Responding to school bullying in modern times

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Bullying has received a lot of attention in many nations, and there are many programs in place to help both bullies and victims. It can be verbal, sexual, physical, or emotional in nature, so it includes verbal, physical, emotional, and cyberbullying without a comprehensive description. Distress, hostile purpose, repetition, power imbalance, and provocation are also involved. Bullying can have a wide range of effects on a student, including despair, tension, anger, and suicidal ideation. The individual who is bullied is influenced, and the bully may grow up to have various societal impairments or to be more likely to engage in criminal acts.  If there is suspicion that a person is being bullied or is a bully, there are impending tokens in their way of conducting. There are diverse programs and organizations all over the world that come up with bullying averting services or information on how to deal with in case a person has been bullied.

Key words: bullying, aggression, depression, cyberbullying, Kantianism theory, Act Utilitarism, Rule-Utilitarism, Social Contract Theory.



Bullying can be described as any physical, emotional, verbal or sexual harassment of someone by a principal character. Moreover, this harassment is usually repeated over a period to be called bullying. A particular type of bullying that occurs in schools is called school bullying. Basically, bullying happens during breaks around the washrooms, group work classes, school buses, hallways and after school. More descriptively, school bullying involves a group of dominant students taking advantage of one lesser individual and gaining loyalty from other students who are afraid of being the next victim (Sims & Kameya, 2016).

Bullying can also be defined as the method of aggressive behavior in which an individual repeatedly does it intentionally. It causes injury or discomfort to another person. Bullying can also be adopted through the form of words, physical contact or even through mental activities. Psychologists believe that bullying occurs mostly in the middle school and has become a social occurrence that has raised a lot of concerns in the society. Bullying may affect the victim in various ways including psychologically and physically. Statistics indicated that the most common cause of violence in our society is approximately caused by 15% to 30% of students due to their being either victims or bullies in high school (Sims & Kameya, 2016). Recent studies done on American Medical Association indicated that about 3.7 million youths are engaged in school bullying, and more than 3.2 million are victims of moderate or serious bullying each year.

Importance of Bullying Understanding

The most vital step to bullying understanding is to analyze and research about its causes as well as to discover social control and criminal deviance. Since two ethics contribute to mistreatment in the society, the research process needs to analyze two causes of deviant behaviors in the community and schools. The first is bullying which is defined as the use of superior impact or strength to intimidate someone, stereotypically to influence them to do what one wants. In high school, many students are bullied on a level that one cannot imagine due to the advent and allowance that encourage children to be closer to social media. It makes the environment of the student to be a bit different from their earlier past experiences as well as what they may expect. Many individuals encounter themselves in a vast environment that they have never imagined before or to be part of with people of a society that they that they never understood. When molestation occurs at an early age, it may manifest as deviant behavior in high school which can cause criminal activities in our community.

Consequences of Bullying

Bullying is the most known cause of aggression and depression to the children who are exposed during their time in educational careers. Such behavior has been discovered in perpetrators such as the pre-kindergarten levels. The aggression of bullying can be expressed in diverse ways such as hitting someone, biting, shoving pushing and also bad name calling. Usually, this type of attack grows with the children into their adulthood. For the older teenagers, they may develop sexual and mental abuse due to past experiences (Hollis & Robinson, 2016). For instance, the girl we just saw from the short clip shows that the kind of words she used to be called made her have low self-esteem. She is seen to be antisocial even to her own mother, and at some point, she ends up writing negative words on a mirror using her lipstick.

The concern about bullying is that if not arrested early it can extend to secondary and university levels. Bullying has vicious patterns that exist in schools through the use of social media thus leading to cyberbullying. In our society, bullying alongside its hostile behaviors has become major issues that sometimes can lead to suicidal cases. For this reason, it is important to cease such intolerable characters as early as young kids from kindergarten before it magnifies and escalates. If left unhandled, this situation becomes significant to the point that it may columbine a tragic moment. For instance, even though the girl did not do anything to harm herself the way she was writing hateful words on the mirror are good signs of someone who has depression.

Despite the fact that such behaviors may be known to affect the high school students only, it is also surprising that universities and colleges also go through the same trauma. According to Robinson & Hollis (2014), about 18 % of college undergraduates have been found to be affected during their years in school due to the misconception that they are mature enough to coexist each other (Hollis & Robinson, 2016). Noteworthy, bullying in college has been seen to change in style and range due to violent behaviors and to cyberbully such as mass school shooting. One of the significant consequences of bullying is that it is rampant particularly among high school students.

One reason why cyberbullying is deepening is that students are moving out of puberty and joining themselves in abstract thinking (Krasselt, 2014). In this situation, students become emotional to the point that they identify any minor differences among their peers. They even tend to socialize more through the social media because they believe they are going to get new identities in that environment. Cyberbullying is well known to accelerate discrimination by sending abusive languages to other students through instant messages, emails or even through social sites such as Facebook. A good example was also seen with the girl in the clip where she was receiving discrimination messages from her school friends.

Another consequence of cyberbullying is the mass school shootings. The majority of the students who get involved in such activities have been found to be discriminated through ethnicity, race, and religion. The person then isolates themselves and becomes hardened to the point that makes them engage themselves in retaliatory attacks. For instance, the Elliot Rodger's murder case that resulted in six students being shot while 13 others injured in 2014 is a good example of how cyberbullying takes place in colleges (Chapell et al., 2016). Moreover, college bullying may occur in many forms that are influenced by social media as well as peer pressure. Cyberbullying is the most dominant contributor to school attacks that should not be ignored because the majority of American schools go through such acts. As much as it can be argued, this case can make someone have untreated mental conditions, stress, and isolation that are beyond the controllable levels.

Bullying can also make someone to be depressed especially when they have not received any support from anyone. Most of the time, the victim is left alone thus making them fear to talk to anybody. A good example was seen to the girl where the mother knocked to her room and asked her if she was doing fine and she said she was. The majority of people who are depressed due to cyberbullying need support from parents, friends, teachers and older siblings. Parents and teachers can always find out why the victim is being bullied by speaking to them. According to the National bullying prevention center, it teaches individuals how to ask the victims questions with the aim of helping them. In this case, the parent can pay close attention and write them down. After the observations, parents can collaborate with the teachers and hold conferences that discuss matters concerning preventing and stopping bullying.

The level of bullying in elementary schools has some similarities and differences from those done in high schools. In most cases, there is the impact of child development which ends up being serious when bullying continues in high school (Chapell et al., 2016). Seals and Young conducted a longitudinal study for over eight years to track victimization and bullying within Finnish students from the ages of 8 to 16 and discovered that both ages had the same form of harassment. The authors then proved that when a child is at the elementary level, the worst thing they go through is peer rejection. It was seen as a powerful predictor particularly for current and future psychological differences. Another study that the authors conducted discovered that sex also makes a big difference when it comes to bullying. For instance, the male students tend to be bullied more than the females especially in high schools as well as elementary. Both genders, in this case, had a higher chance of getting depressed because as much as their friends do not talk to them, the parents and teachers are very busy to spare their time.

In the American national studies, on the other hand, it still showed that many students in national schools underwent the same type of discrimination and more likely bullied victims became girls. The American 6th grade boys, for instance, were more liable to be bullied than the girls (McClowry et al., 2017). The results of sampling showed that out of 8273 students, from middle school and high school, almost sixty percent of the bullying victims were men. There are two types of bullying, namely, indirect bullying which involves isolation and direct bullying whose attacks are more physical and verbal. Direct bullying is more rampant in girls while boys are more prone to participate in indirect bullying despite that both types of bullying affect children in them the same way (Miller et al., 2017). Peer relationships do not affect academic triumph, and their overall consequence on the children could be both positive and harmful. Students who are rejected by peers are more likely to run into problems at school since it makes them depressed, anxious, and they feel isolated as well. Social acceptance for every child cannot be emphasized enough, as it not only enhances their academic attainment, but their social standing will develop as well.

The main characteristic of high school bullying is adolescents that are in the stage of developing their identities. Being a victim here affects how a person perceives themselves and their behavior. The society may not accept or value them so it inversely affects their self-esteem, which will in turn hinder the development of their identity and how they feel about themselves. Students who are victims of bullying in school have a higher likelihood of being bullied at late stages of their lives as well. There are also forms of gender harassment among high school students, for instance, LGBT students are not entirely integrated as it may seem abnormal for fellow students who may have learned not to accept them from the society (Vahedi et al., 2016). Bullying is getting more rampant in schools and studies such shown that most shooters have been bullied at one point in their lives, and while bullying is an intense subject which often leads to complications such suicide.

Cyberbullying and Ethics Theory

In our times that we spend on the Internet browsing or using the phone sometimes we face difficult situations due to the others. This action is called cyberbullying, or in other words, it is the use of these technologies to harm the others. This harm may be in many forms as one person can insult or threaten or even menace another one or many people via the communication media or via the internet through social media or via web chat applications. It may also be via sending personal photos of the person on the Internet. The cyberbully is any harms forms that the individual can cause for any other one. This action can be considered right or not according to the theory that it discusses the action in the following study.

Kantianism Theory and Cyberbullying

Immanuel Kant referred the Kantianism theory between the periods of 1722-1804. This philosopher made his theory based on the point of view that the only intrinsically good thing is goodwill; an act that has good intentions (Mustanoja et al., 2011). To study depression, according to the Kant's Theory, it involves dangerous acts enough to be evil and wrong. The Theory assumes that the action will be right if it was good for all the social benefits and cyberbullying has harming actions for some persons thus making them depressed. Kant assumes that it is not everybody's duty or even his obligation to harm others. Moreover, the Virtue Ethics that judges the moral rightness believes that a suitable entity finds cyberbully as an acceptable action. It is because any person who has normal characteristics and ethical sources can know that there are no benefits of this activity especially if it will create hate among members of the society.

Act Utilitarianism and Cyberbullying

Act Utilitarianism can be assumed as the utilitarian theory of the ethics because it implies that the action of any human body can be considered as morally right. In this case, when one generates at least the gladness like any other action then this person can show utilitarianism at the same time. Act Utilitarianism is measuring the amount of depression the person obtained after being bullied through the social media platforms. The most critics cite more significant issues as an example is the fact that Act Utilitarianism seems to reveal some laws of grilling or even torment that will be permissible in the point of view of morals. In this case, it can generate stress or depression to the person (Austin et al., 2016).

Rule-Utilitarianism and Cyberbullying

This theory also depends on the utilitarianism as well as the rules itself. Instead of judging each action, it will judge the consequence of depression in this particular action. Rule-utilitarianism will determine if it was right or by different methods. It will also judge according to the utilitarianism that the rule of the measure that was performed. However, this theory face some problems, as it assumes that all persons will follow this rule. For example, the cars take the right side in most countries, but in England, the traffic law states that the cars must be on the left side and when person traveled there they have to follow this rule. Ought this person to keep to take the right side? It considers the cyberbullying the same as the Act theory but as it follows the standard view it judge according to how is the action rule rightness (Mustanoja et al., 2011).

Social Contract Theory and Cyberbullying

Social Contract Theory focuses on the moral rights of a human being and the amount they can enjoy it. It is the right for everyone to behave in a straight line according to his moral rules. The social circumstances will be in the same line with society moral rules so the Social Contract Theory concerning cyberbullying is out of polite as it will be on the benefits to the community. So the Theory emphasizes that the law of punishing should make cyberbullying in a way they must be accepted by all persons in the society as it will not reduce the benefit of individuals who behave in a right way. Or in other words, it will not take away free announce rights from those people who do not make cyberbully for others persons.


To conclude, cyberbullying as demonstrated by the above outcomes of bullying during early childhood and late adolescence show that it has become a social concern. The form of aggression that has bypassed the high schools has found their way into universities. The right actions are not absolute as the opinion depends on the view of ethical theory as it is seen in the previous methods which consider the cyberbullying as an action that do not need to be punished. Therefore, bullying as discussed in the essay could be the biggest contributor to depression particularly when no one listens to the student. It is hence advisable to give them attention when their character changes.


Austin, S.M., et al. (2016). School leadership and counselors working together to address bullying. Reading Improvement, 53(4), 188-194.

Chapell, M., et al. (2016). Bullying in elementary school, high school and college. Adolescence, 41(164), 633-648.

Hollis, L.P., & Robinson, S. (2016). Insult to injury: The extent of bullying for gender and sexual minorities in community colleges. Diversity in Higher Education, 18, 113-123. Retrieved from

Krasselt, K. (2014). Bullying, not a thing of the past for college students. Use Today College. Retrieved from

McClowry, R.J., Miller, M.N., & Mills, G.D. (2017). What family can physicians do to combat bullying? Journal of Family Practice, 66(2), 82-89. Retrieved from

Mustanoja, S., et al. (2011). Is exposure to domestic violence and violent crime associated with the theories that govern bullying? Child Psychiatry & Human Development, 42(4), 495-506. doi:10.1007/s10578-011-0222-9

Sims, T., & Kameya, D. (2016). Responding to school bullying in modern times. Leadership, 46(2), 26-28.

Vahedi, S., Azar, F.E., & Golparvar, F. (2016). The effectiveness of school-wide anti-bullying programs on teachers' efficacy in dealing with students' bullying behavior. Journal of Fundamentals of Mental Health, 18(2), 68-75.

April 19, 2023

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