Essay about School Cliques

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School Cliques

The sounds of laughter and excitement ring throughout the playground on a bright, sunny, typical day for elementary school students-classes, recess, and hurt feelings from the “popular” girls in the class, because they called another fellow student’s clothes ugly. What gives these girls the privilege to destroy another person’s feelings and self esteem belongs to one word: cliques. This word can bring fun, joy, and happiness, or sadness, low self esteem, and depression in students of all ages. A clique is a formation of people, sort of like an army, a leader, and followers. The problem with cliques is that they promote fun and excitement when deep down it also destroys the followers and the bystanders. A clique
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The clique members live with constant tension, not sure if their own status is secure, and they are at risk for what an Arlington psychologist and author Michael Thompson calls collective group power: “There’s a diminished sense of moral responsibility [in cliques]. You feel less sense of individual accountability” (Meltz 8). With all of this inside of the clique, there has to be something on the outside. Outside of the clique there is the victims and bystanders; the victims are the ones who are teased and isolated they are at a risk for lowered self-esteem, poor school performance, depression, isolation, and eating disorders (Meltz 8). The bystanders are not part of the clique, but they tend to harbor guilt for standing by when a clique victimizes a classmate; and they worry all the time that they could be next (Meltz 8).

All of this pressure about belonging to the popular group is put on children in grade school, but studies show that even in preschool, cliques are forming too. Michael Thompson’s newest book entitled Best Friends, Worst Enemies, Understanding the Social Lives of Children, tells how children begin to group themselves exclusively as early as preschool and kindergarten. At recess, a few decide they are a club and only certain kids can join. At this stage of development, though, they can’t sustain clique-like behavior; tomorrow, some kids will have forgotten about

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