Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
MYTHS ABOUT BULLYING
If teachers are to successfully prevent or eliminate bullying in their classrooms, they need to understand the characteristics of bullies and their victims. According to the experts, much of what we have always Believed about bullying is wrong.
Bullies are not, the research indicates, cowardly misfits with low self esteem. Their victims are rarely chosen because of the color of their hair or skin or the shape of their glasses. And, perhaps most importantly, bullying is not a problem that will go away without adult intervention. Following are myths about bullying that have been identified through research:
1. THE MYTH:
Bullies suffer from insecurity and low self-esteem. They pick on others to make themselves feel more important.
THE RESEARCH: Most bullies have average or above average self esteem. They "suffer" from aggressive temper ailments, a lack of empathy, and poor parenting.
2. THE MYTH:
Bullies are looking for attention. Ignore them and the bullying will stop.
THE RESEARCH: Bullies are looking for control, and they rarely stop if their behavior is ignored. The level of Bullying usually increases if the bullying is not addressed by adults.
3. THE MYTH:
Boys will be boys.
THE RESEARCH: Bullying is seldom outgrown; it's simply redirected. About 60 percent of boys identified as bullies in middle school commit at least one crime by the time they are 24.
4. THE MYTH:
Kids can be cruel about differences.
THE RESEARCH: Physical differences play only a very small role in bullying situations. Most victims are chosen because they are sensitive, anxious, and unable to retaliate.
5. THE MYTH:
Victims of bullies need to learn to stand up for themselves and deal with the situation.
THE RESEARCH: Victims of bullies are usually younger or physically weaker than their attackers. They also lack the social skills to develop supportive friendships. They cannot deal with the situation themselves.
6. THE MYTH:
Large schools or classes are conducive to bullying.
THE RESEARCH: No correlation has been established between class or school size and bullying. In fact, there is some evidence that bullying may be less prevalent in larger schools where potential victims have increased opportunities for finding supportive friends.
7. THE MYTH:
Most bullying occurs off school grounds.
THE RESEARCH: Although some bullying occurs outside of school or on the way to and from school, most occurs on school grounds: in classrooms, in hallways, and on playgrounds.
8. THE MYTH
Teachers know if bullying is a problem in their classes.
THE RESEARCH: Bullying behavior usually takes place out of sight of teachers. Most victims are reluctant to report the bullying for fear of embarrassment or retaliation, and most bullies deny or justify their behavior.
9. THE MYTH:
Victims of bullying need to follow the adage "Sticks and stones will break your bones, but names can never hurt you."
THE RESEARCH: Victims of bullying often suffer lifelong problems with low self esteem. They are prone to depression, suicide, and other mental health problems throughout their lives.
Information obtained from Education World