People of different races, religion and ethnicities are often the recipient of bullying in schools and the workplace. Victims can be singled out because of the color of their skin and could be physically or verbally attacked. It is majorly black people and minority races that are subjected to racist bullying and these people will experience others who don't believe racism is a real problem. Because of this, even schools with anti-bullying policies do not include anti-racism policies.
Obese children are 65% more likely to be bullied by their classmates in school. Overweight children are 13% more likely. Even obese children who have anti-bullying qualities, such as good social skills or intelligence, are subjected to bullying because of their weight. Sylvia Rimm, Ph.D., a clinical professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, in Cleveland, Ohio, suggests that "the low self-esteem of overweight children may make them targets for their peers".
More than 93% of students hear demeaning words about the sexual orientation of others. Students that do not even identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. are bullied using such remarks and 22% of LGBTQ students have reported staying home because they feel unsafe.
A common reason for a child to become a bully is the lack of attention at home or school. These children will then lash out at others in a desperate attempt for attention. Often these kids come from divorced parents, bad neighborhoods, or children with parents under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Older sibling who have also been bullied are more apt to bully younger siblings, which will cause them to bully others.
Bullies lack empathy and if the bully has previously been targeted, they will get relief from the helplessness of others. Most bullies gain power and attention through harming others and making other feel weaker than themselves.
Children with low self esteem issues will bully others in order to make themselves feel stronger, smarter and better than their victim. Making others feel bad about themselves is a common way for bullies to boost their own self esteem. Another cause for bullying is that the bully is jealous of their victim and believes that putting that person down will make themselves feel better about their jealousy.
Victims of bullying suffer physically, mentally and emotionally. They can also become depressed and self harm or self medicate. Bullying victims will start to gain anxiety and depression and often lose interest in things they normally love because they are ashamed. Often the victims also start to believe the words told to them by their bullies and will think they are worthless and unwanted.
In desperate attempts to avoid their bullies at school, victims will often complain of sicknesses or pains in order to stay away from school. They also become so preoccupied with their bullies that they lose focus of school, sports and friendships. Their grade will often decrease and victims of extreme bullying may even drop out of school.
HOW YOU CAN HELP YOUR PEERS.
- Don't join in or watch the bullying, bullies love an audience and you will only be making the situation worse.
- End the rumors when you hear them. If someone tells you gossip, tell them its not your business and don't pass the message on to others.
- Stand up for the victim if you feel it is safe and will not further develope the problem.
- Tell a trusted adult if that is something you feel comfortable doing, possibly by telling them to keep your name private.
HOW ADULTS CAN HELP.
No child or adolescent deserves to be bullied. Do not tolerate any mistreatment of any kind.
Be alert to signs of youth who may be in distress and be ready to provide support.
Encourage any young person who is bullied to tell a teacher, counselor, or parent and make sure they are aware that you are a trusted adult they can also talk to.
Consult with a school counselor or other mental health professional if you feel uncertain about how best to support a student.
Support training and education for staff about bullying issues in their schools.