Bullies in School

1870 Words Feb 23rd, 2011 8 Pages
Bullies in School Kathleen Berger 1 Bullying was once commonly thought to be an unpleasant but normal part of child's play, not to be encouraged, of course, but of little consequence in the long run. However, developmental researchers who have looked closely at the society of children consider bullying to be a very serious problem, one that harms both the victim and the aggressor, sometimes continuing to cause suffering years after the child has grown up. 2 One leading researcher in this area is Dan Olweus, who has studied bullying in his native country of Norway and elsewhere for twenty-five years. The cruelty, pain, and suffering that he has documented in that time are typified by the examples of Linda and Henry: Linda was systematically …show more content…
Not only are bullied children anxious, depressed, and underachieving during the months and years of their torment, but even years later, they have lower self-esteem as well as painful memories. 7 The picture is somewhat different, but often more ominous, for bullies. Contrary to the public perception that bullies are actually insecure and lonely, at the peak of their bullying they usually have friends who abet, fear, and admire them, and they seem brashly unapologetic about the pain they have inflicted, as they often claim, "all in fun." But their popularity and school success fade over the years, and especially if they are boys, they run a high risk of ending up in prison. In one longitudinal study done by Olweus, by age 24, two-thirds of the boys who had been bullies in the second grade were convicted of at least one felony, and one- third of those who had been bullies in the sixth through the ninth grades were already convicted of three or more crimes, often violent ones. International research likewise finds that children who are allowed to regularly victimize other children are at high risk of becoming violent offenders as adolescents and adults. 8 Unfortunately, bullying during middle childhood seems to be universal: it occurs in every nation that has been studied, is as much a problem in small

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