Bullying – versus Dignity, Equality and Respect.

Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior mostly among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated over time:  Children who bully use their power, such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, to control or harm others.                                                  Definition by stopbullying.gov

Bullying mostly occurs in schools, school yards and playgrounds.

Bullying is a behavior that includes a whole range of actions that cause physical or emotional pain, from spreading rumors, to intentional exclusion, to physical abuse.

  • Verbal bullying is to say or write mean things                                                             Verbal bullying includes:
  • Teasing
  • Name-calling
  • Inappropriate sexual comments
  • Taunting
  • Threatening to cause harm
  • Social bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships Social bullying includes:
  • Leaving someone out on purpose
  • Telling other children not to be friends with someone
  • Spreading rumors about someone
  • Embarrassing someone in public
  • Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions              Physical bullying includes:
  • Hitting/kicking/pinching
  • Spitting
  • Tripping/pushing
  • Taking or breaking someone’s things
  • Making mean or rude hand gestures

Many children don’t tell their parents or their teachers that they are bullied, out of fear of shame or retribution. Children may also fear that, they won’t be taken serious if they tell, they are being bullied. It’s important that parents, teachers, and other adults constantly look for bullying behaviors.

  • Some warning signs that your child is being bullied
  • unexplained cuts or bruises
  • damaged or missing clothing, books, school supplies, or other belongings
  • loss of appetite
  • trouble sleeping
  • emotionally reticent
  • sudden poor performance or loss of interest in school work
  • no longer wanting to be with friends
  • asking to stay home sick because of frequent complaints of headaches, stomachaches
  • social anxiety or low self-esteem
  • feeling moody or depressed 

It’s important that parents, teachers, and other adults constantly look for bullying behaviors.

Bullying can affect everyone—those who are bullied, those who bullies.

  • Be bullied can destroy 
  • a child’s learning,
  • development and performance in school
  • self esteem
  • social life
  • emotional well-being
  • A bully that is not stopped can get 
    • an attitude that bullying and violence is positive
    • takes a more disrespectful approach towards others and sees the hurting behavior as fully accepted, even fun
    • learns to master social situations by bullying others
    • learns that bullying can be rewarding

No child is born evil.  Children’s morality is not fully developed, something that we adults should remember when we wonder how children can be so cruel to each other. Children are just children and it is the adult’s responsibility to compensate for the child’s natural immaturity and to set the limits and show the way by being good row models.

In schools where the staff doesn’t see, the students will set the standards.  Such a behavior from the staff can increase bullying in a school.  Teachers must ensure that a tolerant, respectful and friendly atmosphere  are spread  in  schools and they must set a good example themselves. This is not just a moral issue; it is a school’s duty.

Everyone working within education shall promote human rights and actively counter all forms of degrading treatment.

UNCRC is an international Human Rights agreement based on the three core principles of human rights Dignity, Equality and Respect. UNCRC sets a global rights agenda for every person under the age 18 years old.

 Article 19 UNCRC states that all children have the right to be safe from “all forms of physical or mental violence, injury and abuse, neglect or negligent treatment, maltreatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse”.

Duty bearers are those defined as having obligations under the CRC for respect, protection and fulfillment of children’s rights. Government and everybody that works or act on the behalf of the Government such as teachers, police, social workers, judges health care workers are the duty bearers and are responsible for realizing the rights of all children. That means that duty bearers must consider and apply the provision of the convention in all aspects of their work that defect children, respect, protect and fulfill all the obligations that they have signed up for. For example if there is a culture of bullying on a school the school have to take appropriate action so all children can feel safe and learn.

In Sweden schools have an Education Act which protects children from offensive treatment in schools. Schools have a zero tolerance approach to offensive treatment of children, which means that schools must always act when there is a suspicion of  that children are being subjected to offensive treatment. If a child has been subject to such a treatment, the school has a responsibility to intervene, investigate and create an action plan to prevent this kind of  treatment. If the school fails to take responsibility, the child can report the school to the Child and School Student Representative, who has the option of acting as a representative in court for children and students who have been subject to this kind of offensive treatment in the school.

All children have the right to feel Safe and Secure and be treated with Dignity, Equality and Respect.