The bullying or bullying is a form of bullying between schoolmates. It is a form of deliberate violence and mistreatment by one or more students towards another. For instance: nicknames, physical assaults, robberies.
Although all children and young people can fight occasionally as part of their normal coexistence, bullying is characterized by being mistreatment sustained over time towards the same person. It can be continued for weeks, months, or years. This behavior is not normal nor is it conducive to growth.
That a child or adolescent exerts bullying against a partner does not mean that they have high self-esteem but simply that they are aware of a difference in power between themselves and the bullied partner.
This difference in power is not real. It is not true that children are bullied simply because they are fat, or because they belong to a different ethnic group. The real reason is that children perceive themselves as weaker. This perception of themselves is motivated by social models that favor certain physical characteristics over others, but it is not predetermined.
Bullying situations are not determined by a single factor but by multiple reasons. The perception of the difference in power between the harasser and the harassed is the indispensable requirement, but it is not the only one. The psychological resources of those involved, the capacity for empathy, the reaction of the group and the position of the adults significantly affect this dynamic.
Bullying can be:
- Physical. It is not as frequent because it is more likely to have negative consequences for the aggressor.
- Verbal. It is the most frequent since its consequences are usually minimized by both the aggressor and adults.
- Gestural. They are forms of aggression that are exerted without touching the other.
- Material. It is usually done when there are no witnesses, since it allows the victim’s belongings to be destroyed without consequences for the aggressors.
- Virtual. It is a more invasive form of verbal harassment, as it does not allow the victim to get away from the aggressor.
- Sexual. All the forms of harassment mentioned can be sexually charged.
Examples of bullying
- Damaging a Buddy’s Study Materials: Throwing a drink on a buddy’s book can be a joke if it’s your best friend, and he’ll probably do the same with your book. However, if it is a partner with whom you do not have that confidence and who you think will not defend himself, it is a form of abuse (material damage). If these are also repeated events, it is bullying.
- Making obscene gestures to classmates is not appropriate in any educational context. You can’t know for sure when you start to make someone else uncomfortable. Repeated obscene gestures to another person may be considered sexual harassment.
- We have all insulted and have been insulted at times, without causing us significant harm. However, repeated insults to the same person cause mental damage and are a form of verbal violence.
- Nicknames – Nicknames can seem like an innocent way of referring to someone. However, if the nicknames were designed with the aim of humiliating someone and are accompanied by other insults or some form of abuse, they are part of a bullying situation.
- Damaging a classmate’s desk is not only damaging school property, but also invading his everyday space, forcing him to see the results of an act of violence.
- Everyday physical aggressions: when a child or adolescent physically assaults another repeatedly, it is a form of bullying, even if the aggressions do not leave visible marks, that is, if they are supposedly harmless aggressions such as shoves or small blows. The negative effect of these blows is produced by repetition, which is a way of humiliating the partner.
- No one should send another person obscene photos via social media or mobile phones if the recipient did not clearly request those photos. Sending such material without being requested is a form of sexual harassment, regardless of whether the sender is a man or a woman.
- Repeatedly posting insults to a colleague on social media is a form of cyberbullying, even if these comments are not sent directly to the person attacked.
- Repeatedly making fun of another’s difficulties in learning or doing certain activities is a form of verbal bullying.
- Hitting: it is the most obvious form of bullying. Fights between partners can occur for different reasons. However, it is about bullying when violent situations are repeated, or when the aggressors are several and the victim is only one.
- When a whole group decides to ignore a classmate, not invite him to group activities, not talk to him or even not give him important information within school activities, it is a form of non-verbal abuse, which if sustained over time is a form of bullying.
- Theft: anyone can be the victim of a robbery in the school context. Bullying is considered when the robberies are always repeated towards the same person, with the aim of damaging them rather than benefiting from the objects obtained.