Theoretical case study on bullying

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Abstract

The study focuses on one of the key problems experienced in most learning institutors, especially in elementary and secondary schools: the practice of bullying. Research shows that there are quite a number of students who face bullying but are unable to report such cases. This research paper embarks on the case study about Inaya who experienced bullying in her new English school after moving out of France with her mother. Firstly, the report will analyses the case study by narrating Inaya’s experience. Second, it will highlight key intervention strategies, which include introduction of counseling sessions, implementation of ways to easily report bullying cases, establishment of line of action amongst the bullies and conducting a bullying survey.

Theoretical Case Study

Introduction to the Case

Bullying is of the common issues that many school counselors tend to face. Most students who are new to social behavior lack knowledge on how to deal with the bullies. According to research, about 9 out 10 students from elementary school have experienced bullying from their peers, whereas about 6 out of 10 admit to bullying their classmates at some point (Halbur & Halbur, 2005). Precisely, one of such cases is about Inaya, who faced bullying after her mother Rehema transferred her to an English school. Rehema and her daughter moved from France to London last in 216 when she turned 13, and this led to her relocation to a new school. Unfortunately, a group of girls who felt she was not cool to hang around with bullied Inaya. These girls misinterpreted her silence and shyness by claiming that she was pretentious. When Rehema learnt that the bullying matter had gone too far, she contacted the head teacher. As a school counselor, I felt that Inaya experienced of the most common problems that teenage students face in school.

Interventions and Strategies

As a guidance counselor, I believe that one of the key interventions in minimizing cases of bullying is to conduct a bullying survey in a bid to determine the extent of the social issue. According to Australia (2016), analyzing the nature and extent of the bullying problems is a key strategy that most elementary schools fail to observe. In most cases, a large percentage of school administrations are normally unaware of the bullying cases, which occur amongst students. By conducting a bullying survey, especially through questionnaires, an institution will be in a position to evaluate to what extent the bullying problem exist. A large number of teenagers experienced bullying due to circumstances such as race, disabilities, and accent among others. It is only through a thorough evaluation process that the administration can understand the seriousness or extent of the problem. In regards to the case study, the school administration was unaware that other girls bullied Inaya until her mother Rehema reported the issue (Norris, 2012). By conducting a bullying survey, an institution will identify if there are any bullying cases, and on whether the social issue is prevalent.

Additionally, a counselor can fulfill his or her role of having a serious talk with both the victims and bullies (Gini & Pozzoli, 2009). Preferable, most institutions are advised to have a school counselor advisor who can have counseling session with these students. In regards to the victims, such student undergoes psychological and emotional trauma after the bullying incidences. According to LeBlanc (2011), bullying is a serious issue that can lead to health problems amongst the victims. During counseling sessions, victims are given advises such as on ways to avoid bullying cases by hanging out with the right peers and discussing any incidences of victimization with the teachers, principals and parent. On the other hand, counseling the bullies is another vital step as well. When an institution manages to identify the bullies, it is always important to deal with them in a manner that avoids such future occurrences (Horner & Krawczyk, 2016). A counselor needs to first understand the main cause of their unethical behavior in order to understand the root of the problem. Counseling the bullies on the consequences of their actions can hinder them from engaging in such practices during the future. Therefore, organizing the counseling sessions can help institutions to identify the root cause of the problem; hence creating a sustainable solution.

Thirdly, institutions should increase the reporting of bullying. A key challenge in regards to bullying is that most victims are always afraid to report. According to the above case study, Inaya did not report the bullying issue to her mother Rehema until she realized that there was a problem with the daughters. A report by Seligman (2014) shows that 80 of student who are victims of bullying tend to hide their awful experiences from their teachers or parents. In most cases, the victims fear that the matter can escalate if the bullies become aware of their reporting. By conducting an assessment on the awareness and scope of bullying, an institution can analyze the experiences of the victims. To address the challenge of student’s resistance to reporting bullying, institutions are advised to set up a bully hotline. Preferable, the school administration can set up a “bully box” which helps to maintain the confidentiality of the victims (Kim, Koh, & Leventhal, 2015). Using these boxes, victims can drop a note there in a bid to alert the administration if any cases arise. Alternatively, an institution can also develop student questionnaires, which can assist in evaluating the nature bullying problems. Using this strategy, both student and parents will have the assurance that a school takes bullying cases seriously and can implement any actions to avoid its occurrence.

Lastly, to shun the bullying practice, institutions should establish immediate consequences for such aggressive behavior and reward inclusive behavior (Espelage & Swearer, 2013). The fear of punishment plays a great role in minimizing the level of aggressive behavior amongst students. In most cases, some students practice the bullying behavior due to the lack of strict punishment with the institutions. Therefore, to curb the problem from occurring further, institutions are advised to introduce possible sanctions. Firstly, the identified bullies should be made to apologize to the victims and make a promise to not engage in the unethical behavior. Second, the bullies should also discuss the incident with their teachers and parents by explaining why they bullied their fellow peers (Li, 2016). Other lines of action include forefeit recess and spending time in the office. Implementing such actions will inflict fear among the bullies. An institution that can establish and implement such rules shows that it is committed to ensuring that all students stay in an environment that is conducive for studying.

Conclusion

In summary, it is evident that bullying has become a common practice and a major problem facing most institutions. From the case study, Inaya was a victim of bullying who experienced the problem after change of environment. To curb this social issue, institutions should establish a bullying survey in a bid to determine the extent of the social issue. Second, schools should arrange counseling sessions for both the victims and bullies. Alternatively, it is important for schools to introduce effective ways of reporting bullying cases, for example, the use of questionnaires or the “bully box”. Lastly, it is advisable to implement immediate consequences for aggressive behavior, especially for the bullies. Implementing these strategies will go a long way in minimizing bullying cases and marinating a conducive environment for learning.

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  1. Australia, C. L. (2016). Theory and Practice of Counseling and Psychotherapy. Pacific Grove, CA: Cengage Learning US.
  2. Espelage, D. L., & Swearer, S. M. (2013). Research on school bullying and victimization: What have we learned and where do we go from here?. School psychology review, 32(3), 365-384.
  3. Gini, G., & Pozzoli, T. (2009). Association between bullying and psychosomatic problems: A meta-analysis. Pediatrics, 123(3), 1059-1065.
  4. Halbur, D., & Halbur, K. V. (2005). Developing your theoretical orientation in counseling and psychotherapy. Boston [u.a.: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon.
  5. Horner, N., & Krawczyk, S. (2016). Social work in education and children’s services. Exeter: Learning Matters.
  6. Kim, Y. S., Koh, Y. J., & Leventhal, B. (2015). School bullying and suicidal risk in Korean middle school students. Pediatrics, 115(2), 357-363.
  7. LeBlanc, J., C, (2011). Bullying: It’s not just a School Problem. Journal of Child health, 6(7), pp. 411-413.
  8. Li, Q. (2016). Cyberbullying in schools: A research of gender differences. School psychology international, 27(2), 157-170.
  9. Norris, J. D. (2012). The Issue of Bullying. Cork: BookBaby.
  10. Seligman, L. (2014). Diagnosis and treatment planning in counseling. New York: Springer.
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