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Bullyng as deviant behavior

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Deviance acts as a violation of social norms characterized as “any thought, feeling or action that members of a social group judge to be a violation of their values or rules”.1 Social norms are viewed as the actions or behaviors and cues within a society or group. This sociological term has been defined as “the rules that a group uses for appropriate and inappropriate values, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors.”2 It indicates the established and approved ways of doing things, of dress, of speech and of appearance. Social norm is also described as the “customary rules of behavior that coordinate our interactions with others.”3 These rules may be explicit or implicit. They are often incorporated in the law and failure to follow the rules can result in severe punishments, including imprisonment or exclusion from the group. These vary and evolve not only through time but also different from one age group to another and between social classes and social groups. What is supposed to believe how we should behave in one social group may not be accepted in another. Deviance is a result of a set of beliefs and interpretations and as behaviors and actions that oppose established social norms, harm either one or others, or both and interfere with the smooth running of society. The person who violates the rules set concerning the traditional and customary ways of the society is perceived to be a “deviant”. It is people’s beliefs and interpretations of certain actions or behaviors that determine what is to be labeled “deviant”.

Deviance is divided into two types of deviant activities: formally enacted rules and informal violation. The first type of deviant behavior such as “crime is the violation of formally enacted laws and is referred to as formal deviance”.4Examples of formal deviance would include: robbery, theft, rape, murder, and assault. The second type of deviant behavior refers to violations of informal social norms, norms that have not been codified into law, and is referred to as informal deviance. Examples of informal deviance might include: picking one’s nose, belching loudly, or standing too close to another unnecessarily. It also means not doing what the majority does or alternatively doing what the majority does not do. For instance, behavior caused by cultural difference can be seen as deviance.”5 A very current deviant social phenomenon is “bullying”, which is described as “any severe or repeated use of written, verbal, or electronic expression, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination of these by one or more students directed at another student that has the effect of actually causing or placing the latter in a reasonable fear of physical or emotional harm or damage to the property, creating a hostile environment at school and Infringing on the rights of the other students at school; or materially and substantially disrupting the education process or the orderly operation of school.”6 Deviancy in school is referring to an act of not following the school rules and regulations of school.

Bullying is not new form of deviance, because it has been a problem for some time. It just becomes more prevalent today than in the past because it occurs and creates in more serious forms of societal problem. The act of bullying is deviant in itself because it is in contrary to the idea of a united society by excluding the victim and in some cases even driving the victim to commit suicide. Bullying is one of many factors which must be taken into consideration in developing safe schools prevention and intervention and that bully-prevention effort and initiatives are one of many strategies that should be included in a comprehensive school safety program. The Bullying Behavior

Many bullies share common characteristics. They like to dominate others and are generally focused on themselves. Bullying behavior is often categorized as direct and indirect. The direct bullying behavior is consists of physical and verbal. Physical bullying is any unwanted physical contact between the bully and the victim. This is one of the most easily identifiable forms of bullying. Bullies attacks their victims physically by hitting/punching, pushing, pinching, slapping, elbowing, shoving in a hurtful or embarrassing way, kicking, restraining, taking/stealing or damaging belongings or other property, fighting or even using available objects as weapons. Verbal bullying is any malicious statements or accusations that cause the victim too much emotional distress. Examples includes name calling/using derogatory terms or playing with the person’s name, insulting, tormenting, harassment, being laughed at, repeated teasing, racist remarks/other harassment, threats, intimidation, and commenting negatively on someone’s looks, clothes, body etc.-personal abuse. The indirect bullying behaviors are consists of social/relational and psychological or emotional abuse.

Emotional bullying is any form of bullying that causes damage to a victim’s psyche and/or emotional well-being. Examples include: gossiping or spreading malicious rumors about people, destroying reputations, destroying status within a peer group, keeping certain people out of a “group” (social rejection or isolation), making fun of certain people, destroying and manipulating relationships, humiliation and embarrassment, or negative body language (facial expressions). Other bullying behavior that can be both direct and indirect is well-known as cyber bullying. Cyber-bullying is any bullying done through the use of technology. This form of bullying can easily go undetected because of lack of parental or authoritative supervision.7 Because bullies can pose as someone else, it is the most anonymous form of bullying. Cyber bullying includes abuse by sending negative text on email, blog, instant messaging, cell phones, or websites; and posting message text, photo or captions or video links of insults about a person on Facebook, Twitter and other sites. The direct and indirect forms of bullying often occur together and all of these behaviors can be interrelated. Negative Effects of Bullying Behavior

People who are bullied find their schoolwork and health suffering. Studies show that people who are abused by their peers are at risk for mental health problems, such as low self-esteem, stress, depression or anxiety. The following research study shows the negative effects of bullying to students academic performance: It encourages dropping out of school. Ten percent of dropouts do so because of repeated bullying (Weinhold &Weinhold, 1998).8 It contributes to poor school attendance. According to the National Association of School Psychologists, 160,000 students per day stay home from school because of bullying (Fried & Fried, 2003). 9 Seven percent of eighth graders stay home at least once a month because of bullies (Banks, 2000).10 Twenty-five percent of girls grades 8 to 12 don’t want to attend school and stay home or skip classes because of sexual bullying (American Association of University Women, 1993)11 It has a negative impact on student morale and learning and achievement.

Fourteen percent of surveyed students in grades 8 to 12 and 22 percent in grades 4 to 8 reported that “bullying diminished their ability to learn in school” (Hoover & Oliver, 1996, p. 10). Seventeen percent of students said bullying interfered with academic performance (Hazler, Hoover, & Oliver, 1992).12 Other studies show the negative effects of bullying to the victim’s physical and mental well-being. It leads to loneliness, low self-esteem, depression and anxiety disorders, posttraumatic stress, eating disorders, and other long-lasting harmful emotional effects in the adult years (Olweus, 1993; McMaster, Connolly, Pepler, & Craig, 1998; Rigby, 2001).13 It is a root cause of discipline problems for both the victim and bully. Bullied students have behavior problems after the bullying, and those problems get worse over time (Schwartz, McFayden-Ketchum, Dodge, Pettit, & Bates, 1998).14 Hostile children are more likely to develop diabetes and develop cardiac problems as they age (Elias, 2002).15 Bullying creates societal problems and the consequences of it for the victim can be so serious that victims contemplate and commit suicide.

A research shows that “thirty percent of all child suicides can be directly related to bullying (Hawker & Boulton, 2000).”16 And responsible for several other social and economic effects such as misconduct and possibly lowers productivity due to criminality or incapacity to work because bullies are at risk more violent behavior as he grows up. Studies shows that “bullies identified by age eight are six times more likely to be convicted of a crime by age twenty-four and five times more likely than nonbullies to end up with serious criminal records by age thirty (Maine Project Against Bullying, 2000). Sixty percent of students characterized as bullies in grades 6 to 9 had at least one criminal conviction by age twenty-four and 40 percent had three or more arrests by that age (Banks, 2000; Olweus, 1993). Chronic bullies often bully in their adult years, which hinders their ability to develop and maintain positive relationships (Oliver, Hoover, & Hazler, 1994). In some case, bullies may grow up to abuse their spouse, children, and coworkers.”17 Prevention and Intervention

The following research showed the results about the social awareness of an individual and how they response in bullying incidents: Forty percent of bullied students in elementary and 60 percent of bullied students in middle school report that teachers intervene in bullying incidents “once in a while” or “almost never” (Olweus, 1993; Charach, Pepler, & Ziegler, 1995).18 Twenty-five percent of teachers see nothing wrong with bullying or put-downs and consequently intervene in only 4 percent of bullying incidents (Cohn & Canter, 2003).19 Researchers Craig and Pepler (1995) have found that adults are often unaware of bullying problems (Mullin-Rindler, 2002).20 In an initial survey of students in fourteen Massachusetts schools, over 30 percent believed that adults did little or nothing to help with bullying (Mullin-Rindler, 2002)21 Almost 25 percent of the more than twenty-three hundred girls surveyed felt that they did not know three adults they could go to for support if they were bullied (Girl Scout Research Institute, 2003).22 Students often feel that adult intervention is infrequent and unhelpful, and fear that telling adults will only bring more harassment from bullies (Banks 1997; Cohn & Canter, 2003).23 Base on the studies, it will enable us to raise awareness about the seriousness and danger it may cause especially those young ones. People need to stand and take charge and make a change in people lives. Prevention at School

The best way to address bullying is to stop it before it starts. The involvements of adults—school principals, teachers, parents, guidance counselors, school personnel, and other non-teaching staff (e.g. cafeteria workers, drivers, etc.) can do things to make schools safer and prevent bullying. First, evaluate school prevention and intervention efforts around student behavior, including anything that causes his/her violence. And also conduct assessments in your school to determine how often bullying occurs, where it happens, how students and adults intervene, and whether your prevention efforts are working. Second, engage the parents and youth by establishing a school safety committee or task force to plan, implement, and evaluate the school’s bullying prevention program. They will also be helpful in launching and spreading of an awareness campaign to make the objectives known to the school, parents, and community members.

The support of the youth in eliminating bullying incident will convince others to assist those other victims and by-stander to stand up and become a bully fighter. Some student in other places, have created anti-bullying clubs to fight bullying. Many students have joined the clubs and work with teachers to show students how to stop bullying. Third, create a mission statement, code of conduct, school-wide rules, and a bullying reporting system. Anti-bullying policies or programs are long been featured in school worldwide. And last year the Philippine congress passed the Anti-Bullying Act, an act requiring all Elementary and Secondary school to adopt policies to prevent and address the
acts of bullying in the institution. This program suggest to creating a positive school environment. Lastly, provide a bully training program to educate the students, teachers and other school staff. The training that needs both to inform and to encourage that will make them feel passionate about preventing bullying. Train teachers and staff on the school’s rules and policies and give them the skills to intervene consistently and appropriately in order to act as positive models for school children. For teacher, some research provide several strategies which address ways to help them reduce bullying in school, these include: make it clear that bullying is never acceptable, encourage positive peer relations, adjust teacher preparation programs to include appropriate bullying interventions to use in their classroom, teach cooperative learning activities and offer a variety of extracurricular activities which appeal to a range of interests. References:

Beane, Allan L. (2009). Bullying Prevention for Schools: A Step-by-step Guide to Implementing a Successful Anti-bullying Program. Jossey-Bass Printing, San Francisco, CA pp. 183-184 Delos Reyes, Aloma M. (1993). Understanding Deviant Behavior. Syner Aide Resesources Research Publications. Antipolo, Rizal. Sousa, David A. (2009). How the Brain Influence Behavior (Strategies for Every Classroom). Corwin Press, California. pp.89-91 Rogers, Bill (2011). Classroom Behaviour Third Edition. Sage Publishing, Great Britain. pp.162-164.

“Anti-Bullying Act of 2012”, http://www.congress.gov.ph/download/billtext_15/hbt5496.pdf “Facts About Bullying”, http://bullyfree.com/free-resources/facts-about-bullying “Deviant Behavior At School”, “School Bullying”, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_bullying “What is Deviant Behavior?”, http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-deviant-behavior.htm

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