Social Work Ethics in Regards to Bullying
Bullying has been a fast growing problem in American schools. According to an article by Mansbacher, twelve million children are bullied every year (2012). Most people think of bullying as just a big kid beating up a smaller kid on the playground but there is so much more than that. There are actually four types of bullying; verbal, social, cyber and physical. Stopbullying.gov defines bullying as "unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time" (n.d.). Bullying can have long lasting detrimental effects on the victim of bullying, the bully, and those observing the bullying. Because of this, bullying is a concern of social workers in and out of schools and like many other social work issues, has the potential for ethical dilemmas.
The Department of Health and Human Services gives definitions to each type of bullying. Physical bullying is the aggression most commonly associated with bullying. This is any type of physical harm such as hitting, kicking, or spitting. It also would include theft of objects. Verbal bullying would involve name-calling, teasing, threats and inappropriate sexual comments. Social bullying would be deliberately excluding someone from a group or activity, spreading rumors about someone, and embarrassing someone in front of others. Cyber-bullying is a newer classification and involves using social digital media to bully. This type of bullying can encompass verbal and social bullying but is done through technology. Cyber-bullying frequently involves social network sites such as Fa...
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Mansbacher, J. (2012). Bullying. Pediatrics for parents, 28(9-10), 24.
Nunn, K. P. (2010). Bullying. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 46(4), 140-141.
Rivers, I. (2013). Protect the witness. Times Educational Supplement, 5062, 40-41.
Rothman, J. (2013). From the front lines: Student cases in social work ethics. United States of America: Pearson Education Inc.
Singer, J. (n.d.) Cyberbullying, a new long term challenge. Retrieved from: http://www.socialworklicensure.org/articles/cyberbullying.html
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.) What is bullying. Retrieved from: http://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/index.html
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