In general bullying can be defined as powerful child or group attacking those who are less powerful intentionally to cause harm. Bullying can therefore take three forms: physical which generally involve beating, punching kicking, pushing, taking personal belongings etc.; verbal which involve taunting, teasing, nicknaming, making threats; and psychological such as spreading rumors, manipulating social relationships, or intimidation through gestures or social exclusion (Ericson, 2001).
Bullying in schools has become such a serious issue that most of the schools are taking steps to prevent it through anti-bullying policies. If we take a look at the statistics it is estimated that 30 percent of American children are regularly involved in bullying, either as bullies, victims, or both (NRCSS, 2001). Besides, researchers have also pointed out that about 15 percent of students are "severely traumatized or distressed" by one or the other bullying incidence, and about eight percent of the students report being victimized at school at least once a week (Hoover and Oliver, 1996; Skiba and Fontanini, 2000).
It is a proven fact that bullying is one of the most serious anti-social activities that can harm individuals and groups. ...
On the other hand, children who bully are more likely to become violent and aggressive adults (Banks, 2000). It is important to note that even those students who are not directly involved in bullying are affected. Children and teens who often witness bullying at school suffer from insecurity feeling and have a less secure learning environment. They fear that they may become the target of bullying some day.
If we take into account the statistics of the real impact of bullying in schools, researchers found that 160,000 students miss school every day due to fear of attack or intimidation by a bully (Fried and Fried, 1996). Roughly about 20 percent of students are afraid of bullying during much of the school day (Garrity, et al., 1997). Weinhold and Weinhold (1998) estimated that 10 percent of students who drop out of school are because of repeated bullying. Besides, 60 percent of students according to Banks (2000) characterized as bullies in grades 6-9 had at least one criminal conviction by the time they reach the age 24. Hence, these statistics point out that there is an urgent need to bring in policies in the schools to control bullying.
Strategies to combat bullying
Several researchers have said that the most effective means of addressing bullying is through comprehensive, school-wide programs involving students, parents, teachers and counselors (Atlas and Pepler, 1998). It is also important to have special programs designed to reduce the bullying activities in schools. For instance, the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, developed, refined, and systematically evaluated in Bergen, Norway, in the mid-1980s, is one of the best-known initiatives designed to reduce