Dear concerned parents
We, as mentors to young children, need to be aware of social and emotional issues dealt with by the general population of respective age groups. Ensuring that teachers and parents hold mutual understanding about said issues will certainly contribute to successful outcomes when these issues inevitably arise.
In this educational institution, bullying is an offence that is not taken lightly. The effects of bullying are both long and short term. A student needs to feel safe in their learning environment in order to successfully thrive. On a personal level, as an educator, it is my wish for all of my students feel positively about their academic lives.
Bullying can be described as systematic (repeated and deliberate) abuse of power (Olweus, 1994, p.2) or a person being bullied or victimized when he/she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions . It is not uncommon within social groups to have a power dynamic. Once an individual abuses this power, however, it can be classified as bullying. (Sharp & Smith, 2002, p.2). Victims of bullying often display certain blatant characteristics, such as lack of confidence in peer interactions, poor assertive skills, inability to deal with conflict and anxiety in social situations (Olweus, 1994, p.5). Bullying often involves the spreading of rumours about an individual that paints the individual in a negative light and tarnishes his/her reputation among peers, whether or not the information spread is true. Often, labels projected onto a young individual by his/her peers may hinder his/her process of self-discovery and create a warped self image, possibly resulting in long term self-esteem issues. (Anon) Bullying hurts. Bullying is often about feeling powerful through making someone else feel scared or bad about themselves.
What is bullying?
• Name calling, teasing, threatening, making fun
• Spreading rumours, being nasty about people behind their backs
• Punching, kicking, pushing...