Dr. Jacqueline Y. Smart
Dr. Jacqueline Y. Smart

Bullying is being malicious to others repeatedly and can include teasing, inflicting physical harm, spreading rumors, the deliberate exclusion of others, physical attacks, and verbal abuse. Bullying no longer just takes place in person, for the Internet has opened the door to what is now known as cyber bullying. This type of bullying transpires online, through text messages or via emails. The bully posts rumors on social media sites such as Facebook, shares pictures or videos that are embarrassing to the victim, as well as creates phony profiles or websites all in the hopes of shaming and humiliating the victim. While the victim is often the main focal point in the bullying cycle, it is important to note that victims are not the only ones to suffer. A bully may also have life-long issues related to bullying.

In addition, bullying behaviors are more apt to continue into adult relationships. Husbands, wives, children, and significant others are at risk of being abused. The strong influence of bullying leaves the bully with the unhealed wounds that caused him or her to bully in the first place. Moreover, it leaves the victim feeling inadequate, worthless, and fearful. These are all feelings that drive criminal activity and domestic violence (NoBullying.com 2014).

From my observation as a classroom teacher, there is definitely a similarity between a student and their academic achievement when it comes to being a victim of bullying. The victim’s focus moves from being successful academically to focusing on fear, blame, being ashamed and the overwhelming feelings of powerlessness. Schoolwork suffers when a student begins to worry and only focus on their safety and well-being. To some, coming to school may feel more like going to prison instead of a place of learning. School years should be for learning academically, learning social skills with your friends/ peers, and participating in after school sporting activities.

Please send your questions and comments to getsmartaboutbullying.blogspot.com

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