Bullying. The unfinished crisis

Scientific Study 2017 53 Pages

Pedagogy - Pedagogic Sociology


Table of Contents


Chapter One
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Overview
1.3 Bullying: As a Subset of Aggressive Behavior of Violence
1.4 Operational Definition by Types of Bullying
1.5 Bullying: School as a Common Ground
1.6 Bullying: As a Crisis
1.7 Bullying: Outcomes
1.8 Summary

Chapter Two
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Some Other Thoughts
2.3 Bullying from a New Angle
2.4 Summary

Chapter Three
3.1 Introduction
3.1.1 Bullying vs School Absenteeism
3.1.2. Bullies at Different Grounds
3.2 Case Studies
3.2.1 Case Study One: Teachers as a Bully
3.2.2 Case Study Two: Fate of a Student
3.3 The Experiment
3.3.1 Characteristics in Consideration
3.4 Factors in Consideration
3.4.1 Bullying Experiences
3.4.2. Bullying Versus Absenteeism
3.4.3 Variables Affecting on Bullying
3.4.4 Precautionary Measures
3.5 Types of Bullying in Common
3.5.1 Verbal Bullying
3.5.2 Physical Bullying
3.5.3 Emotional Bulling
3.6 Summary

4. Chapter Four
4.1 Implications
4.1.1 Safer School Environment.
4.1.2 Responsibility of Teachers
4.1.3 Colleagues as Core Partners
4.1.4 Parents’ Attention
4.1.5 Role of Adults
4.1.6 Role of System of Educational Designers.
4.2 Conclusion



To my beloved brothers “Arjun” and “Apoorwa” and The dog in the case study two for being “the fine answer” to the “Unfinished Crisis”


I have seen bullying taking place from the very beginning of my schooling. Since then, I have observed bullying occurring in the school environment from many different angles and avenues among colleagues as well as teachers to students. It is needless to mention that many have tasted the bitterness of bullying. The thought of putting the bit of this bitter experience to a fruitful exposure cannot be a reality without my mother’s repeated encouragement. The first hint for writing a book on bullying was born in her mind. Hence, a heart-full appreciation owes to my mother Nilmini. Also, I pay my sincere appreciation to my father Anura who has encouraged me and sketched the work in this book.

I must oblige all the students and teachers who helped me in the process of this work: the schools and the university where I attended and the students who participated in the survey. My sincere appreciation also should owe to Mr. and Mrs. Stanford who have proofread this work. As a university student, I must say that getting your feedback was wonderful and exciting.

Bullying for nothing- I beg for the readers of this book to take a small effort to eliminate and stand against this crisis.


Despite social developments, harassing colleagues is a common crisis and becoming a universal culture pattern in the society. It is a crisis which creates huge physical and emotional drawbacks among the community. This book will discuss the “Bullying behavior”, one of the worst crises found in “School contexts”. Though the concept of bullying is much discussed, it is becoming a debatable issue with the rapid developments of the modern day society. It must be noted that the number of school students is absent per day and unwilling to engage learning activities due to bullying. The purpose of this study is to focus on the specific question on why school students lack self-responsibility regarding regular school attendance. An analysis of issue includes problems with school students and their education. There are many issues on school dropouts today. What is the most affecting issue that leads students to skip school? Social circumstances, financial problems and medical issues could be some of the reasons. Is there a specific apathy towards dropouts and continuing education? Whether the bullying may make a hindrance of the absence? While discussing the latter issue, this study found that certain behavioral patterns of a small number of aggressive students harm twelve percent of students in school. Hence, use of repetitive power over another is taken for a consideration by this study. This book discusses the issue of “bullying” among school students that may directly affect their school attendance and education. And find the answers to the question as to why school students lack self-interest in attending school? The answer is found that "bullying leads students to lose self-interest in attending school." Throughout the discussion, definitions and types of bullying are also discussed to better convey the issue. This study uses findings of case studies, survey results, and existing literature evidences to better map the argument. An experiment was conducted among school students in three regions from international levels.

Chapter One

1.1 Introduction

One fine Tuesday, at about five in the evening, I was playing with my brothers in the backyard. I heard my mother calling me with someone. She was a mother of a student in my class whom I didn’t know. She was for my previous day study notes for her daughter. Same thing happened, the following day and the days after. Though the student was not a close friend of mine, I noticed that she was absent for four consecutive days in the class. The fourth day, I came to know from her mother that she was absent due to being bullied. I wondered why I was being contacted for the study notes. It was her choice. A week after she presented in the class. I purposely asked for the reason for her absenteeism during the whole week. The story behind her absenteeism was shocking. She was a girl kind of uncoordinated in the class and was being bullied by peers. Bullying caused her absenteeism in the school several time as well as compelled to find an alternative school. Her parent lost the interest in the school environment. The incident was not reported to the highest due to the fear of retaliation. Henceforth, the thought of making a solution for this painful crisis was born.

1.2 Overview

Bullying is an unsolved crisis. A repeated negligence and a deliberate ignorance where there is a dire need of the society attention as it is a high-risk factor of human life. It makes a huge drawback on many aspects of everyday life. It could exist in different phenomenon such as social, cultural, geographical and personal contexts. And it also remains as a universal pattern of social discrimination. Lack of due recognition and poor attention, it is very difficult to apprehend a complete eradication. The issue is not limited to an individual or a particular environment. It could emerge in any place at any time. Though the bullying is a kind of crime, existing legal procedures are not capable of preventing the bullying and it is still occurring at large. A deep negative impact is causing severe damages to a personal context. It destroys the humans’ dignity, norms and values. Therefore, bullying is a crisis and a crime. It is taking place freely, and becoming a problematic issue with a great interest. Therefore, to find out the roots and possible solutions, it is needed to be thoroughly examined, observed and discussed.

Bullying is commonly seen in workplaces, families and very often among schools students who have aggressive characteristics than others where to spend much time together away from their families. Therefore, the school environment is more vulnerable to this issue and debatable place to discuss and resolve. Students who have uneven characteristics and behaviors in a classroom are subjected to be bullied. Bullying is not a single instant or a discreet event. It is affected by many different contextual situations. As well as students’ attitudes and attributes such as family background, cultural diversity, economic condition, gender, ethnicity, religion, geographical aspects, physical characteristics and psychological factors might be the hindrance of this problematic issue. Hence, possible preventive actions are also very complicated.

Bullying in school has being identified as a destructive, arrogant, abuse or misbehavior of students over other. Schools are open to insecure place for students due to this problem. Though there are many policies and rules on bullying, it is still freely occurring in many school environments. To eliminate this situation among students, the need of collective work among teachers, students, family members as well as the society as a whole is highly required.

Bullying in a classroom might be affected by a complete failure of an individual’s life structure as well as will be an unexpected huge burden to the society. Therefore, classroom bullying cannot be simply overlooked and need a full attention than any other places. Students are mostly bullied by individually or a group of students. Classroom environment provides opportunities for an unprecedented number of freedoms to students for bullying and subjected to creates emotional imbalances of the students. Therefore, a well-understood classroom environment is a prerequisite for understanding core issues underlined in bullying. Nansel et al., (2001) pointed that a study of American Medical Association found that 30% out of 15,686 students involved both as bullies and the target in a school. Bullying is recognized as a worldwide violence that takes place despite economical or cultural imbalances. The bullies and victims have short-term as well as long-term consequences as a result of this aggressive behavior.

The author of this book has observed similar incidents during her period of study in different schools in different countries. She also involved for solving certain incidents as a senior student. The problems are observed in both mixed and non-mixed school environment as well. Shared others views of the bullying cases and found possible remedies to overcome the situation to some extent. The most remarkable finding of bullying is that many cases are not being reported to teachers and remains unrevealed and undetected due to certain reasons. One such reason is that victims are feared to report such cases due to repeated harassments by bullies. Therefore, only a few of the incidents are disclosed and many may remain undocumented and hidden. Some researchers have indicated a few incidents in their researches and a few are being appeared in the newspapers. Hence this book is based on the experiences gained through these reported and unreported stories and personal experiences. As a result, readers will find some useful insights for illuminating bullying in school environments to a greater extent.

By design, this book contains four chapters. Chapter one presents the 1.1 Introduction, 1.2 Overview, 1.3 Bullying: As a Subset of Aggressive Behavior of Violence, 1.4 Operational Definition by Types of Bullying, 1.5 Bullying: School as a Common Ground, 1.6 Bullying: As a Crisis, 1.7 Bullying: Outcomes. Chapter two explains the predecessors' arguments and findings on bullying with particular regards to school environments. It consists of 2.1 Introduction, 2.2 Some Other Thoughts and 2.3 A New Angle respectively. Chapter three includes results of a survey which targeted a sample of students to identify the crisis of bullying. 3.1 Introduction: Bullying vs school absenteeism and Bullies at Different Grounds, 3.2 Case Studies, 3.3 The Experiment which includes: Characteristics in Consideration, Demographic characteristics of students 3.4 Factors in Consideration, 3.5 Types of Bullying in Common. Chapter four summarizes the results with 4.1 Implications: Safer School Environment, Responsibility of Teachers, Colleagues as Core Partners, Role of System of Educational Designers followed by 4.2 Conclusion.

1.3 Bullying: As a Subset of Aggressive Behavior of Violence

Bullying in the society has a long history and gone beyond far back several centuries. It is a common habit of human behaviors taken place where the community gathers for educational, religious, commercial, and community or society purposes. It is occurring even in a small member community like friends and families. Bullying allows us to learn about human’s primitive nature and behaviors. It is an aggressive behavior which may occur due to an imbalance of power over other. The power could be physical or emotional and for popularity or due to lack of tolerance. Bullying is considered as a serious violence by the World Health Organization. Enforcing power over other for causing injury, death, emotional damage, ill-treatment and deprivation physically or psychologically treated as violence.(http// WWW.health.fit/connect) Similarly, bullying is defined as " Unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance” (The U.S Department of Health and Human Services , 2013). Also, pointed that bullying is a subset which has a subtle difference from aggressive behavior of violence. But remains as violence since it is harming to others intentionally. A prominent researcher pointed that any person could be bullied due to the repeated exposure over time to negative actions on the part of one or more than other students (Olweus, 1993). Another definition indicated that there is a distinct meaning between aggressive behaviors and bullying. The definition indicated that aggressive behavior may involve conflicts between equal powers and whereas it always involved hurting others who are not able to defend themselves (Roland & Idose, 2001).

Bullying is represented by a series of actions. It might appear as a threat, rumors or physical attack, verbal teasing, and excluding from a group and stopping connections. Based on these different actions, here we selected a simple definition given by Olweus for clear understanding the bullying, “Any student is being bullied or victimized when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other students,” and follows three criteria: “(a) It is an aggressive behavior or intentional "harm doing" (b) which is carried out "repeatedly and over time" (c) in an interpersonal relationship characterized by an imbalance of power” (Olweus 1994, p.1173). Having found the somewhat differences among the terminology, it is found that bullying is related to each term and has subtle differences due to the recursive nature of the violence.

1.4 Operational Definition by Types of Bullying

The author found that defining the types of bullying in schools is quite complicated due to its subtle usage and meanings. Also finding the definitions related to bullying from a single text is very rare in the existing literature. Therefore, for easy understanding, the operational definitions which could be highly useful are given under alphabetical order. The carefully selected terms are referred from "Oxford English Dictionary" and some have explained with briefly added descriptions. Though the verbal bullying is the most common types of bullying that can be seen in school environments than other types of bullying, mainly bullying has been grouped into three categories as verbal, physical, and emotional bullying respectively in this discussion.

1.4.1. Verbal Bullying

There are many ways in which people, whether it could be school students, workers and others can be bullied verbally. Verbal bullying is when someone tries to harm another by using harming words which are spoken. There are various types of verbal bullying such as condemning or putting down, criticizing, gossiping, gesturing, joking, making rumors, mocking, making embarrassing nicknames or name-calling, taunting, threatening, teasing, use of filthy words, use of abuse words commonly seen as verbal bullying in schools.

1. Condemning or putting down: Condemning or putting down is one of the most common forms of bullying seen. Condemning is conferring some sort of punishment or expresses complete disapproval of censure.
2. Criticizing: Criticizing is an indication of the faults of (someone or something) in a disapproving way. It is also regarded as a form of judgment.
3. Gossiping: Gossiping is engaging in casual or unconstrained conversations or reports about other people, typically involving details which are not confirmed as true.
4. Joking: A thing that someone says to cause amusement or laughter, especially a story with a funny punchline.
5. Making rumors: Making rumors is circulating stories and reports of uncertain or doubtful truth about someone.
6. Mocking: Mocking is simply making fun of someone or something in a cruel way or derisive.
7. Making nicknames or name-calling: Another common habit of bullying that seen is making inappropriate names to others. This is usually done in groups of people to make fun of someone. This can be usually seen in school environments. People make names to others because of their physical features, disabilities, and other specific characteristics or traits.
8. Taunting: Taunting is a remark made in order to anger, wound, or provoke someone.
9. Threatening: Threatening is having a hostile or deliberately frightening quality or manner causing someone to feel vulnerable or at risk.
10. Teasing: Make fun of or attempt to provoke in a playful way
11. Use of filthy or abuse words: Use of filthy and abusing words are also common in many environments. What comes out of someone’s mouth can be more dangerous sometimes without even noticing. These are inappropriate words used to discriminate others.

1.4.2 Physical Bullying

Another common category is physical bullying. As the word appears, physical bullying is insulting or harming someone using physical contacts such as fingers, wrists, arms, hands, legs, and other parts of the body. Physical bullying is also insulting or harming another by using harming tools. There are some specific types of physical bullying such as breaking, bumping, blocking, cutting (cloth, bags or hair), gesturing, kicking, pasting notes, pinching, pulling, punching, pushing, scratching, shacking, spanking, smacking, spitting, stealing, touching, trapping, tripping, extracting things (food/money), hiding the belongings, and hitting.

1. Breaking: Breaking is separating into pieces as a result of a blow, shock, or strain. In this case, it is to separate something into pieces in a harmful way.
2. Bumping: Bumping is to knock or run into someone or something with a jolt.
3. Blocking: Blocking is to make someone’s movement or flow in (a passage, pipe, road, etc.) difficult or impossible.
4. Cutting (cloth, bags or hair): Make an opening, incision, or wound in (something) with a sharp-edged tool or object (someone’s belongings.)
5. Extracting things (food/money): This is also another form of physical bullying. This is usually taking away someone’s belongings forcefully.
6. Gesturing: Gesturing is a movement of part of the body, especially a hand or the head, to express an idea or meaning.
7. Hiding the belongings: Hiding others things for fun and insulting is also another common form of physical bullying.
8. Hitting: Hitting is bringing one's hand or a tool or weapon into contact with (someone or something) quickly and forcefully.
9. Kicking: Kicking is to strike or propel forcibly with the foot.
10. Pasting notes: Pasting notes is another form of physical bullying. It is when the bully writes a note that is insulting and pasting it on another person.
11. Pinching: Pinching is to grip (something, typically a person's flesh) tightly and sharply between finger and thumb.
12. Pulling: Pulling is exerting a force on (someone or something) so as to cause movement towards oneself.
13. Punching: Punching is another common form of physical bullying. It is to strike with the fist.
14. Pushing: Pushing is exerting a force on (someone or something) in order to move them away from oneself.
15. Scratching: Scratching is to score or mark the surface of (something or someone) with a sharp or pointed object.
16. Spanking: Spanking is an act of slapping, especially on the buttocks as a punishment for children. This is also one of the forms of physical bullying.
17. Smacking: Smacking is striking (someone or something), typically with the palm of the hand and as a punishment.
18. Spitting: Eject saliva forcibly from one's mouth, sometimes as a gesture of contempt or anger.
19. Stealing: Taking (another person's property) without permission or legal right and without intending to return it.
20. Trapping: Have (something, typically a part of the body) held tightly by something so that it cannot be freed:
21. Tripping: Tripping is another act of bullying. It is simply catching one's foot on something and stumble or fall.

1.4.3 Emotional Bullying

Other than verbal and physical bullying, emotional bullying is also one of the types of bullying seen among the people. Emotional bullying is harming or insulting others psychologically by particular actions such as cornering, degrading jealousy, ignoring, isolating, and separating.

1. Cornering: Force (a person or animal) into a place or situation from which it is hard to escape. Detain (someone) in conversation.
2. Degrading: Treat or regard (someone) with contempt or disrespect.
3. Jealousy: Jealousy is the state or feeling of being jealous. Feeling or showing an envious resentment of someone or their achievements, possessions, or perceived advantages.
4. Ignoring: Ignoring is to refuse to take notice of or acknowledge; disregard intentionally.
5. Isolating: Cause (a person or place) to be or remain alone or apart from others.
6. Separating: Cause to move or be apart. From a distinction or boundary between.

1.5 Bullying: School as a Common Ground

Though the bullying is occurring in every place, studies revealed that classroom environment is a more open place for bullying. There are certain affecting factors of classroom bullying in a school. Age, gender, race, jealousy, competitiveness, antisocialism, fewer tolerances, histrionic behaviors, isolation, an absence of love, and superior complexes are the few causes for the classroom bullying.

Scholars have been studying school student apathies towards their education over the past few years. As a matter of fact, they found that the numbers of school absentees and even dropouts have gradually increased and keep on increasing. Though social circumstances, financial problems, and medical issues could be some of the vital reasons in this regard, it is treated as secondary matters by this study. To prevent the situation, enormous effort is needed from students, teachers, and even parents.

New studies have proven some key reasons as to why students lack self-interest in attending schools; or in other words what makes students lose interest in attending school? In these studies, bullying was highlighted as one of the major causes for school dropouts and absenteeism. Bullying in schools is one of the major concerns in our society today and researchers have proven that school bullying is much more danger than what it seems like and what it seemed to be a few years ago.

An aggressive behavior conducted by an individual student or a group of students against another has no boundaries. It could be of age, sex or social backgrounds. It is something that causes distress and pain to those who get bullied; the victims. Bullying has become so popular and found different types of bullying that exist. Some of them include verbal, physical, exclusion, gesture, extortion and E-Bullying or cyber bullying etc.

1.6 Bullying: As a Crisis

There is a lot of evidence to prove that bullying is a crisis. We have observed that many students tend to end up their education due to the direct or indirect impact of bullying. Some students have shown poor educational performances due to this crisis. Even outside of school. Bullying incidents may open the doors for revenging activities over others. The most neglected danger of this issue is the suicides, death cases or mass massacres owing to bullying. Therefore, this is a serious crisis in the world where many parties simply overlooked the situation. Allanson et al., (2015) mentioned two death incidents happened in the United States of America due to bullying and legal procedure that were enforced against bullying in the article of “A history of bullying.” It indicated that Bully Prevention Policy Law and a Suicide Prevention Law (Act 114) were introduced in 2005. Also, Assembly Bill 86 of California State Legislation in 2008 indicated the legal aspect of bullying as a crime. The paper also indicated that shooting in schools are common in America and found that core hindrance factor of such incidents as a revenge for bullying. The article also indicated the massacring 23 students at the Colombian High School as a result of bullying. There are many incidents reported worldwide. Olweus (1991) indicated three suicidal cases happened in Norway. Also, the study found that among 715 schools, 15% students were engaging bullying. Among them 94% students were tagged by 6% of Bullies. Based on the results, it is obvious that majority of students were bullied by minority aggressive minded student. Among the students, older aged students are subjected to bully than other age groups. Among the age group 9-12, 20% of students are being bullied annually (Kann, et al., 2013). Data on the 2012-2013 School Crime Supplement of National Center for Education statistic and Bureau of Justice Statistics mentioned that 22% of students in the age group of 12-18 are experiencing bullying (DeVoe & Bauer, 2011).

Among the voluminous legislations imposed by individual countries, we found that bullying is a crisis and is prevented by legal procedures. We have selected UNO resolutions to expose the legal aspect of bullying as a crisis. As per the resolution 69/158 adopted by United Nations General Assembly in 2015, widely enforced by laws protecting children from bullying. It constitutes, “The standards in the promotion and protection of the rights of the child and the states parties to the convention shall undertake all appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures for the implementations of the rights.” (The report of third committee A/69/484, 2015, p.01) The assembly also recalled the rights which are pertinent to the protection of children. The report recognized that bullying can occur by violence or aggressive behavior which has a negative impact on children. And insist every precaution that needs to be taken for preventing and eliminating bullying. It is also considered that children who are affected by the bullies have a high risk of getting into emotional problems, physical damages and not realizing their own potential. UNO has acknowledged this is a crisis and urged other countries and their perspective agencies to create possible solutions and awareness mechanisms for preventing bullying. In the report, it is mentioned that the primary environment and responsibility are linked with the families for the full and harmonious development of their personality. Much more research which is taken place on bullying will be discussed in chapter two.

The victims those who are getting bullied for whatever reasons are the ones who lose self-interest in attending school. Many students do not want to go to school because of the danger these problems could cause. Is this something that could stop? Nobody likes getting teased, mocked or bullied for any reason. When someone gets bullied consistently, he or she would try and do anything to get away from this situation. Social discrimination such as gender, race, ethnicity, religion, skin color, language barriers, and appearances are some of the major reasons as to why people get bullied in the present day. Some might feel that bullying is not a serious issue for not attending school. The reality is beyond the imaginations and cannot be ignored simply because the actual situation might be produced different outcomes.

1.7 Bullying: Outcomes

The insight of this book will provide some useful information for students, teachers as well as parents on how to identify and prevent bullying. Understanding of bullying by its nature, gender, and types will provide us to eliminate varieties of feelings and thoughts involved in bullying. Victims of bullying usually go through a variety of outcomes. Impacts of bullying may result in a serious health issue in both physical and psychological aspects and as well as social aspect.

Psychological illnesses both short term and long terms such as fear, phobia, frustration, humiliation, uncertainty, anxiety, loneliness, isolation and many more side effects cause problems in personality in the later stage of students. These physiological effects might be the caused for long term mental distress as well as loss of interest in classrooms, a particular subject or attending schools entirely. The author of this book has noticed that some students fear to socialize and are isolated in a classroom. They try to get rid of group activities and prefer to stay alone even in intervals. They refuse to attend teamwork activities. This might cause the total failure of both their utmost educational outcomes and social behavior in the society. Finally, they might tend to escape from their homes and even commit suicide. There are numerous such incidents reported around the world.

Not only psychological effects, bullying mainly causes physical health issues and injury as discussed in the previous section. Hence, this book describes the factors affecting bullying from different perspectives and explains the practical experience observed by the researcher. Therefore, the outcomes of this finding might have a practical importance in eradication bullying from school environment as well as educating the parties involving in this crisis. Outcomes might define the subtle differences among the terms and definitions with due recognitions.

Does bullying create a huge drawback for students’ academic outcomes? Nansel et al., (2001) indicated that there is a direct consequence between bullying and students' learning outcomes. It is mentioned that both bullies and victims are experiencing these low-level academic outcomes comparing to the students who are remaining as neutral to bullying in school.

If this unfinished crisis will not reach to a better end, bullies will increase more violent attitudes and more aggressive behaviors among the students. The hidden factors of bullies such as negligence from the family, ill-treatment, low potential care about the needs of individual, negligence of attention, poor relationship with peers and the society, lack of knowledge and skills in school work or high ability than others will have remained closed. Similarly, lack of proactive and reactive abilities of victims won't be disclosed. Therefore, the total outcome might result for a better society as a whole.

1.8 Summary

It is considered that the bullying of students at schools is to be given high priority. Bullying in schools is involved with a complex process that is created by different levels of behaviors of students. Therefore, this chapter is aimed at identifying the different aspects of bullying with particular regards to school environments. First, it identified bullying as a subset of aggressive behavior of violence. It is found that bullying is a common habit where taken place in families to the workplace as well as very common in school environments. Secondly, it is found that there are different types of bullying by its way of occurring. Therewith operational definitions were presented briefly. Thirdly, it is noted that school as the very specific ground for bullying. Fourthly, bullying was further looked as a crisis in the society where there is a dire need of great attention. Finally, the outcomes of bullying were discussed in general and found that there is an immediate need for the complete eradication of bullying at schools. This work is aimed at finding a few possible answers for such requirements that existed.



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Title: Bullying. The unfinished crisis