Live & Learn: Bullying Does Not Only Happen to Children

| February 28, 2013 | 0 Comments | Education

Opinion

by Riley O’Casey
Contributor

Bullying in the schools has taken a dramatic rise over the last ten years. Many school districts, including Prince William County, have created bullying prevention programs. The goal of these programs is to teach children about respect, the impact of bullying and how to stand up to a bully.

The VDOE Annual Discipline, Crime and Violence Report defines bullying as “repeated negative behaviors intended to frighten or cause harm.” That may include, but is not limited to verbal or written threats or physical harm. Non-criminal behaviors associated with bullying include intimidation, taunting, name-calling and insults. Many Prince William County Schools now use the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program to address child on child bullying. While it’s essential to teach children about bullying, it’s just as important to teach adults about bullying.

Unfortunately, workplace bullying also happens in the schools. Those employees who are bullied by supervisors or administrators experience something that is often difficult for others to comprehend.

Workplace bullying has also become an epidemic. Workplace bullying can be defined as constant mistreatment of one or more persons by one or more perpetrators that includes verbal abuse; offensive behaviors which are threatening, humiliating, or intimidating; and work interference or sabotage. This type of bullying sometimes occurs between a supervisor and his or her employee.

Unfortunately, workplace bullying also happens in the schools. Those employees who are bullied by supervisors or administrators experience something that is often difficult for others to comprehend.

Workplace bullying can be driven by the perpetrators’ need to control the targeted individual or individuals. It can escalate to involve others who side with the bully, either voluntarily or through coercion. Physical effects of bullying can include headaches, stomach problems, weight loss or gain, increase in blood pressure, loss of sleep and teeth grinding. Emotional effects of bullying can include lack of trust, fear, worry, depression, and many symptoms very similar to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome). Bottom line: workplace bullying happens and is unacceptable. 

Workplace bullying will no doubt impact students in the school. Children, no matter the age, notice tension and stress in their teachers. When a school employee fears for her job that will undoubtedly impact her students.

Bystanders are the most important variable when workplace bullying occurs: THEY ARE THE PEOPLE WHO CAN HELP STOP IT! Witnessing a bullying incident can be extremely frightening; however, the Declaration of Independence says: “Those who have the ability to take action have the responsibility to take action.”

Help those individuals who have become a target to get out of that role…support them, fight for them, and let them know this is not okay!

There is no reason that anyone should feel fear when going to work. If you have been targeted, please find someone you can trust and confide in to help you. Document all interactions. Keep detailed descriptions about things that have happened. Stop workplace bullying!

© 2013, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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Category: Education

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