Why is There So Much Bullying in Schools?

Written by Kerry McDonald

Imagine if, at your workplace, you were constantly harassed, humiliated, and even physically attacked. You would probably dread going to work and call in sick often to avoid it. You may talk to your boss or someone in HR to see if the problem could be fixed. If it couldn’t, you would quit. You may even file charges if you were physically harmed, or take out a restraining order against your perpetrators. You have recourse. You have options. You have choice.

Children who are bullied in school have very few choices and very little recourse. Required by law to attend an assigned public school, many children and their parents have minimal agency to withdraw from a bullying scenario. Some parents will look for alternative schooling options for their bullied children, like private schools, charter schools, online schools, or homeschooling. But for many families these choices are not available or accessible.

In those cases, bullied children must endure daily battering that would be criminal if inflicted on adults. Is it any wonder that we have a rising suicide rate among children? In fact, according to the CDC, the suicide rate among 10- to 14-year-olds has doubled since 2007.

Wounded By School author Kirsten Olson refers to bullying as “an expression of the shadow side of schooling.” She writes:

“If we create school systems in which compulsion, coercion, hierarchy, and fear of failure are central features of the academic experience, and essential to motivating and controlling students, then the energy from those negative experiences will seek expression.”

In other words, if people are placed in environments where they have little freedom and control, this can trigger bullying behaviors; and if those who are being bullied can’t freely leave, then hostility may continue indefinitely.

As Boston College psychology professor Dr. Peter Gray writes: “Bullying occurs regularly when people who have no political power and are ruled in top-down fashion by others are required by law or economic necessity to remain in that setting. It occurs regularly, for example, in prisons. Those who are bullied can’t escape, and they have no legislative or judicial power to confront the bullies.”

As another school year approaches, bookstore and library shelves are filling with titles aimed at “bully-proofing” children. Articles and blog posts share strategies on how to help students who are victims of bullying. School administrators and teachers develop policies, plans, and professional development programs for dealing with bullying. While well-intentioned, all of these efforts ignore the central problem: bullying exists due to a compulsory schooling environment that mandates attendance, eliminates freedom, and limits the ability to opt-out. Until that issue is addressed, no amount of reading, policymaking, teacher training, and “bully-proofing” is going to stop bullying from occurring.

The best way to avoid bullying in schools is to question compulsory attendance laws, expand education choice, and create learning environments that nurture childhood freedom and autonomy. After all, if we wouldn’t tolerate bullies in our lives, why should we ever expect our children to?

[Image Credit: By Elizabet21 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons]

This post Why is There So Much Bullying in Schools? was originally published on Intellectual Takeout by Kerry McDonald.


Related posts


real money casino June 30, 2020 at 2:37 pm

online slots

best online casinos that payout

best online casinos that payout July 2, 2020 at 4:09 pm

virgin casino online nj login

casino games

sildenafil price July 4, 2020 at 6:58 pm

viagra for women

sildenafil 20 mg

casino online games for real money July 6, 2020 at 3:44 pm

real casino online

real online casino

real money casino July 8, 2020 at 7:38 pm

pala casino online

real money online casino

instant loans July 14, 2020 at 3:14 am

instant loans

cash payday

pay day loans July 17, 2020 at 7:40 am

cash payday

cash advance online

payday advance July 20, 2020 at 2:37 am

personal loan

online loans

viagra 100mg July 23, 2020 at 12:09 am

viagra cost

viagra cost

cialis to buy July 30, 2020 at 12:40 am

cialis internet

cialis buy

20 cialis August 1, 2020 at 8:58 am

cialis 5 mg

20 cialis

cialis to buy August 4, 2020 at 12:22 am

20 cialis

generic for cialis

cialis 20 August 7, 2020 at 9:18 am

cialis 5 mg

cialis generic

slots online August 10, 2020 at 6:31 am

casino game

casino online real money

rivers casino August 14, 2020 at 2:32 am

vegas casino online

best online casino

online casino August 17, 2020 at 7:52 pm

best online casino

chumba casino

online pharmacy viagra August 26, 2020 at 8:12 pm

viagra online

viagra for women

canadian viagra August 29, 2020 at 11:30 pm

generic viagra online

canada viagra

tadalafil vs sildenafil September 2, 2020 at 9:09 am

generic cialis tadalafil

generic cialis

Samples of viagra November 20, 2020 at 8:25 pm

Buy viagra no prescription required

Brand name viagra

Leave a Comment