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Bullying Fine? Good Idea? Or Fine Line?

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Simplemost.com recently published an article about a town in Wisconsin that recently passed a law that would fine the parents of bullying if the behavior did not change after 90 days.  The article mentioned that there was a fine line between teasing and bullying.  I agree that there is, but either way teasing can lead to bullying.  This may be a positive way to hold parents accountable for their parenting or lack there of.  

Bullying has a lot of long term affects of something that may have only happened a couple times and for only a few brief minutes at a time. Victoria State Government has a web site that focuses on bullying.  Here are what they report as the side effects off bullying.

Students who are bullied are more likely to:

  1. feel disconnected from school and not like school
  2. have lower academic outcomes, including lower attendance and completion rates
  3. lack quality friendships at school
  4. display high levels of emotion that indicate vulnerability and low levels of resilience
  5. be less well accepted by peers, avoid conflict and be socially withdrawn
  6. have low self-esteem
  7. have depression, anxiety, feelings of loneliness and isolation
  8. have nightmares
  9. feel wary or suspicious of others
  10. have an increased risk of depression and substance abuse
  11. in extreme cases, have a higher risk of suicide, however, the reasons why a person may be at risk of suicide are extremely complicated.

Contributing factors to being bullied may include:

  1. depression
  2. family problems
  3. history of trauma
  4. belonging to a minority group, where isolation or lack of community support is an issue.

Students who frequently bully others are more likely to:

  1. feel disconnected from school and dislike school
  2. get into fights, vandalise property and leave school early.
  3. In addition, recent Victorian research has shown that bullying perpetration in Year 10 is associated with an increased likelihood of theft, violent behaviour and binge drinking.

Students who witness bullying may:

  1. be reluctant to attend school
  2. feel fearful or powerless to act and guilty for not acting
  3. have increased mental health problems, including depression and anxiety
  4. have increased use of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs.

Impact on schools

  • When bullying continues and a school does not take action, the entire school climate and culture can be negatively affected. This impacts on student learning and engagement, staff retention and satisfaction and parental confidence in the school, which can lead to:
  1. the school developing an environment of fear and disrespect
  2. students experiencing difficulty learning
  3. students feeling insecure
  4. students disliking school
  5. students perceiving that teachers and staff have little control and don’t care about them.

Maybe as part of the fine the parents of the bully need to attend a parenting class or class’s to help them deal with and handle situations differently.  As an extension of that maybe the bully needs to attend therapy to find out what is causing them to act out in this way.  

Now, I know many people would say that people have to deal with all types of people when they grow up and that the real world is not nice so the victims should just learn to deal with it now.  Well, I see their point but why does it have to be that way? Being a bully in the work place or a bully boss or supervisor does not always increase productivity or increase profits.  Quality products makes a company profitable. Smallbuisness.chron.com shows what the effects of work place bullying outcomes look like for business’. 

Workplace Productivity Effects:

Workplace bullying has effects on those who witness it as well as those who experience it, affecting the overall health of an organization. Victims spend much of their time trying to gain support and defend themselves from the bullying, time that would otherwise be spent working. Dr. Charlotte Rayner, a U.K. researcher, found that 20 percent of those who witness workplace bullying look for another job and that 98 percent are distressed by it. Other effects of bullying on workplace productivity include greater absenteeism and turnover, more accidents, lower quality customer service, higher costs for employee assistance programs and decreased motivation and morale.

This kind of behavior can affect a business bottom line and make them look bad to future employees.  Maybe fining the parents could lead to improve a better society and revenues for future companies.  

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