Lesson 76: School Bullying- Teachers' Responsibiltiy

"It's him! He scolded me using fault language!"

"He even pushed people!"

"He bullied me!"

There was a student who was afraid to be overlooked by others so he tended to shout when he was speaking. Despite over competitiveness, speaking fault languages and hitting people were his habits. He even argued when other students complained about him.

What would you do as a teacher?

Scold him? Warn him? Tell him gently not to do that anymore? Ask others to ignore him? Punish him? Or, ignore all of them, continue the class because it was too troublesome?

School Bullying
Bullying covers wide aspects from physical, verbal to indirect social bullying. The student above had shown physical and verbal bullying. School bullying cases increased in quantity and severity in recent two years (1, 2, 3 ). 

However, study from Australia had shown that school teachers had not manage to deal with bullying effectively ( 4) . The discovery from a conversation with a few school teachers was they tended to choose between scolding and ignoring, informing parents and then end case. The process repeated without really solving the problem. Sometimes it happened because the teachers had too much work on their shoulder. Sometimes it happened because the teachers did not see the severity of it. As a result, the bullies often became worse.

Abraham Lincoln once expressed his opinion about bullying, 
"I would rather be a little nobody, than to be an evil somebody." 

However, the bullies thought differently because they did not want other people to bully them so they rather be the evil somebody. They did not know that their thoughts were wrong.

Hence, I called that student out from the group while the others were doing the activities. I asked, "Did you say the fault word? Did you push people?" He looked at me in silent and resistance. I had to repeat my question, "Did you?" Then he finally nodded his head.

Soon after that , he quickyly defended, "It's because they didn't allow me to be the representative for the presentation! I told them so many times that I could do it well but they rejected me!" Fear had pushed him to burst out all the reasons before I asked anything. 

"Were you angry?"

He nodded his head desperately before he said, "It's because of them that I reacted in that way!"

"It's ok to be angry but it's not ok to speak fault language and to push people," I said, "If this were to be happened to you, would you feel happy?" He remained silent.

"You will not be happy, won't you? So it's not ok to do that to others?" He seemed to accept my advices as he remained really quiet.

Hence, I asked him, "So, what could you do?"

"I told them in a nice way! But they just wouldn't listen to me! It's frustrating!" He answered in great anger.

"It's ok. I know you would like to help your team. There is another way, isn't it? Even though you couldn't be the team representative, you could provide your opinion."

He seemed to understand, "Well, that's fine." He returned to his team and continued the activity without further complaint.

Whether you are young person or an older person, you will cause yourself suffering if you think badly and incorrectly. The perpetrators don't have a good understanding of that. They have to go through it themselves in order to know That is why you have to fix the bad and wrong habits of people for them. (Joshua J)

Teachers have the responsibility to help the bullies in correcting their wrong behaviors. 
We must have a conversation with the bullies to understand them as shown in the example above. The next step would be guiding them to think and differentiate between the right and wrong behaviors. If you could not resolve it at that moment, you could educate him/ her after the class by first calling out and time-out the bullies to prevent any further bullying.

Besides, you could do the same if the report were to receive after the bullying has happened. The most important thing is to correct the wrong thinking. 

Thus, consistent follow-up and feedback must be done in order to observe the changing in the bullies. If he did well, praise and recognition must be given. If he did not do well, correction must be made. This is the method to ensure the changing of behaviors even though long term observations and correction are needed.


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