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Bullying has become a hot topic in schools and the workplace. This has resulted in many attempts and campaigns to do away with bullying all together. However, the reality of the situation is that no single act can prevent bullying. Bullying isn’t just a problem in schools. It’s an issue in almost all areas of life that takes a combination of approaches to successfully reduce the number of incidents.
The importance of tackling bullying can’t be undermined. A snide comment or isolating someone from a group are two covert ways of bullying somebody. The mental and physical scars can last for years, assuming they ever leave at all. This is why it’s important to target both the victims and perpetrators of bullying. One of the main reasons why bullying persists is the inability to notice it while it’s happening. To successfully prevent it, you have to spot it. Teachers in the classroom and managers in the workplace need to watch for instances of bullying. Someone who is isolated from a group isn’t necessarily a loner. They could be being bullied and you can help the situation by noting down such warning signs and reviewing them at a later date.
People must step in to stop bullying straight away. Often, the people doing the deeds don’t realize what they’re doing is hurtful. Joking around and “banter” can often be construed as harmless fun. But authority figures must warn the bully about their behavior. It’s equally important to let peers know how to spot bullying. Schools and workplaces can target the problem by organizing an anti-bullying day. This day should involve speeches and exercises that both highlight the issue and bring people closer together. In practice, this eliminates the need for an authority figure to step in.
Not all bullying occurs because of deep-rooted issues within the bully. Other people might feel as if they have been wronged in some way. Instead of raising their concerns, they resort to overt and covert methods of bullying. To combat this, a meeting of the minds is the best way to stop this scenario from going any further. Have a quiet talk with the individual and ask them why they’re acting the way they are. It’s likely that they have a problem which, in their minds, was caused by the person they’re bullying. After this, bring both parties together and attempt to speak about the issue openly. Bullying nearly always gets worse because it’s often swept under the rug and ignored.
While the above long term solutions offer some solace, they don’t instill good behavior in bullies. Bullies work in a slightly different ways psychologically from everyone else. When they think about their behavior, they fail to acknowledge that they’re doing something wrong. If they haven’t been punished, why is what they’re doing unacceptable? That’s why authorities must demonstrate that there are consequences for behaving negatively. In the classroom, teachers can give detentions, send them to the head master, or even resort to suspension and expulsion.
In the workplace, managing bullying is more difficult. Simply making someone do more overtime could be taken as bullying, which might cause the cycle of abuse to continue. Bosses and managers must talk the problem out with these people and make it clear that there will be consequences if it happens again. It’s usually sufficient to give them a written warning or to take the case to upper management. In more serious situations, the only option is to fire the offending party. However, giving someone the ax should always remain a last resort. It only cleanses a toxic workplace while not actually helping the bully. The bully will likely go elsewhere and continue their destructive behavior.
Bullying prevention techniques must place emphasis on doing more than just putting an end to the immediate bullying problem. It needs to target the underlying causes of the behavior. Make sure the stand against bullying continues even after dealing with the immediate problem. You have to remain vigilant or it will keep returning. Offer support to former bullies through regular meetings and offer psychological help if necessary. Place posters on the walls and make it a requirement for all students and staff members to attend anti-bullying courses.
In conclusion, every bully has different characteristics. As a result, there’s no clear scheme or strategy that can stop the problem from ever occurring. By being able to spot, deal with, and offer long-term bullying support, you’ve targeted bullying at all junctures. Remain vigilant and you’ll minimize the chances of the problem ever returning to your place of business or educational institution.