Bullying in Schools

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Bullying in schools means different things and generally is not limited to age, sex, religion, sexuality or cultural background. In examining this issue, I have researched the historical roots of the broader social aspect of bullying in schools, and how the education system and government departments have responded to research. Bullying in ‘the schoolyard’ is not only a major concern in Australia but has become a major social issue all schools around the globe. There have been several social researchers that have pioneered the way with research into bullying at school, however Dan Olweus led the way in his study of boys education in Scandinavia in the 1970’s and 80’s. Evidence suggests that direct bullying seems to increase throughout primary school years, peaking in the final years of primary school and the beginning years of high school, then show a decline during the senior years of high school. There are many different ways a person can be bullied, ways that are not limited to verbal, physical, social and psychological. Bullying can occur due to a perceived difference, again, not limited to age, sex, religion, sexuality or cultural background. Much of what researchers have discovered about school bullying is strongly linked to workplace bullying, however, the numbers in each vary. Evidence suggests that in schools the trend seems to suggest the one in six Australian children are bullied weekly, and that 20-50 per cent of children are bullied at some point throughout their school life. (McGrath 2003) Research also suggests that 65 per cent of children, who frequently bully others, are more likely to end up with a criminal record by the time they are 25. Bullies can experience depression and suicidal thinking if the issues are not addressed in school years, and they can also be more prone to act violently in the home or workplace as adults.(McGrath 2003)

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