Ethical Issues Of Bullying In Schools

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Bullying has been named an “emerging public health issue requiring intervention” (Ansary, Elias, Greene, & Green, 2015, p. 27). As a major problem in schools around the world, the issue of bullying must be addressed in order to keep students physically and emotionally safe. The act of bullying not only affects the well-being of the person being targeted, but it also affects the rest of the school community too. It can be difficult for teachers, principals, and superintendents to make an ethical decision about what to do when bullying occurs because there are misunderstandings about what bullying is, leading to the improper identification of situations. Often times bullying occurs when adults are not around, which makes it one student’s word against another. In addition, the lack of clear and consistent policy and procedures in schools compounds the ethical dilemma of bullying for educators. This paper aims to establish what bullying is, identify the current problems associated with bullying and discuss guidelines for resolving the ethical issues related to bullying.
Understanding Bullying
Research on bullying began in the late 1970s and early 1980s when a Norwegian researcher, Dan Olweus, began studying the issue (Beaty & Alexeyev, 2008; Greene, 2006). Since then, several countries have researched bullying in their own context. Today it is agreed that an act is bullying if it meets three criteria: intentionally hurtful, repeated over time, and an

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