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Teachers notes Effects of bullying pages 40–45 All targets are affected to some degree by bullying, but the extent depends on their confidence, self-esteem and resilience. Some will have strategies for coping with the bullying, thus ending the problem, but many more will suffer consequences in the short and the long term. Some short-term consequences ... • for the target are: loss of appetite; insomnia; feelings of sadness, fear, anger, shame, loneliness; excessive absenteeism from school; drop in school work standards; poor attention span; loss of interest in social activities; anxiety attacks; feeling responsible for the attacks; lack of trust in friends.

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• for the bully are: shallow friendships (peers are ‘friends’ for fear of being bullied themselves); negative reputation among staff and some students. Some long-term consequences ...

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• for the target are: low self-esteem; difficulty in making and maintaining friendships; depression; non-fulfilment of academic potential; poor career prospects; open to bullying in the workplace; paranoia– specifically related to cyberbullying; selfharm; possible suicide; revenge attacks; and abusive behaviour at home. • for the bully are: unpopularity and loss of peer group as ‘friends’ no longer fear retribution; continued antisocial behaviour possibly leading to crime; and abusive behaviour at home.

Who bullies and why? pages 48–57 Although the focus in schools is often on providing support for the targets of bullying, the bullies themselves also need to be understood so they too can be helped. Categories of bullies

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• Bystander bullies: Even bystanders who observe bullying and take no active role in that bullying are themselves classified as bullies if they fail to take any action.

• Accessory bullies: Bystanders become accessories to bullying when they encourage a bully by, for example, making statements of support, laughing, jeering or mimicking.

• Advocates: There is a further category involved in bullying; those who are neither targets nor bullies. They haven’t actually observed the bullying, but they may suspect that bullying is occurring. This group can be very effective in preventing bullying.

Characteristics of bullies

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Bystander bullying is of particular relevance in cyberbullying. Students may pass on images or information which amuse or shock them. They may do this without thinking of, or being aware of, the effect on the target or of their own role as a bully. Depending on the nature of the material being sent, these students could be performing an illegal act.

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The following list contains generalisations about bullies. There can be no one set of characteristics to describe all bullies. A bully may be a very confident, high achieving, apparently popular student with high self-esteem or a target who is retaliating by bullying other less powerful or younger students in order to hide his or her own lack of confidence. Bullying is about power and control. Bullies may have a conduct disorder; lack empathy and sympathy; be confident and popular; lack self-esteem and have difficulty making friends; be physically bigger and stronger than their targets; be able to talk their way out of trouble; have a small group of friends who support their bullying; question authority, break rules, push boundaries and admire violence; tend towards physical bullying if they are boys, or be more likely to use social exclusion or humiliation if they are girls; be impulsive, socially dominant, easily frustrated, confrontational, aggressive, needing to control or attention-seeking. There is no common reason for bullying, but the following generalisations worthy of consideration are: jealousy and competition for attention and valued objects; personal experience of being bullied; inadequate supervision; child abuse and neglect; harsh physical discipline; overly permissive parenting or lack of limits; inconsistent enforcement of rules and consequences; or poor role models at home or school. Students have reported they have bullied others because: ‘They are annoying’, ‘To get even’, ‘It is fun’, ‘To take things I want from others’, ‘Others do it’, ‘To show how tough I am’, ‘They’re weak’, ‘They deserve it’ or ‘I can’.


Bullying in a cyber world – R.I.C. Publications®

Bullying in a Cyber World: Ages 6-8  
Bullying in a Cyber World: Ages 6-8  

The blackline masters cover the following: What is bullying?, Forms of bullying, Cyberbullying, Targets of bullying, Effects of bullying, Wh...