Safety at SchoolBullying
Impact of bullying
Bullying has a negative impact on everyone involved; the target, the bully and the bystanders. Students who are bullied are more likely to:
- feel disconnected from school and not like school
- have lower academic out- comes, including lower atten- dance and completion rates
- lack quality friendships at school
- display high levels of emotion that indicate vulnerability and low levels of resilience
- be less well accepted by peers, avoid conflict and be socially withdrawn
- have low self-esteem
- have depression, anxiety, feelings of loneliness and isolation
- have nightmares
- feel wary or suspicious of others
- have an increased risk of depression and substance abuse
- in extreme cases, have a higher risk of suicide, however, the reasons why a person may be at risk of suicide are extremely complicated.
Contributing factors to being bullied may include:
- family problems
- history of trauma
- belonging to a minority group, where isolation or lack of com- munity support is an issue.
Impact on bullies
- Students who frequently bully others are more likely to:
- feel disconnected from school and dislike school
- get into ghts, vandalise property and leave school early.
In addition, recent Victorian research has shown that bullying perpetration in Year 10 is associ- ated with an increased likelihood
of theft, violent behaviour and binge drinking.
Impact on bystanders
Students who witness bullying may:
- be reluctant to attend school
- feel fearful or powerless to act and guilty for not acting
- have increased mental health problems, including depression and anxiety
- have increased use of tobacco, alcohol, or other drugs.
Impact on schools
When bullying continues and a school does not take action, the entire school climate and culture can be negatively affected. This impacts on student learning and engagement, staff retention and satisfaction and parental con – dence in the school, which can lead to:
- the school developing an envi- ronment of fear and disrespect
- students experiencing dif culty learning
- students feeling insecure
- students disliking school
- students perceiving that teachers and staff have little control
- and don’t care about them.
For more information visit www.education.vic.gov.au