Bullying in School: Counselors’ Strategies for Prevention

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Bullying is defined as “verbal, physical, or psychological abuse or teasing accompanied by real or perceived imbalance of power” and is usually targets what children perceive as different (Olweus, 1993). Bullying is prevalent across the nation. It has devastating effects on students each day. Bullying is a problem for all students, regardless of race, gender or class. The National Education Association reports that 160,000 children are absent intentionally from school each day because they fear being bullied whether it is an attack or just intimidation by other students. This accounts for 15% of all school absenteeism (Hunter, 2012). Dan Olweus (1993) from the National School Safety Center tells us that bullying includes three parts: (1) Unwanted, negative aggressive behavior, (2) the behavior is repeated over time and (3) there is an imbalance of power or strength. One in every seven school age students will be victimized by a bully or will commit the act of bullying. (Hunter, 2012). Statistics show that 10% of students who drop out of school do so because they have experienced repeated bullying at school (Hunter, 2012).

Prior research indicates that bullying causes students to disengage in school (Hoover & Oliver, 1996). Bullying often causes students to become angry and hurt, and experience low self-esteem and even depression (Banks, 1997). Many students experience problems with academic performance, interpersonal relationships and physical and mental health as a result of bullying (O’Brennan, Bradshaw, & Sawyer, 2009). Prior research has also noted that bullying is the common form of victimization that children will face during their school years (Nansel, et al., 2001). All students will be exposed to bullying in some form pr...

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.... J. Ruan, B. Simons-Morton, and P. Scheidt. 2001. “Bullying behaviors among U.S. youth: Prevalence and associations with psychosocial adjustment.” Journal of the American Medical Association. 285:2094–2100.

O’Brennan, L. M., C. P. Bradshaw, and A. L. Sawyer. 2009. “Social-emotional problems among bullies, victims, and bully/victims: Implications for prevention and intervention.” Psychology in the Schools 46:100–115.

Olweus, D. 1993. Bullying at School: What we know and what we can do. Malden, MA:Blackwell.

San Antonio, D. M.& Salzfass, E. A.. (2007). How we treat one another in school. Educational Leadership, 64(8). Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/may07/vol64/num08/How-We-Treat-One-Another-in-School.aspx .

U.S. Department of Education. (1998). Preventing bullying: A manual for schools and communities. Washing, DC: Author.

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