Van der Werf, 2014). In some cases, victims may decide to retaliate and pay evil with evil.
Students are in control of their own emotions. Being happy and unhappy is a personal choice. Although external factors such as bullying may trigger one’s emotions, and drive them to depressive states. It is up to the respective individual to control how they react to such situations. As far as their academic performance is concerned, their focus should be on their studies and work hard to improve their performance despite the external stimulus.
As much as an individual is in control of their own emotions, they are increasingly affected by the behaviors of their bullies. The latter torment their victims privately, publicly, and even anonymously through social media platforms (Smith, 2018). That is why they end up being withdrawn from the environment that surrounds them and gradually develop anxiety, depression, and at times long-term damage to their self-esteem something they have no control over (Van der Werf, 2014). In addition, being withdrawn can lead to loneliness and hence, depression.
Bullying leads to inability to build friendships and relationships
Victims of bullying often feel like they do not belong to a particular group and therefore, they find it difficult to create long-term friendships in school. They suspicions and low self-esteem is responsible for their lack ability to create relationships (Van der Valk, 2014). In extreme cases, some of the victims resort to substance abuse in order to make themselves feel a bit better about themselves. This is because most of them do not only feel worthless but they also feel disrespected by other students. Moreover, victims that have experienced bullying for a long time feel insecure within the school environment because they believe that the school authorities tolerate that behavior (Menesini & Salmivalli, 2017). Because of this, they end up loathing school with everyone within it and they have lost confidence in those that should ensure their safety within the learning institution. Since they are emotionally unstable, they feel vulnerable and are unable to build and maintain healthy relations with their peers and their teachers. When they are confronted or approached with either their peers or teachers, they find themselves breaking into tears for no reason (Menesini & Salmivalli, 2017). They can also start to detest their parent for taking them to that school and blame them for what they are going through in school. Therefore, they develop introverted personalities and hence, their withdrawal from school, home, and society at large. The aggressor also find a hard time building friendships due to their behaviors. Since other students and teachers do not approve of the bullies’ behaviors, they disengage from them completely. In the end both the bully and the bullied are unable to create relationships and friendships.
Most learning institutions in Australia are aware of the detrimental effects that bullying has on students; both the aggressor and the victim. That is why they have established proper measures that ensure a peaceful coexistence among students which translates to the development of friendships. Many schools also have counselors and psychologist who help these students to form a healthy relationship with their peers and teachers (Thompson, 2019). Therefore, bullying should not be a major factor to the inability to create relationships. According to psychologists, those who perpetuate bullying normally have psychological and emotional imbalance emanating from their childhood. This means that those factors are responsible for their inability to create relationships. Thompson (2019) states that an individual cannot be a bully if they have never undergone a situation that changed their perception of life. School counselors are therefore tasked with counseling both the aggressor and the victim ensuring that the former amends his behavior and the latter is able to cope and defend himself from bullied. Consequently, both of them will be able to form healthy relationships with people around them.
Despite the presence of school counselors, the behavior of bullies against their victims severely affects the latter. Prior to visiting a school counsellor, an individual must have exhibited introverted behaviors that to what they have undergone in the hands of bullies. As mentioned earlier, victims of bullying tend to develop a low self-esteem and that is why they find it hard to build relationship. They feel a sense of worthlessness and therefore, they often feel that they do not belong.
Bullying Leads to Violence
Bullying leads to both short term and long-term violence. The behavior of the aggressor instills humiliation, pain, and torture on the victim. As a result, the victim ends up feeling battered, embarrassed, and helpless (Hendricks & Tanga, 2019). Worse off, if action is not taken to ensure that this behavior ends or failure on the part of the parents to realize their children encounter bullies at school every day, the victim will develop hatred and anger towards others. In the long run, they may develop violent behaviors. In extreme cases, they can become murderers, serial killers, or violent offenders (Hendricks & Tanga, 2019). For instance, the Crime Library states that a serial killer known as Henry Lee Lucas who was convicted of murder confessed to having killed approximately three thousand people (Knox, 2004). According to him, he faced rejection and ridicule during his school days and that is why he developed hatred for everyone who he blamed to have a hand to his suffering and this pushed him to develop psychopathic behaviors.
Bullying might be a reason why an individual exhibits violent behaviors but there are many other factors responsible for that and this makes bullying a secondary reason. Many of the aggressors have been found to be mentally unstable and their behavior might be due to untreated conditions they might have had in their childhood years. This means that the primary factor behind their violent behaviors is mental and emotional instability. That is why parents and teachers alike are advised to subject both victims and aggressors to therapy before the situation gets serious.
Bullying in itself is a violent behavior from an aggressor towards the victims. Usually it involves physical abuse which is a violent behavior. Then it results to emotional instability on the part of the victim which might lead to him exhibiting violent behaviors in retaliation. Recommendation
The first step to educate students successfully is to create an environment which promotes students learning. If they find their stay in class uncomfortable, there is a high likelihood that they will not be successful in learning (Thompson, 2019). Indeed, bullying tends to create a toxic environment and affects students negatively. The detrimental effects of bullying as mentioned above shows that it is a serious issue that results in serious problems in the short run and in the long run. That is why it is vital for learning institutions in Australia to implement measures that puts an end to bullying behaviors within schools. Educators should first believe that it is possible for bullying to end (Thompson, 2019). Students on the other hand should feel that they are free to speak up against their aggressors and tell the school authorities and their parents if they are facing bullying. The issue is not the victims undergoing bullying, it is the aggressive behavior that the bully exhibits. Schools should speak against bullying and should be equipped with the necessary tools to intervene in situations of bullying and prevent the behavior at all costs.
Fialho, N., & Bakshi, A. J. (2016). Understanding school bullying: its nature and prevention strategies.
Hendricks, E. A., & Tanga, P. T. (2019). Effects of bullying on the psychological functioning of victims. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development, 31(1), 1-17.
Knox, S. L. (2004). The confessions of Henry Lee Lucas: high numbers and higher stakes. Famous American Crimes and Trials,, 35-52.
Menesini, E., & Salmivalli, C. (2017). Bullying in schools: the state of knowledge and effective interventions. Psychology, health & medicine, 22(sup1), 240-253.
Smith, P. K. (2018). Commentary: Types of bullying, types of intervention: reflections on Arseneault (2018). Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, 59(4), 422-423.
Thompson, E. M. (2019). Understanding Bullying and the Necessity for Prevention and Intervention in Schools.
Van der Valk, A. (2014). There Are No Bullies: Just Children Who Bully And You Can Help Them. The Education Digest, 79(8), 39.
Van der Werf, C. (2014). The effects of bullying on academic achievement. Revista Desarrollo y Sociedad, (74), 275-308.