In order for us to fully understand bullying, an explanation of the different types should give us some clarity. Verbal, physical, emotional and psychological are all types of bullying. Verbal involves calling the victim offensive names, physical involves pushing them around or ‘beating them up,’emotional bullying can include verbal bullying, and picking on the victim’s weaknesses, for example insulting their family. Psychological bullying can involve all of the above, and agitating the victim until they cannot cope with it any longer.
Likewise, video examples of recent case histories on a BBC programme on bullying will show personal experiences. The case histories in the BBC’s ‘40 minutes’ documentary included Sayyed, Simon, Sarah and Steven. Sayyed experienced racial bullying, due to his Asian background. He was attacked just outside his school gates, yet the school refused to take responsibility for the bullying, so Sayyed’s mother contacted the police, who just laughed. If the authorities refuse to take bullying seriously, there is no way bullies will stop. Another consequence of bullying can be a change of lifestyle for the whole family. This happened to Simon, his family had to move house to escape the emotional harm it was doing to him and his family.
As well as the video case histories a series of newspaper articles from broadsheet and tabloid offer statistical and personal evidence. From the Cambridge Evening News, there was the story of a mother’s anxiety about her son, classed as a ‘Bully.’ “Bully’s problems can be similar to those of the victims, for example low self esteem.” Research from another newspaper showed twelve cases of bullying a year result in a teenage suicide, 44% of bullies feel they are picked on, and victims are two to three time more likely to have special needs. In the Times there was an article about a boy who sued his local authorities after bullying damaged his education. “We are never going to stop bullying…but we can make sure the victim does not feel humiliated and ignored by the system.”
What can be done to eradicate this insidious social problem? There are many different solutions, including; teachers’ intervention, parental support, government policies and funding and discussion between the bully and victim with parents or teachers present. In this country we have a conspiracy of silence about bullying; the government have no national policy, and there is no funding for the prevention of bullying in schools. Sometimes the most effective solution is for the victim to simply defend themself, or to tell a teacher, to enforce a suitable punishment. Another possible solution could be a bully trial, a system whereby students and teachers form a court like a court of law.
In conclusion I think it is important to consider that it is possible for bullies to be under a great deal of pressure at home or school, and perhaps they should be the ones to receive help, and change their ways, rather than the victims.