While as a phenomenon it was noted and recorded in the 70’s, it should not be assumed that it appeared then. Besides, it’s another expression of violent behaviour which exists since the beginning of mankind.
The phenomenon of bullying involves many factors
- The child being the victim of bullying
- The child or group of children who do the bullying
- The children who observe
- The educators
- The parents
In the story of Oliver Twist – that takes place in the 19th century- there are many elements of violence amongst children which survive till today.
In novels referring to the Anglo-Saxon educational system where bullying by older children is an accepted behaviour
According to Olweus, school violence and school bullying is noted when a child
“is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative acts by one or more persons.”
The term “negative act” refers to the act by which
“a person intentionally causes injury or emotional problems to another person, by means of physical contact, verbal abuse or by other means”.
An important parameter which arises is the concept of repetition. The phenomenon of school bullying is not an isolated incident. It is not a simple random fight between two children in the school yard. It also includes an imbalance of power and authority between the child who bullies and the child that is being bullied.
The result of this act is the second important parameter. The acts of school bullying result or could result in physical injury or emotional (behavioural) problems of the child.
The last parameter has to do with the various forms of school bullying which may be physical, verbal or any other form.
Generally, bullying may include:
- Physical violence, punching, pinching, biting, pushing
- Intentional or frequent exclusion from social activities, social isolation or exclusion
- Sexual harassment
- Use of abusive or derogatory expressions, teasing, nicknames, mocking
- Threats and blackmail
- Abusive or insulting expressions of race, ethnicity, religion, disability identity or sexual identity of the victim
- Theft or damage to personal belongings of the victim
- Intentional distancing / withdrawal of friends
- Spreading malicious and false rumours
- Cyber bullying (described as “the repeated and intentional damage caused through the use of computers, mobile phones and other electronic devices”). Cyberbullying occurs more frequently on sites visited by large numbers of adolescents.