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Bullying in schools
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Bullying in schools: Examining causes, impacts and misconceptions

Bullying in schools remains a prevalent issue, impacting individuals and creating a negative learning environment. While the harmful effects of bullying in schools are widely recognised, some lingering misconceptions cause persons to attribute the term “advantages” to such harmful behaviour. Let’s explore reasons behind bullying, its potential outcomes, and common misconceptions associated with its purported benefits.

Reasons for bullying in schools

Power dynamics

Bullies often exploit an imbalance of power, targeting individuals perceived as weaker due to physical attributes, social standing, or differences.

Social learning

Witnessing or experiencing bullying firsthand can normalise aggressive behaviour, leading some to replicate it.

Emotional issues

Unresolved personal struggles, anxiety, or low self-esteem can manifest as bullying behaviour.

Peer pressure

Seeking acceptance from a group may motivate individuals to participate in bullying, even if it conflicts with their personal values.

Possible outcomes for bullied children

Mental health issues

Victims often experience anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and suicidal ideation.

Academic difficulties

The emotional impact of bullying can disrupt focus and lead to decreased academic performance.

Social withdrawal

Fear and isolation can push victims away from peers and social activities.

Physical health problems

Stress from bullying can manifest in physical symptoms like headaches and stomach aches.

Misconceptions of bullying’s positive impacts

“Toughens up” children

While adversity can build resilience, bullying isn’t a controlled or healthy way to achieve this. It inflicts pain and creates unnecessary trauma.

Builds character

True character development involves empathy, respect, and responsible behaviour, all of which are antithetical to bullying.

Teaches conflict resolution

Bullying is not conflict resolution; it’s an abuse of power. Healthy conflict resolution involves communication, respect, and finding mutually agreeable solutions.

Leads to success

Studies show a negative correlation between bullying and future success. Bullied individuals are more likely to face mental health challenges and struggle in personal and professional relationships.


Bullying in schools is a serious issue with detrimental consequences for both victims and perpetrators. While understanding the reasons behind it is crucial for prevention, it’s essential to dispel any misconceptions that portray it as beneficial. Creating a safe and inclusive environment through education, intervention, and support systems is vital to protect children and foster their healthy development.

Let’s talk bullying: No one wins in this game

School hallways can be tough. Cliques form, pressures mount, and sometimes, things get ugly. Bullying – teasing, threats, exclusion – can poison the whole experience. But here’s the truth: Bullying sucks, for everyone.

To the bully:

Maybe you feel powerful putting others down. Maybe you’re hurting yourself and lashing out. Whatever the reason, it’s not cool. Putting someone else down doesn’t make you bigger. It just makes you smaller, meaner, and isolates you from the real friends who wouldn’t tolerate such behaviour.

Think about it: would you like to be constantly mocked, excluded, or threatened? No one deserves that. Putting yourself in someone else’s shoes might just change your perspective.

Here’s the deal: you’re not stuck in this cycle. Talk to someone you trust – a parent, counsellor, or even a friend. There’s help available, and it can make a world of difference. You deserve to feel good about yourself without hurting others.

To the bullied:

Being bullied is never your fault. It might feel like the world is against you, but you’re not alone. Tonnes of teens deal with this, and there are people who care and want to help.

Don’t stay silent. Talk to someone you trust – a parent, teacher, counsellor, or even a friend. They can help you develop strategies to deal with the bullying and connect you with resources. Remember, you’re not powerless.

And here’s the most important thing: you are awesome, just the way you are. Don’t let bullies dim your shine. Focus on your strengths, surround yourself with positive people, and remember that you have value.

To everyone:

Bullying isn’t a spectator sport. If you see it happening, don’t just stand by. Stand up for the person being targeted. Report it to a trusted adult. Show kindness and empathy. Be the change you want to see.

Remember: School should be a place where everyone feels safe and respected. Let’s work together to make that a reality. Together, we can stop bullying and create a kinder, more inclusive environment for everyone.

Here are some resources that can help:

Let’s choose kindness, empathy, and respect. Together, we can make a difference.

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