Taking a Zero-Tolerance Approach to Bullying
Bullying is often characterized by hyper-aggressive behavior where one individual will physically, mentally, or even sexually abuse another person. Most times, the bully is more ‘powerful,’ and their actions are aimed at demeaning the other party. A lot of teenagers have experienced one form of bullying or another, and this shows how common the vie is in our society.
Usually, the person on the receiving end of bullying gets physical injuries, and they have to endure trauma from experience. The vice can also lead to severe impacts on the lives of those affected. Poor grades and truancy are commonplace as some students will neglect school to escape the bullies. In other cases, those affected can commit suicide.
Approaches to End Bullying
Many school administrators are keen to put an end to bullying because it only leads to pessimism around the school. However, in most cases, the punishments meted on the bullies aren’t severe enough, and it only gives them an incentive to continue the vice. To really end bullying in schools, educational leaders must embrace a zero-tolerance policy towards the malicious perpetrators.
These approaches mainly target bullies because they are usually the ‘victims.’ Frequently, bullies have underlying issues that they project on their victims. In some instances, they could be victims of domestic violence, or they simply harbor some insecurities which cause them to heap their frustrations on other students. Therefore, consider the following steps when dealing with bullies:
The first line of therapy usually involves the student’s parents. Once a pattern of bullying is established, the school will ask the guardians for a sit-down so that they can discuss this matter. The parents are enlightened of their child’s behavior and how it is detrimental to their future education as well as other students. After that, they’ll be asked to help modify their behavior since the act of bullying is a manifestation of their mental state.
If the intervention from their parents isn’t fruitful, the students will have to undergo professional counseling. During therapy, a certified mental health practitioner will help the bully process their underlying issues and insecurities. Equally, the victims should also receive counseling, but it shouldn’t be compulsory, unlike for the bully.
- School Transfer
Normally, the therapy sessions would only go on until the bully registers an improvement in their behavior. However, if they do not post a positive response or still maintain their previous antisocial behavior, stiffer measures would be taken. In this case, the student would have to move from their learning environment. Normally, the transfer will move them to an institution better equipped to deal with behavioral issues. Moreover, they would still receive therapy in their new location.
Uprooting the student seems like a punitive measure, but it is done for the greater good of other students. Also, once their behavior mellows and they are ready to join their peers, they will return to school. Instead of ostracizing the bully, they are only isolated for a period during which they’ll receive essential mental health care to counter their insecurities or other past trauma.