Llanes: School bullying

AS THE school year begins, students, particularly in high school, will face the fear of bullying by their peers. Bullying is a common action done by someone seeking supremacy through the use of force.

Wikipedia describes school bullying as a type of abusive action, physical, verbal, or emotional, by a student towards another student.

There is a research suggesting that a significant portion of "normal" school children may not evaluate school-based violence (student-on-student victimization) as negatively or as being unacceptable as much as adults generally do, and may even derive enjoyment from it, and they may thus not see a reason to prevent it, if it brings them joy on some level.

Males and females have different manners in bullying their victims. Boys usually bully other boys in physical ways like pushing, punching, and aggression, whereas females are more likely to spread rumors.

Some reasons behind bullying in schools are race, disabilities, gender, and religion. Although they are different ways in which boys and girls do bullying a lot of the ways may be similar as well, and they both can be bullied or be the bullies.

Bullying can also be perpetrated by teachers and the school system itself. There is an inherent power differential in the system that can easily predispose to subtle or covert abuse (relational aggression or passive aggression), humiliation, or exclusion -- even while maintaining overt commitments to anti-bullying policies.

Some forms of bullying include physical, emotional, verbal, sexual, homophobic or gender preferences, and the latest craze, cyber bullying.

At the Baguio City National High School, anti-bullying programs are now being implemented through the creation of an internal child welfare task force designed to teach students cooperation, as well as training peer moderators in intervention and dispute resolution techniques, as a form of peer support.

Amongst the short term effect of bullying are depression, suicide, anxiety, anger, significant drop in school performance, and feeling as if their life has fallen apart aside from excessive stress.

The long term effects may lead to the feeling of insecurity, suicide, lack of trust, extreme sensitivity (hypervigilance), mental illness such as psychopathy, vengeance, and in the United States, school shooting.

But what is good to know is that there have only been few cases in the past that BCNHS have registered. Dr. Elma Donaal, principal of the school explained bullying is more prevalent outside the campus.

Outsiders try to bully students. This she said is being done by older students particularly those from college who disguise gangs as fraternities. Dr. Donaal describes fraternity as brotherhood, while gangs as syndicates.

Dr. Donaal also encourages parents to review the behavioral system in their residence as the pattern of being a bully may emanate from the home.

The intervention by the BCNHS's internal child welfare task force, the Women and Children's Desk of Baguio's finest and the City Social Welfare and Development Office serve as deterrents against bullying.

What must students and parents do? Take extra effort to communicate with each other. Strengthen trust within the family. Guide the children well. And always support your child.

My colleagues would say who am I to talk about bullying when I'm not even married. Well, we have always been taught by our teachers at the Maryknoll Convent School to always respect people. And this alone describes the personalities of Maryknoll graduates, making this place a better world.
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