Bullying in Schools: The Need for Awareness and Action

March 13, 2023
By AdmissionSight

Bullying in Schools: The Need for Awareness and Action

Have you ever wondered why some students dread going to school every day? Unfortunately, for many students, the fear of bullying can make the school environment a source of stress and anxiety.

While it can take many forms, it always involves one person using their power to harm or intimidate another. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at this issue and what can be done to prevent it from happening.

What is bullying?

What does bullying mean? This is defined as unwelcome, aggressive behavior between school-aged children that involves a real or perceived imbalance of power.

The behavior happens more than once or has the potential to happen more than once over time. Children who bully others or are bullied may have problems that last for the rest of their lives.

A young male student looking sad while holding sitting in the floor.

For a behavior to be considered bullying, it must be aggressive and have at least one of the following traits:

An imbalance of power: Children who pick on others use their strength, whether it’s physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or their reputation, to control or hurt others.

Power relationships can change over time and in response to new situations, even when the same people are involved.

Repetition: Aggression is behavior that happens more than once or has the potential to happen more than once.

This includes threats, spreading rumors about someone, hurting someone physically or verbally, or purposely leaving someone out of a group.

Forms of Bullying


The physical form of bullying is when someone does something to scare or control the victim. This can take the form of physical attacks like hitting or stomping, ramming or pushing, tripping or pressing, pinching, or damaging property.


Verbal aggression is when someone uses another person’s words against them to show who is superior. For example, the power difference could worsen if someone used swear words, made threats, or teased each other playfully. This kind is harder to spot and stop because it often happens when no adults are around to see what’s happening.


At the heart of relational bullying is being left out of social activities. This kind of aggression doesn’t involve hurting someone physically. Instead, it focuses on hurting their relationships or social standing.


Harassment, rumors, being left alone, insults, and threats can happen through email, text messages, and social media. It could also involve giving out private information; in some cases, it could even cross the line into illegal behavior.

What are the causes of bullying in school?

What are the causes of bullying in school? This happens for many different main reasons, but most of the people who do it fall into one of these larger groups:

A bully for a reason. Someone who hurts other people may have been bullied in the past by their parents, their abusive stepsiblings, or even someone in their neighborhood. Because of how they see things, bullies often don’t have empathy and want to pass on the bad things that have happened to them by victimizing others.

Seeking social attention. Bullies often feel alone. They don’t have any friends they can count on. So, they try to get noticed in any way they can, even if it means putting someone else’s mental or physical health at risk.

A close up of hand gesturing to stop.

Frustration or jealousy. Bullies may pick on people doing better than them in some way, whether in school, with their bodies, or at work. Bullies may also make fun of people who have less than they do.

The goal of bullies is to make sure that everyone is on the same level by taking away the other person’s skills. Bullies often don’t feel good on the inside, which makes them do a lot of mental comparing. This, in turn, makes people feel angry and jealous.

Shame. A person who bothers other people feels regret when they are embarrassed by their inability to succeed at anything they try. They let themselves get angry because they failed, and then they take out their anger on the other person.

What are the long-term effects of bullying on students?

What effects does being bullied have on kids in the long run? People who are bullied also feel pain and heartbreak on top of their other problems.

But unless they have been bullied, many adults have trouble understanding how much pain this can cause children. They don’t realize that this can have serious and long-lasting effects.

People often use the term “empathy gap” to describe this lack of understanding. Working to close this empathy gap is one of the best ways to reduce this issue.

In fact, efforts to raise awareness for victims won’t work unless people really understand how painful and traumatic it can be to be bullied. Here is an overview of how bullying affects people:

Social and Emotional Impact

Bullies who pick on kids regularly often cause them to suffer, both emotionally and socially. Not only do they find it hard to make new friends, but they also find it hard to keep healthy friendships going.

The mean things that other kids say about them are a direct cause of their low self-esteem. Also, people who have been bullied often feel a wide range of emotions. They might feel angry, bitter, weak, helpless, frustrated, lonely, and cut off from their peers.

Female student looking sad while sitting on a hallway.

If no one steps in to help a child at any point in their development, the child may end up with “learned helplessness.” Bullying victims often feel like they have no control over their lives because they have learned to think that they can’t change anything.

They stop trying because of this. The vicious cycle of depression then keeps going and gets even worse. This makes people feel like they can’t do anything and that there’s no way out of the situation.

As children who were mistreated grow up and become adults with low self-esteem, they will find it hard to make and keep friends, and avoid social activities. They may also have trouble trusting people, which can affect their personal and work relationships.

They could also blame themselves for what went wrong.

Physical Impact

In addition to the scrapes and injuries that can come from being physically bullied, other physical costs come with it. For example, children who are mistreated often feel anxious. Because of the stress put on their bodies, they will develop a number of health problems, such as a higher chance of getting sick, ulcers, and other conditions caused by long-term anxiety.

Academic Impact

When children are mistreated, they often have trouble in school as well. When kids are picked on, it’s hard for them to focus on their schoolwork. In fact, a child’s poor performance in school is one of the first signs that they are being bullied.

Children may find it hard to pay attention in class or forget what to do for their assignments if they are worried about being picked on.

Children who are bullied may also decide to skip school or classes to avoid more bullying. This kind of behavior can also hurt how well someone does in school. And when scores start to go down, it adds to the stress the bullied child is already going through.

Impact on Family

When a child is bullied, it is common for the child’s parents and other family members to also have bad things happen to them. Parents often have to deal with a wide range of consequences, including feeling like they can’t change the situation.

They might even worry too much about it, putting their health and well-being at risk every day. Not only do they feel like they failed to protect the child from being bullied, but they may also start to doubt their own abilities as parents.

They may even be worried that they didn’t notice the warning signs of aggression or didn’t do enough to keep their child from being bullied along the way.

The sad truth is that no one can know who will be targeted by abusers. Even if parents take all the right steps, they may still find out their child is being bullied.

They should never feel like they’re responsible for the choices an abuser makes.

How can students cope with bullying in school?

How can students cope with being bullied in school? If you are being bullied, you may want to stop going to school or other social activities so that you don’t have to be around the person who is picking on you.

This is because you want to keep the aggressor away from you. On the other hand, you shouldn’t have to miss out on opportunities just because someone is mistreating you.

College students walking together outdoors. Group of young people in college campus.

Here are the six best ideas for dealing with the effects of bullying: Not all of them may work for everyone, so you should keep trying different things until you find one that does.

Get a friend (and be a buddy)

Tell a close confidant about what happened, whether that person is a friend or someone else. After talking about something, you may feel calmer and more at ease about it. Ask a friend to walk with you to class or to help you get home after school.

Choose a different route

If the taunting is happening in a certain place, you should try to avoid going there by taking a different route (if doing so will not cause you too much inconvenience).

Turn on some music

Put on headphones and listen to upbeat music as you walk past the person driving you crazy. Putting on headphones is now a common way for people to show that they want to be left alone.

Ignore it and just breathe

Act like you didn’t hear what the person bothering you was saying by not responding. They want a response from you, so you shouldn’t give it to them.

Use sarcasm

If someone is making fun of you, responding with a sarcastic one-liner can make you feel like you’re taking back some control of the situation. But you should only use this strategy if you feel safe and safe.

Block and report it

If the teasing happens online, it’s best not to answer because doing so could worsen things. Instead, you should write down what happened and put limits on the person.

The vast majority of social media sites now have protocols in place to stop harassment and bullying.

What steps can schools take to prevent bullying?

What can schools do to keep bullying from happening? All fifty states in the US have laws that require schools to have policies against aggression. But having a policy isn’t enough on its own.

This happens everywhere, even in the schools that are thought to be the best. It hurts everyone involved, including those who are bullied, those who see it, and the bullies themselves.

A boy being bullied by his classmates.

In schools, this problem needs to be talked about more thoroughly. Here are some ideas that schools can use to help stop bullying.

Remove labels; address behaviors

When school staff labels a student as a victim or a bully, they are making a decision about that student. This can make it hard for the student to do well in school in the future.

It’s important to take a close look at the behaviors that came up because of the situation so that schools can deal with them later. It is very important for schools to remember that every student in a given situation comes from a different background. Everyone has baggage. There’s a chance that the child who picks on others does so for a specific reason.

The schools have a duty to make sure that the person who is bullying knows what kind of behavior is not okay, why it is not okay, and what will happen to them if they keep doing it. If the behavior doesn’t change, the parents will have to step in.

Set clear rules and clear expectations

When the rules are made for their age group, students are better able to understand what kind of behavior is expected of them. When the kids are younger, it should be easier for them to understand the rules. When kids get older, the school rules should be changed to help them reach the right level of maturity.

It is important to make sure everyone knows the rules and what will happen if they are not followed. The students have a right to know what will happen to them if they choose to do certain things. This makes sure that no one gets confused.

Keep the lines of communication open

Getting along with someone means communicating with them. When teachers keep lines of communication open with their students, they will feel more comfortable talking to their teachers about any problems, even if they are being bullied.

It’s important to listen with understanding. Students really want to feel like their opinions are being heard and valued. It’s important for them to feel like they can talk to their teachers privately.

Engage parents

A lot of people affect the lives of young children. Each of them does something. When all of these people work together, they can make the biggest difference in a child’s life. No matter if their child is the bully or the victim of aggression, it can be hard to talk to their parents about how their child is acting.

One of the most important ways to deal with behavior is to keep parents informed about their child’s grades, friends, behavior, and even attitude in school. When parents and teachers work together, they can use a consistent method to teach kids better, more productive ways to act.

Look for warning signs

Many different signs can be shown by a child who is being bullied, and these signs can be shown in many different ways. There’s a chance that teachers won’t be there for every problem, but that’s exactly why other students and their parents need to be involved.

When bullying occurs, clear the scene

Most of the time, teachers and staff members solve problems when they come up. In order to find out what happened, it is important to keep the students who were involved in the incident apart. Because of this, the school will be able to fix the problem and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Monitor hot spots

Aggression happens most often in places like hallways, bathrooms, playgrounds, and buses, according to research. This is because these are places where adults don’t usually hang out as much. When an adult is around, kids feel safer and are less likely to bully other kids. When there are a lot of kids around, parents need to stay alert and give each child their full attention.

This can be stopped in some ways. These rules will help schools cut down and stop this problem. They will also help schools make sure that their students thrive in a safe, loving environment where they are free to learn and grow.

Schools, parents, and communities need to work together to create a safe and inclusive environment for all students, where bullying is not tolerated, and victims are supported.

By educating students about the harmful effects of this issue, providing resources for victims, and implementing effective prevention and intervention strategies, we can help reduce the incidence of aggression and create a better future for our children.

Here at AdmissionSight, our college admissions experts can help you research and select colleges that have a track record of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion on their campuses to prevent bullying and ensure student safety. Don’t hesitate to reach out and book a consultation today!

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