School bullying in popular culture

School bullying is a type of bullying that occurs in connection with education, either inside or outside of school. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or emotional and is usually repeated over a period of time.

In schools, bullying occurs in all areas. It can occur in nearly any part in or around the school building, though it more often occurs in PE, recess, hallways, bathrooms, on school buses and waiting for buses, classes that require group work and/or after school activities. Bullying in school sometimes consists of a group of students taking advantage of or isolating one student in particular and gaining the loyalty of bystanders who want to avoid becoming the next victim. These bullies taunt and tease their target before physically bullying the target. Targets of bullying in school are often pupils who are considered strange or different by their peers to begin with, making the situation harder for them to deal with.

One student or a group can bully another student or a group of students. Bystanders may participate or watch, sometimes out of fear of becoming the next victim. However, there is some research suggesting that a significant proportion of “normal” school children may not evaluate school-based violence (student-on-student victimization) as negatively or as being unacceptable as much as adults generally do, and may even derive enjoyment from it, and they may thus not see a reason to prevent it if it brings them joy on some level.

Bullying can also be perpetrated by teachers and the school system itself: There is an inherent power differential in the system that can easily predispose to subtle or covert abuse (relational aggression or passive aggression), humiliation, or exclusion — even while maintaining overt commitments to anti-bullying policies.

Anti-bullying programs are designed to teach students cooperation, as well as training peer moderators in intervention and dispute resolution techniques, as a form of peer support

Bullying gets so much more sophisticated and subtle in high school. It’s more relational. It becomes more difficult for teens to know when to intervene, whereas with younger kids bullying is more physical and therefore more clear cut”.

In popular culture

  • Bullies frequently appear as antagonists in TV shows about young people. For example, on the TV series Malcolm in the Middle, Malcolm’s older brother, Reese, is notoriously known as the school and neighborhood bully. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air also featured a bully who picked on Ashley Banks and who comes from a bullying family. On the now-late Nickelodeon series, 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd, the titular character was a bully who was transformed into a dog and must complete 100 good deeds before being turned back into a human.
  • The Stephen King novel, Carrie and its respective film adaptation include bullying as a main plot; the heroine, Carrie White is viciously bullied at school by a clique of wicked girls led by Chris Hargensen.
  • Bullies are featured in the 1980 film My Bodyguard where a hotelier’s son attends a public high school and harassed – features a young Matt Dillon as the lead bully (his second role as a villain).
  • A major plot of the 1984 film The Karate Kid has school bullies who are members of a martial arts dojo run by an ex-Special Forces Vietnam veteran; the lead bully is seen using illegal drugs during a Halloween dance.
  • The British slasher film Tormented features bullying as a major theme, as the film’s “slasher”, Darren Mullet, an overweight, unpopular nerd, is bullied to the point of suicide by the school’s most popular students. The film was praised for its portrayal of cyber-bullying and how bullying is not always limited to the school students; the tutors in Tormented are seen to deliberately overlook the shy, vulnerable students and allow the in-crowd to get away with their cruel behaviour.
  • In the musical Missing Mel (in association with Youth Music Theatre: UK), there is an entire number that revolves around two twins bullying a girl named Lauren. This musical has been praised for raising the awareness of the harm bullying can do to a victim
  • In Mean Girls, the school’s four most popular girls emotionally pick on others, and write a “Burn Book”, which includes malicious gossip, rumors, and secrets about the other girls in their school. After copies of the pages of the Burn Book are scattered around the school, the girls realize their humiliating secrets have been revealed to the entire school and attack their friends, which also leads to bullying because all the girls are fighting in the hallways, etc. when they find out who is cheating on whom, rumors, and what friends said behind their backs, etc.
  • The book series “The Clique” is about rich girls who fight over boys, pick on others, and are totally spoiled by their parents. The leader, Massie Block, also set up a game about “Gossip Points”, which has no real reward, making the other ‘members’ tell her all gossip they heard. Only for ‘points’ that have no reward (such as money) makes it pointless, except so Massie knows other girls’ secrets which she uses to blackmail people. And the fact that they go to an all-girls school makes the gossip worse.
  • In the Harry Potter books and film adaptations, Draco Malfoy (his father, Lucius, is also a bully) verbelly taunts Harry (because he has no parents and his fame), Ron (because he is poor), and Hermione (because of her blood status) with the help of his “friends” Crabbe and Goyle, although the three don’t let the taunting get to them and retaliate back. Also Professor Severus Snape, who teaches potions, bullies his students, especially Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville Longbottom and overlooks any wrongdoing by those who are in Slytherin (who he is head of house of). In the past, to Harry’s shock, James Potter, with the help of Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew while Remus Lupin was a bystander, bullied Snape relentlessly while they were students at Hogwarts.

source : wikipedia

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