A bully is a person who hurts, persecutes or intimidates weaker
people. (Collins Concise Dictionary 3rd edition, published by Harper Collins Publishers)
- Bullying is sometimes not easy to define. It may involve beating or kicking.
Threats, teasing and cruel acts are more common and can be more damaging.
- The word 'bullying' is used to describe many different types of behaviour,
ranging from teasing or deliberately leaving an individual out of a social
gathering or ignoring them, too serious assaults and abuse. It can be an
individual who is doing the bullying or a group of people.
A Dutch professional medical
book, written in 1929 (Algemeene Ziekenverpleging 1929, DR J.B.
Wolters U.M.) states that bullying exists in many age
groups, from toddlers right through to adulthood and says it is often
seen when there is a lack of love and discipline in early childhood
and teenage years. Seventy-four years ago bullying was recognized as a
serious problem in society and was addressed in professional medical
books as such. Has anything changed?
Bullying in the work place!
The Australian Institute of
Criminology Report 2001, states that bullying in the work place is on the increase.
Bullying affects one in four workers and costs employers up to
$12 billion a year, according to research by the head of one of the
nation's leading employment agencies. Drake Personnel chief Diane Utatao,
who was interviewed by AAP, 17th April 2001, said the antics of one
serial bully in the workplace had the potential to reduce the
performance of their victims by half, and that of other employees by up
to 33%. Drake's figures were derived using a British formula which
indicated that the previous year 50% of a total of 5,300 people
surveyed had witnessed bullying at work in the previous five years.
Research has shown that
bullying is getting worse and reported cases rose 120% for men and 80%
for women. Sadly, permanent employees put up with the bullying in fear
of losing their job. Even though the Victorian Government started a
Code of Practice to stamp out bullying in the workplace it is still
going to be a long haul. The Trade Union Survey Report 2001, Sharan Burrows said,
more than half of the respondents to a trade union survey reported an
unhappy and oppressive workplace, with 44% saying they were afraid to
Bullying in the armed forces!
Bullying in the army is not uncommon and is classed
as unacceptable behaviour but many soldiers find it necessary to
create tough images. Army chief Peter Cosgrove, stepped up his
campaign back in 2001 to rid the army forces of bullies as reported in
the West Australian Newspaper by R. Rose, Canberra. Some of the army's
new code of conduct was introduced as follows:
- Bring honour to your country, the army, your mates and yourself.
Respect and use the army values of courage, initiative and teamwork.
- Earn the trust and loyalty of your team. Don't let your mates down.
- Be accountable for your actions and decisions. Encourage your mates to do the same.
- Treat others as you want them to treat you.
- Lead by example, look after all your people, all the time.
- Have the courage to stand up for what is right and stop unacceptable behaviour.
- Be honest, always.
- Respect the differences in others (such as gender, personality, race or religious beliefs)
- Make the chain of command work.
- Use the military justice system; it's there to give you a fair go.
The above values are easily implemented in all work situations.
Besides bullying in the workplace or armed forces,
adults and children in this technology age are often bullied online.
Online bullying occurs frequently to people who have websites on the Internet,
which display their email address. Harrassing, unwanted and regular rude emails
are classified as online bullying tactics and can be reported to special
Government Departments within each country who will try to put a stop to
it if they deem it is illegal bullying (or also called spam).
Sometimes it is best to ignore emails if you are bullied
online or change email address but of course this is not always possible.
People who bully others online are considered rude and unethical. These online
bullies often think they can get away with their undesirable behaviour because
they are not face to face with the receiver of their email but eventually they
will be caught out. If you are being bullied online you can seek legal advice
if you think it warrants to go to this extreme. Don't stand for online bullying!
Bullying in schools!
Bullying is also prevalent in many
schools causing serious problems among teachers, parents and students.
Bullying often adds to the already existing teenage peer pressures for older
students while younger children suffer unnecessary stress often causing
Believe it or not -
teachers are often bullied by
their work mates, giving rise to unproductive teaching strategies which
in turn give students an unsatisfactory learning record. Principals
sometimes bully teachers causing the school enormous financial losses
as teachers come and go on a regular basis. One school turned over 21
teachers (teaching 5 and 6 year olds) in 12 months. The result of
bullying was very evident there! Sadly, the children never learned to
read and write properly for several years due to this bullying
problem. It wasn't until the principal was removed by higher education
department authorities that things settled down again for the better.
Bullying must be reported if
you want things to change. If you are a teacher and you are bullied... please
report the problem to the appropriate education department, if the
principal does not resolve the problem. Your health and well-being may be
Children need to report bullies!
Children should report bullies.
If the teacher does not resolve the problem, try the
principal. If you have no satisfaction from the principal you must seek help from
other education department authorities. This may prove more difficult
than you anticipated but it may be worth while in the end. If bullies
are left to their devices they may grow into adult bullies and who
wants to work with them!
Some parents have taken their
children out of the public or private education system because of the
bullying by students and occasionally by teachers. These parents decided that
home tutoring would be more beneficial for their children. They also found
that the family bonding became stronger, Godly values could be easily
added on a daily basis and their home educated children
likely to steer away from youth related problems. These include satanic
practices that infringe upon the law, teen suicide,
drug abuse, alcoholism, crime, promiscuity, teen pregnancy, abortion and
the list goes on.
Here are some things children can do to stop bullying at school:
Have a quiet talk with the person being bullied,
encourage them to seek help from the principle, teacher, parent or
mature aged friend. The bullied person should then be encouraged to
explain what is happening, a student could offer to speak to one of
the above on the bullied persons behalf. Be determined to see that
the bullying is stopped, raise the issue of bullying in discussions
in subjects like English, drama or social studies, make sure teachers
and parents know what is going on.
Here are some things you should not do.
Don't encourage a person who is being bullied to try and
solve the problem on their own. Please help them solve the problem.
Being violent is not a good way to solve a bullying problem, if you choose this method,
you may well be accused of being a bully yourself. Don't try to deal with the problem on your own.
Always involve other people.
Finding out that your child is being bullied is a distressing experience.
Children are very good at hiding their feelings
and it can be distressing for parents to suddenly find out that
their child is being bullied. Signs of being bullied may be exhibited
in the following behaviour, your child may have
sleeping problems or could be apprehensive in their behaviour. Your
child may fall out with some of their friends, loose money you have
given them for lunch or other school events, unexplainable cuts, bruises or tears in clothes.
Your child could be unusually quiet, temperamental and hostile to
family members. You could also notice a drop in academic standard, or a
reluctance to leave your home. If your child frequently asks to replace
textas, pens and even books, the items could have been stolen or
destroyed by the bully. Watch out for these signs!
Ablution blocks, corridors and playgrounds are often a bully's territory.
Find out where the bullying occurs, tell the principal where the bullying is
happening and supervision can be (and should be) implemented
so that the bullies are caught red handed and stopped.
Schools have a
variety of actions they can take to stop bullies.
Usually schools take several steps before
involving police. Schools do vary their protocol on this issue but usually
the first step is to issue a stern warning to the bully and call the
parents to talk about the problem. If this does not help, detention
is usually the next step a school may take as a disciplinary action.
If a short detention does not help, a bully may be expelled from
school for longer periods or even permanently. An interesting
bullying experience is described below.
A Secondary school was experiencing severe
bullying problems from one particular boy who belonged to a gang. Bullied
students were scared to speak up as the bully had a gang of others backing him
up after school hours. These gang members did not go the school anymore and were
therefore out of reach for discipline by the principal. Due to lack of evidence,
the police did nothing.
The bullying continued for more than a year until
one boy, I'll call him J.J. to protect his identity, decided enough was enough.
Although J.J. was never actually bullied he witnessed the bullying going on each
day during and after school hours.
J.J. had been training in several self defense
sports and explained the bullying problem to his trainer. His trainer expressed
that one should never use his defense and fighting skills unless an attack
occurred. J.J. wanted to stop the bullies once and for all. The atmosphere among
his friends at school was getting worse and going to school was becoming a
drudge. His trainer re-iterated that J.J. must be attacked first and have
witnesses to back this up should police get involved.
J.J. decided that he would face the bully, who was
taller, more solid and carried a flick-knife at all times. He also decided that
he would not 'down him' unless he was attacked.
Several days later J.J. witnessed the bully at
work again and was able to put a stop to it for the time being but was told by
the bully that he'd get him after school. News spread throughout the school grounds that a
fight may be taking place after hours. When school finished, the bully was
waiting with three other gang members for J.J.
Calm and totally un-intimidated
J.J. stood his ground and waited for the bully to attack. He 'downed' them all
with ease. No charges were laid against J.J. as witnesses clearly stated it was
The bully was removed from school and the gang
broke up over the whole incident. Some of the gang members were taken into
police custody and charged. Some time later the principal thanked J.J. and he was
stunned to learn that the principal, his wife and his daughter had been
threatened by this gang for over six months. They all looked forward to a
Ideal or Not!
I'm leaving it up to you to decide whether or not
J.J.'s solution to the bullying problem was correct or not.
More information on bullying can be found here.
Bullying web sites
Matthew 6:19-21 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth,
where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal.
But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt,
and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is,
there will your heart be also.