At present, bullying seems extremely pervasive because of the internet. In the past, students contacts with bullies would to a large extent be confined within the school environment. However, cyberbullying is increasingly prevalent. Unwanted comments targeting a specific student through the Internet could be sent at any time.
Harmful Effects of Bullying
The harmful effects of bullying could be widespread. Students who are bullied in a classroom are at an increased risk of mental health issues such as depression, suicidal tendencies, low self-confidence, etc.
Bullying could impact academics performance too. Students who face constant bullying in a classroom, have a substantial lower academic performance. Social isolation, fear, eating disorder, lack of sleep, health issues are all linked to bullying.
According to research, the risk is not restricted to one side alone. Students who bully others are also at greater risk of depression along with substance use and low academic performance. Therefore, the greatest indicator of mental health risk impacts students on both sides – those who have been bullied and those bullying others.
There have been several cases of students committing suicide because of bullying. These instances have forced society to think critically about addressing the issue of bullying online and in schools.
The first thing schools and parents must do is to take bullying seriously. Any report of bullying has to be addressed expeditiously. A teacher spends quality time with students. Hence, the training of teachers is crucial in preventing bullying. Students must be encouraged to talk about it.
The school administration has to be proactive in addressing bullying. For parents who suspect their child might be bullying others, open communication is vital. They must hold them accountable for their actions while remaining calm and also ensuring they listen to their child’s side of the story.
Students must be encouraged to participate in physical activities/extra-curricular activities to enable them to channel their negative emotions in constructive ways.
The school administration must set in place an effective anti-bullying strategy while involving all stakeholders - students to teachers, administrators, and parents in addressing the risks of bullying. Students must not remain silent if they are being bullied. Talking to someone would definitely help.