I’m a little boy with glasses The one they call a geek, A little girl who never smiles ‘Cause I have braces on my teeth And I know how it feels to cry myself to sleep I’m that kid on every playground Who’s always chosen last A single teenage mother Tryin’ to overcome my past You don’t have to be my friend But is it too much to ask: Don’t laugh at me Don’t call me names Don’t get your pleasure from my pain… Don’t laugh at me. I’m fat, I’m thin, I’m short, I’m tall I’m deaf, I’m blind, hey aren’t we all. Steve Seskin and Allen Shamblin, “Don’t Laugh at Me” Bullying in the schools and How to support Headteachers to take a strong stand against bullying? 1. INTRODUCTION “Even if we look different, we’ve all got the same blood” (Primary Pupil) It’s strange to acknowledge that an act or incidence that can harm an individual leaving scars for years to come, can also be accepted as a way of life for generations. The issue that is as integral a part of our academic life as education itself is “BULLYING”. As a consequence everybody feels that he or she has first hand and hence complete information of bullying, however this is another one of the myths associated with bullying, along with many others. Bullying has been variously defined as “a subset of aggressive behavior characterized by repetition and an imbalance of power” (Olweus, 1999) or simply a desire to hurt another individual and put him under stress (Tattum et al., 1993). However, most researchers today agree to the fact that bullying involves imbalance of power along with hurtful behavior (Ross, 2002; Rigby, 2002). The reported prevalence rates of bullying ranging from 10% (Nansel et al., 2008) to 45% (Haynie et al.,...
This essay stresses that conventional opinions regarding bullying have considered it a normal part of growing up enabling hardening and complaints have never been taken seriously by teachers as well as parents. However recent researchers have proved beyond doubt that bullying is a traumatic and at times mentally scarring experience. The situation is even worse for special needs children which are frequent targets of bullies due to their unique appearance, lower social skills and emotional vulnerability.
This paper makes a conclusion that the role of teachers assumes great significance in school based antibullying interventions since they deal directly with students. Parents, students as well as principal expect them to be informed and capable of intervention. In case of children with special needs, teachers are expected to train them in social and communication skills, and also understand their non verbal communications during distress. Beginning with laying down clearly the school rules pertaining to bullying and also classroom code of behavior, the teacher needs to convey that bullying can never be tolerated. A simultaneous effort by the teacher in building a positive classroom environment where a student would not hesitate in reporting an incident of bullying directly to the teacher can make effective intervention possible. Regular awareness programs such as classroom discussion, creative activities, exhibitions, movie viewing followed by a short discourse by the teacher can effectively remind the students of the antibullying practices of the school.