A specific subset of hostile aggression that is intentional hurtful, and threatening, occurs more than once. Where there is power imbalance, a stronger, more aggressive student typically bullies a weaker and more timid student.
These words precisely describe bullying. Many of us can recall our younger years and experiences of bullying that we or our schoolmates have been subjected to at one point or another. Bullying remains widespread up to this time.
We tend to think that bullying occurs only among young children. The truth is, it also occurs in college campuses. Research estimates reveal that the problem affects far more college students.
It has actually intensified in meanness as it now comes in various forms such as physical hitting, verbal name-calling, social-shunning, racial offensive jokes on another person’s nationality, sexually-unwanted touching, and electronic/cyber hate messages in mobile phones or social networks.
In SLU, a survey on the occurrence of bullying was conducted among 308 students enrolled in National Service Training Program (NSTP). Among these students, 217 disclosed that they have seen someone being bullied. About 115 students also admitted that they have been bullied or are being bullied in school.
Bullying has become one of the most common concerns raised by some students who come to the SLU Guidance Center for counseling. Sadly, some of the students’ lives are being ruined by the behavior of other spiteful and unkind students. A few of them have dropped or withdrawn from their classes because the impact of bullying tookits toll on them.
Given the incidence of bullying and to show that something is being done about it, the Guidance Center, through its Gabay Series Program and in coordination with NSTP, gathered some 1,500 NSTP students, non-NSTP enrollees, counselors and teachers from other schools and even some parents.
The lecture-presentation in November last year informed them on the prevalence and consequences of bullying, and empowered them with assertiveness strategies to combat it. It also enabled them to share personal experiences and clarifications.
The participants were urged to take an initial stand against bullying by saying a pledge together. We have high hopes that they can now recognize, prevent and intervene against bullying.
To further strengthen the anti-bullying advocacy, the Center launched two programs aimed at disseminating information and promoting assertiveness skills against bullying. The first is declaring the month of January as Anti- Bullying Month with the color pink as the advocacy marker. Slogan-making contest were held at the elementary, high school and college levels.
The second program was a seminar-workshop last January for the school administrators, teachers, counselors and student-leaders of the SLU-Laboratory Elementary School and Laboratory High School.
SLU, through her Guidance Center, is resolved not to turn a blind eye to bullying. It advocates that cases of bullying must be bravely and wisely addressed and resolved at once. Thus, students who have been bullied or have witnessed bullying should speak up.