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Bullying in School 

Cause of Bullying in Schools 

Bullying at school starts with the "children will be children" attitude, which paves way for school violence cases and other deadly consequences of bullying behavior. In fact when negative and ill-intentioned behavior is repeated by one or more students to a vulnerable student, it is often that the bullying occurs without any provocation on the student's part.

Underlying Motivations for Bullying:

1. Have strong urges to dominate students and consistently feel the need to get their own way

2. Lack empathy towards victimized students

3. Impulsive and angry behavior

Impact of Bullying on Victims Can Lead to:

1. Individuals can feel cautious, sensitive quiet, withdrawn and shy

2. Can often lead to anxiety, insecurity, unhappiness, or have low self esteem

3. Depressed and often engage in suicidal ideation

4. Often lack a friend, and relate better to adults than to peers

Being Asian In School 

Sometimes, being a part of a certain group, or ethnicity can increase the chance for one to be victimized and vulnerable to a bullying situation by xenophobia. Like other racial minorities, the Asian American students comprise up to 11 percent in the victim population, and report that they had been frequently bullied in school with race related hate words, far more than the reported numbers of White students. Racial and ethnic minorities that break stereotypes are  likely to be targeted, especially to students of Asian American and Latino students. Among Asian American students, the immigrant and 2nd generations were more likely to be targeted as victims than those of 3rd generation or later. Data of nearly 750 Asia American middle and high school students from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health suggested that 17 percent reported being victims of violence at least once in the past year. Therefore, it is important to recognize the difference in the type of bullying that is to occur to students of Asian origins, and be attentive to the specific ailments to the bullying situation due to our identity of being Asian. 

Asian Victims: The Numbers 

-Bullying has been reported to up to 31.5 percent by students of Korean origin in the schools of New Jersey and New York. 15.9 percent of students reported being aggressive victims, and reported their experience with higher levels of depression. 

-According to a study of more than 1300 6th graders, with Latin and Asian American students being the major populations, Asian Americans were more likely to become the victimized ethnic group regardless of the composition of a school's race. 

-In Boston, Chinese Americans are often targeted with race-based verbal and physical harassment by their non-Asian peers. The harassing comment focus on the Asian languages or accents, school performance, physical appearance, and harassment. 

Asian Student Stress 

The typical Asian American student experiences more academic stress and expectation from themselves and their parents to achieve more. These external and internal expectations are very normalized in the Asian community, and the feelings linked to the burdens could  build up to depression and mental health problems. The internalization of parental expectation, especially serves as a compass for achieving success to Asian students, and this could exacerbate pressures in students, beside their normal workloads. These factors can contribute to low self esteem and deprive one of enough mental support, thus contribute to the higher likelihood of being victimized. 


The "Bully"

Bullying behavior starts early,  it develops between the toddler and preschool years, and is further engrained into a child's communication style and  behavior as they enter primary school. In younger ages, this bullying behavior happens mainly due to an emotional volatility, and a mismanagement of these feelings. Developmental psychologists emphasize the importance of teaching the skills of coexistence and assertiveness to children from a young age, without parental intervention to raise children capable of standing up for themselves. 

Bullies are often lacking in personal awareness, and most are unable to comprehend the way they are perceived. They find ways to justify their behavior, and have no concept of how they are seen by their peers. They consider themselves well-liked by a fear based manipulation to others. 

Most bullies lack proper self esteem. A difficult upbringing results in low self esteem  and coupled aggressive behavior creates children who not only lacks the proper communication skills, but feels that they need to be defended consistently. Due to these insecurities, they often feel the need to be in charge of someone. They perceive their bullying behavior as a defensive mechanism, and they seek weaker victims to lash out their own sense of superiority. Most of the changes and volatile circumstances can make a child want to victimize others in an effort to cope with their own problems. 

As the Pygmalion effect suggests that people are self-fulfilling to the expectations of others, when a child is perceived as a bully, one is more likely to continue being a bully. While it is important to show kids that bullying behavior, it is important to offer them the opportunity for a clean slate, and a chance to reflect their past wrongs. 


The "Victim"

Bullying occurs mostly to children who appear more submissive, passive, and anxious. They are more transparent in their insecurities, and they cry frequently. Even before bullying occurs, bullied children tend to be more insecure. A child's lack of assertiveness and security may serve as cues for bullies that are perfect victims. Victims often have low peer acceptance, or very few friends. Children who sit alone at lunch, or children who lack a wide circle of friends compared to their peers who are not bullied are likely to be targets. They are often frequently perceived as different. Children with special needs, learning disabilities; or are part of an ethnic, cultural, or religious minority; LGBTQ ; have physical, and mental disorders; or even children who are smart with special talents are often bullied. Physical appearance such as size, facial features, or have reached puberty earlier are also at risk for bullying. Overprotective parents, such as those that try to create a sense of harmony in the household, while have good intentions, have unhelpful impacts on their children. They often struggle with handling conflict, and this continues the cycle of having parents be more involved in their child's social life. 

With all said, victims of children should not be blamed, but rather embraced and empowered. When a child is picked on, they can be supported by attention, and proactive steps to cease the situation from continuing.  


Bullying in School: Numbers and Statistics

1. One out of five students report being bullied in their life.
2. Bullying often occurs in these places
42% hallways, stairways of of schools
34% classrooms
22% cafeteria
19% school grounds
10% school bus
9% bathroom or locker room
3. Bullying that is often reported relates to
Physical Appearance
Sexual Orientation

How to Prevent and Stop Bullying 

Prevention: Bullying can be prevented from home, and prevented before it happens or escalates. Children can practice saying simple and direct phrases of "leave me alone", "back off", or "stop". Role playing bullying scenarios and having the child respond to the situation is a helpful way of teaching the child to speak strongly and confidently. Positive body language should be promoted and the child should practice looking directly into someone's eyes, especially to someone that bullies them. Emphasize the importance of well-being and safety of the student, and let them know that they should always talk to an adult about their problems. Children should be trained to have high confidence about themselves, and encouraged to take part in extracurricular activities, social situations, and hobbies that could bring out the best in themselves. Praise your child, especially when they tell you that they defused a harasser, and point out that if the bully knows that their target isn't to be bothered, the bully will usually move on. 

Schools must take action to create environments that fosters a highly supportive environment to students, and condemns bullying behavior. The school staff may not know everything that is going on, but situations can be made aware in the earlier stages of bullying. Schools should implement bullying prevention programs, and parents should be made aware so that they can monitor such actions appropriately. 

Cessation: If in a situation where bullying has already happened, the child can take action to end it. Coping skills can be taught, and reminded to the child that it is not their fault, and there are always people willing to help. Kids need to identify their feelings so they can communicate what is going on, and parents should not dismiss the bullying action as something that it normalized and accepted. Children need to be dealt with bullies, and helped build confidence to prevent difficult situations from escalating further. It is also a good idea to try contacting the offender's parents. When the bully persistently commits action that is intimidating, it is a great idea to call or email their parents in a nonconfrontational way, and make it clear that the goal is to resolve the matter together. Last and finally, it is always helpful when other peers are able to stand up for the student and end the following actions together, so teaching the child to be an "upstander", and not a bystander can be helpful in creating a safe environment for the student. 


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