Thursday, May 3, 2012

Understanding Bully Mentality

how to stop bullying in schools

How to Stop Bullying in Schools

It is essential this month as we discuss the complexities of bullying that we not create the Other out of children who bully. Bullies are often the children who need the most help.

As we examine where bully motivation comes from, this article provides salient points about why bullies do what they do, how bullies act among their peers, and how bullies choose victims.

The article addresses the following five points:
  1. The motivation to bully relates to one’s social standing in a group
  2. The peer group often reinforces bullying behavior
  3. Classroom-level factors influence the occurrence of bullying
  4. Reasons for targeting the group as a whole
  5. Combat bullying by influencing bystanders
We learn from the article that there is a paradox—a child feels a lack of stability in his or her peer group and therefore creates instability for others. School Improvement Network’s Dr. Lisa Leith gave this Common Core webinar wherein she discusses the correlation between feelings of insecurity and a higher risk of academic failure. Curtis Linton, author and VP at School Improvement Network, also gave a webinar featuring Bonnie Davis wherein the two discuss a secure classroom environment and how it relates to equity in education (download the audio here).

So bullying is very closely—and perhaps ironically—related to safety. How then can we help all children, especially those who are prone to bullying and prone to be victims of bullying, feel safer in our schools? Or am I missing the mark? How do you feel safety relates to the cause of bullying?


  1. I very much want to eliminate the word "victim" from the glossary of our bullying conversation. We have "survivors" of bullying not "victims" of bullying. No child intentionally hands out invitations to be antagonized, teased, harassed, and mercilessly targeted with physical aggression!

    A child's idiosyncrasies, physical differences (color, ability, body type or physique, etc.), and social class are cause for acceptance, celebration, and honor not for shunning, ostracizing, and abusive retaliation.

    Until we can individually manage our own prejudices, biases, sense of entitlement, fears, and inadequacies then we will continue to struggle with interrupting the cycle of violence/bullying because we ourselves are perpetuating it rather than stopping it!

  2. An excellent point, Pete. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks, Jack and Pete, for your comments. Pete, you touch on an essential part of how we view other people. The stories we tell about others--which can be as simple as "bully" and "victim"--affects how we see them. Thank you for bringing to light trouble behind the names.

  4. Some bullied for no particular reason they just love to torment other kids. However, some of those who bully wanting to prove something to themselves, and they think when they can hurt other they are strong and invisible. That's why as a mother I provided my son this safety application from safekidzone. This application is a life saving tool that works on mobile phones. It can easily get help in times of real emergency. For further information about this application, just visit their website at: