What is bullying? Well, we can evaluate that throughout our communities bullying has become a serious problem that should be resolved or at least reduced. Bullying is a form of superior power or strength in order to intimidate another person, especially one who is vulnerable or typically unable to defend themselves. As stated by Davis & Nixon in 2010 for the National Bullying Prevention Center, “The reasons for being bullied reported most often by students were looks (55%), body shape (37%), and race (16%).” I have witnessed many situations where someone presents an attack on another person based on sexuality, weight, acne, gender, general appearance and more.
When I was young, I was bullied based on my acne, my voice, etc. This was constant throughout elementary and middle school and I eventually pushed through and overcame the bullying. With this type of behavior not only in real life but on social media, it is well established in our society and continues to cause a negative impact on anyone involved whether physically, mentally, or emotionally.
As a result, a mindful solution that can reduce or even eliminate this situation is a form of counseling. Whether peer or self-counseling, this solution can be implemented easily. Our schools are already equipped with counselors available, but they may not have awareness or full training in dealing with situations like bullying. There should be a program that I believe schools could have in order to raise awareness and offer classes to individuals who are experiencing bullying to be encouraged to learn strategies to help them and their situations. According to McCallion & Feder in 2013 with the National Bullying Prevention Center, “School-based bullying prevention programs decrease bullying by up to 25%.” With this program proposed, it can provide information and counseling to victims who want to seek help. Now, usually, the person who is the aggressor may have a situation in their personal life where they may have insecurities or just do it because they feel as if they are superior to others and want control. Center for Disease Control in 2015 has stated, “Students who engage in bullying behavior are at increased risk for academic problems, substance use, and violent behavior later in adolescence and adulthood.” With the same program for victims can also encourage the bully to open up about any problems they are facing at home as well.
With peer counseling, my proposed solution would be to bring a counselor in to mediate two or more students involved in bullying to understand and problem solve the “why are you bullying him/her?” and “what is happening in your personal life that you are bullying others?” Even though this may or may not work, it can give everyone a chance to express their feelings. Some are afraid to tell teachers, administration, and family members about bullying. This is according to Petrosina, Guckenburg, DeVoe & Hanson in 2010 with the National Bullying Prevention Center that “about 64% of children who were bullied did not report; only 36% reported the bullying,” but this can be a start of when given the opportunity to express your situation and not feel afraid to speak up or speak out on bullying .
With this intention, the solution presented can help individuals within our society and inside our communities to have a voice on bullying. This opportunity will help them speak up on their situation and have the potential to face their aggressor to resolve the issues that shouldn’t be a topic of discussion for others to use as ammunition. With that said, not only to resolve the issue with their peers but to gain confidence in standing up for themselves and not give them the reason to use intimidation powers on that certain individual anymore. Like myself when I was younger, I was able to stick up for myself and build up my self-confidence to not worry about other’s comments about my life and changes. This helped me grow to become who I am today. Now, as stated by Shelley & Craig in 2010; as well as Perren, Ettakal & Ladd in 2013 for the National Bullying Prevention Center, “Youth who self-blame and conclude they deserved to be bullied are more likely to face negative outcomes, such as depression, prolonged victimization, and maladjustment (Inability to react successfully and satisfactorily to the demands of one’s environment).” After that information and with stories like mine, these can be used during counseling or program sessions, this will help give others the sense of urgency to not remain a victim, but to feel the need to overcome and make a change for themselves.
With all things considered, other possible solutions would come from social resources who may already offer to counsel, such as religious establishments, club organizations, sports organizations, and camps. One may feel a little comfortable in these certain social settings to help them ease their minds and potentially relieve stress or frustration hiding within. Another social area would be parents, I believe every child or teen should be taught self-confidence and self-esteem when they are young. This should not only be coming from the parents and relatives, but other social resources listed as well as credible television shows, friends, and significant others. Bullying can really affect someone’s mental state and may lead to depression, stress, isolation, low self-esteem or suicidal thoughts, when given a great opportunity to express yourself without judgment can boost a person’s moral.
All in all, we need to start as a community to detain the bullying problem and make our society a happier place to function better. This problem will not go away overnight, but as community leaders, parents, students, school administration, and counselors, we should work together to reduce or at least eliminate parts of the problem slowly and establish an effective solution that would work for each student and/or adults involved. Having a conversation with eye-witnesses and victims will provide everyone with in-depth clarification on the lives who have been impacted on bullying. Our programs will be more effective when individuals of all ages come together to create and help stop this repetitive problem in the near future. As a community, we will know our success has taken in effect when children, teens and young adults show stronger self-confidence, high self-esteem, and eventually causing suicide rates, mass killings, and depression to decrease.
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