Effects of Bullying at School
As it is known, bullying at school is a serious issue that deteriorates students' academic performance. Peers' physical and mental abuse may result in the increased victims' anxiety and distress. As a result, students may experience difficulty in socializing either at school or in other fields. It is important to understand that "having a safe environment to study and to learn is essential". Teachers must comprehend that students' violence stems from a number of social factors that can be, simultaneously, the causes and the effects of bullying. Therefore, striving to anticipate and mitigate the acts of deviant behavior, it is necessary to detect the main effects and conjunctive issues of bullying. This paper will identify and observe the issue of students' violence with the purpose to understand in which ways and to what extend bullying at school affects pupils and educational staff.
Purpose of Study
This paper aims at discussing the interdependence of students' violence and alcohol/drug addiction of the youth. Moreover, this study will analyze the conjunctive deviant behaviors such as the use of weapons and formation of gangs with the purpose to enhance understanding of causal relations between these phenomena. In addition, assuming that the most vulnerable students are potentially at greater risk of becoming the victims of bullies, this research paper will scrutinize the plausible risks of bullying for physically and mentally disabled students. Besides, the dropouts among high school pupils will be discussed as a significant adverse effect of peers' abuse that negatively impacts the society by increasing the ratio of poorly educated individuals who struggle to adjust to social demands.
Bullying, Alcohol, and Drug Abuse
According to the No Child Left Behind Act bullying at school is a composed issue that is closely related to such problems as drug and alcohol abuse. In particular, these adverse phenomena are interdependent because, on the one hand, the use of drugs and alcohol enhances the likelihood of peer violence. On the other hand, bullying can be the reason of students' drug and alcohol addictions. It goes without saying that the combination of the revealed societal issues creates dangerous school environment impacting pupils' academic performance and, in general, deteriorates the life quality of the youth. Furthermore, it may negatively impact educational staff because assisting addicted young people possesses stressful situations for the involved adults. Therefore, bullying, as well as alcohol and drug abuse, should be anticipated; when a teacher observes the first signs of violence, he/she must step in giving a warning to bullies (or potential bullies). Alternatively, the concerns should be reported to school leaders. Moreover, educators should consider that the described situation can be burdened with students' use of weapons, in particularly, guns.
Bullying and the Use of Weapons
Bullying at school is known to be connected with the unauthorized use of weapons. Without doubt, this issue endangers life, health, and well-being of school attendants. Therefore, it is addressed at the state level by the appropriate regulation, called The Gun-Free Schools Act. This act encourages school leaders "to expel for one year any student bringing a weapon to school". Scrutinizing the relevance of this preventing measure it is natural to point to the obvious shortcomings. Consider the rationale, without doubt, being armed significantly increases the likelihood of violence committed either by the student who brought the gun or by other pupils who may apply to bullying as a reaction on weapon (self-defense). Nevertheless, despite potential danger, bringing a weapon to school itself cannot be considered as an act of violence. Discussing the negative effects of this approach, one should accentuate that a student who is expelled for a year from school is at risk of becoming an outsider and be even more engaged in deviant behavior. Furthermore, the academic performance of such pupils is being violated by The Gun-Free Schools Acts since this law denies the right to study.
In this regard, a teacher is supposed to apply to ethical decision-making the ambivalence of which stems from the dilemma: to report a student causing his/her expel, or try to solve the issue personally. Estimating the described situation, one can deduce that it may be more appropriate to use the teacher's authority and influence to persuade the rights violators to acknowledge the issue and change their behavior accordingly. In contrast to the above-discussed act of bringing a weapon to school, which does not possess any harmful intentions, the formation of gangs is a different aspect that pedagogical staff should consider while addressing the issue of bullying. The next section is aimed at discussing the relation between students' violence and gangs.
Bullying and Gangs
Student and Teacher Safety Act is adopted to prevent the violence against teachers, pupils, and school personnel. In particular, it emphasizes the importance of anticipating the formation of gangs. Consider the rationale, a group of students with deviant behavior is a potential source of bullying. Undoubtedly, school gang has a number of negative effects on school attendants. Specifically, being a member of a gang, a young individual is under the harmful action of peers that can hardly be stopped. It goes without saying that these adverse circumstances affect the formation of a character in a negative way making people follow the path of outsiders and criminals. At the very least, it significantly complicates an adequate socialization and, consequently, the members of a gang may experience difficulties in taking decent social niches. Besides, bullying can be practiced inside a gang when certain members are oppressed by others.
What makes the things even worse is that the cult of weapons in a gang is even more dangerous that the above-discussed scattered instances of carrying a weapon. In a case when weapons are carried by the members of a gang, it becomes a conscious choice and being supported by peers, such students are more intend to use guns to commit the acts of violence. Scrutinizing the appropriate teacher's actions in the revealed situation, one can rightfully conclude that the gangs (especially who are engaged in carrying or using weapons) should be reported to school leaders without individual attempts to stop the deviants. Apart from students who are potentially more inclined to become bullies, there are young people who are at greater risk of being abused.
Bullying and the Individuals with Disabilities
The Individuals with Disabilities Educational Act is aimed to support the philosophic origins of equal human rights for education. Moreover, the decision to educate handicapped children together with the students without physical and mental disabilities is expected to lessen financial burden laid on taxpayers. Specifically, in this way children with special needs are supposed to be better socialized and, thus, potentially, they become more ready to take decent social niches.
Nonetheless, the educational staff should consider that the unequal dispersion of power between members of a particular group induces the development of bullying. In other words, vulnerable social members (in this case, handicapped children) are more likely to provoke violent behavior of their peers. Comprehending this peculiarity, it is important to highlight such negative effect of school bullying as deprivation of equal conditions for education. In particular, for disabled students school environment may become more hazardous than for their peers. Therefore, educational staff should monitor disabled students' level of success in academic performance and socialization with the aim to identify the first signs of developing victimized relations with peers. The above-discussed implications and conjunctive issues of bullying at school often result to the increased ratio of school dropouts.
Bullying and School Dropouts
It is natural to presume that school dropouts contribute to the development of unemployment and poverty because people without decent education have limited chances to achieve financial success. The Issue Brief conducted a research with the purpose to identify the main reasons of dropouts. The statistics reveals that "a higher percentage of dropouts left high school for a school-related reason (88 percent)”. Among them, 44% of responders reported that they did not like school, about 30% claimed that they could not get along with students and teachers. In addition, about 10% admitted that they left school because they did not feel safe. Given the statistics, violence at school is a critical problem that must be solved to assure safe academic environment, and provide each pupil with the equal rights for studying.
Summing up the above-mentioned, one should accentuate that bullying at school is a topical issue that resonates with a lot of conjunctive educational problems, which deteriorates and even endanger the life of pupils and educational staff. In particular, among the main effects of bullying it is possible to define alcohol/drug addiction, use of weapons, formation of gangs, enhanced threat to disabled students and high ratio of school dropouts. It is important to clarify that teachers must be ready for various manifestations of school violence. Besides, they must be capable of identifying the first signs, plausible causes and potential outcomes of bullying. Undoubtedly, teachers must react to bullying at school in accordance with the identified legislative base. At the same time, in terms of ethics, it may be more appropriate to use own authority for solving the issues when they are small.