BULLYING AS A THREAT TO MENTAL HEALTH OF STUDENTS
According to Wikipedia, Bullying is the use of force, coercion, hurtful teasing or threat, to abuse, aggressively dominate or intimidate. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception (by the bully or by others) of an imbalance of physical or social power.
An uncountable number of Nigerian students have been bullied in one way or another and three ways students can be bullied;
- CYBERBULLYING: This type of bullying illustrates the negativity of technology on adolescents. Students go to extra miles of using internet means such as; facebook, twitter, instagram, emails, and other social networking platforms to intimidate their colleagues. A good example is spreading fake news, information, rumours or posting private contents without the individual’s knowledge or consent.
This form of bullying is more insidious and often takes place off of school grounds, so it is more challenging for teachers and school management to glimpse and address. Identical to cyberbullying, social or relational bullying is when students gossip or spread rumors to damage the prestige of the student being bullied.
- DIRECT BULLYING: This kind of bullying is a combination of VERBAL AND PHYSICAL BULLYING; Verbal bullying indicates use of threatening comments or information either written or spoken which is emotionally damaging to students who find themselves in this situation; it also involves use of hurtful and rude names(foul language). Physical bullying on the other hand portrays physical actions such as hitting, beating, harming students or their possessions.
- INDIRECT BULLYING: This is mainly verbal and is experienced frequently in schools. An example of such behavior would be a student spreading false information about another student with the intent to cause humiliation.
CAUSES OF BULLYING
The causes for bullying are various, meaning any student can evolve a prey, regardless of gender, race, religion, or socioeconomic status.
Learning why students bully others can assist teachers and school management as a whole better combat it. Facets that can lead to bullying include contrasts in appearance, social status, race, and sexual orientation.
- LOW SELF-ESTEEM: This simply indicates that students who bully either their peers or those lower to them have little or no confidence in themselves, to avoid intimidation they bully those they feel fall into that category.
- OVER-CONFIDENCE: Students who are influential or physically fit fall majorly into this category. They are of the notion that those who do not possess what they have should be below them and mustn’t do things without their knowledge or their consent.
- SOCIETAL EVENTS: What the society portrays also strengthens bullying in a school environment. Children are now exposed to things and even actions way beyond their level; on seeing all of these societal happenings, they tend to adopt most of it and practise on those they can intimidate.
- FAMILY: This is one very important aspect of the society most especially children as they are known to behave the way they are brought up.
EFFECTS OF BULLYING
- Emotional trauma
- poor/average academic performance
- Low self-esteem
- Suicidal thoughts
- Mood swings
- Chronic Introverts
- Trust issues
WAYS TO ERADICATE BULLYING
- Providing sufficient and high-quality supervision
- When teachers speak up against bullying, it gives kids permission to do the same.
- Creating a sense of belonging and community should be the primary direction for schools, families and the society at random.
- Don’t ever ignore bullying accusations and do well to investigate thoroughly in cases of false accusations.
- Create a climate that doesn’t allow bullying to occur
- Some kids fear being stigmatized if they report their bully to a teacher or principal; do well to guide and protect them.
- Teachers should ensure they do something when a student speaks up.
- Bullied students shouldn’t be stigmatized or neglected