The Effect of Bullying on Student Achievement

by Ella Wilson
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Bullying has recently received a lot of attention from educationalists all over the world. It has become a common problem in recent times, but it is a social construct that has prevailed in societies for a very long time. It is a form of toxic behavior in which aggression of one person or group of people is directed at one individual. The person at receiving end is either emotionally or physically weak, which makes him/her an easier target.

Shocking Statistics about Bullying

Bullying is not a new issue and has existed for a long time. But educationalists and experts have recently started to pay more attention to this behavioral problem are trying to make measures to put an end to it, at least in schools, colleges, and universities. The rates if bullying has increased rapidly in the past few years. Due to awareness and availability of social media, more students are coming forward their stories and it is becoming clearer just how bad the bullying situation is in educational institutes.

Stats show that every one student out 5 is exposed to toxic behavior bullying. This includes both physical and verbal bullying. A recent report by IAO showed that in United States alone, 30% of students reported occasional bullying. These students were either target of bullying or were involved in bullying in some way. These students either bullied or were bullied either every day or every other day. Another report showed that the situation was not much different in Australia with 20% of students being bullied on daily and weekly basis.

Although, experts believe that bullying is more common in older students, but this behavior is just as bad in middle school and even kindergarten. Same report by IAO showed that 20% of high school students reported that they were bullied at some point during their educational period. This bullying was both traditional and cyber, as well.

Cyber-bullying has certainly increased this toxic behavior as bully is hidden behind the cover of computer screen. Cyber-bullying usually takes place on social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and so on. The anonymity of this type of bullying facilitates the bully and is usually translated into real life bullying as well. A report showed that students who were bullied on the internet were most likely to face toxic behavior from their peers in real life as well. The rapid spread of internet content usually leads to real life embarrassment in classroom among peers.

How Bullying Impacts the Performance of Student

Bullying impacts students in different ways. Its impacts are not always emotional, but physical as well. Loss of appetite, headache, stomachache, and nausea are some of the few ensuing results of bullying. Research shows that students who are bullied at school suffer from depression, stress, anxiety and other severe mental health issues.

Apart from all that, bullying also has an adverse impact on the academic performance of students. A report by IAO proved that students who were bullied at school showed reduced academic performance. Stress, deteriorating physical health, and mood swings could be some factors that contribute to low performance.

  • Unable to Concentrate

The hostile behavior of bullies has a bad impact on focus of students, research shows. Bullied students have feeling of fear when coming to school which influences their class performance. They are not comfortable sitting among their peers and are distracted by negative thoughts. Their failure to concentrate on class lectures can result in poor grades and bad overall class performance.

  • Less engaged

Experts have been stressing upon the impact of class engagement on student learning. Bullied students have bad experience when it comes to engaging with peer which results in poor class engagement. They are not comfortable talking with their class fellows which negatively impacts their homework and class projects. The toxic engagement outside class tarnishes their class experience, reducing overall productivity of the student.

  • Declined in Attendance

Students who are bullied at school have low level of motivation towards their education. Attending classes is no less than a nightmare for bullied students.  These students are scared of going to the school and socializing. Research showed that students who are bullied in school are more likely to skip a class, or quit going to school. Their inability to attend lectures leaves them behind on course, which results in poor grades in final exams. The reduced motivation, skipping classes, and piled up work makes the school experience excruciating for the bullied students.

  • Participation

Class participation is extremely important for personal growth and learning of students. Many class projects are assigned to groups of students are marked on group basis, as well. However, bullied students fail to work in groups due to the fear of being humiliated. Not only that, but they refrain from participating in class quizzes as well due to the fear of saying something wrong and being made fun of.

  • Toxic Class Environment

Many people believe that bullying impacts only an individual. Several reports showed that it has a negative impact on bullied student, the bully, and bystanders as well. IAO’s report showed that bystanders believe should end as it makes them uncomfortable and scared. An educational institute where bullying is normal has a toxic environment that results in poor overall educational culture. Students find it hard to productively study in an environment where negativity and hatred thrives.

There are many explanations as to why people bully, but it mostly arises from yearlong nurturing in a toxic environment. Children are usually exposed to toxic behavior at a young age, which becomes intense over time. In recent years, bullying has become a common thing in the life of teenagers. It is a problem that students deal with on daily basis in their classrooms. Although, it is a common issue in families, friends, and in general social settings, it has become a vital problem in educational institutes. The educational institutes need to take tackle the issue of bullying with more seriousness so that student learning doesn’t get affected by irrelevant factors.

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