Bullying has always been a serious issue in schools with devastating consequences in some cases. Both parents and students have struggled to combat this issue with limited results. However, with online schooling, they now have a number of new options at their disposal. Bullying is detrimental to the well being of students of all ages regardless of the manner in which it is carried out. But to be able to tackle the issue effectively, we first need to understand the different forms bullying can take. Verbal, physical, social, and online bullying are all harmful but each needs to be tackled in its own specific way.

Understanding Bullying

Bullying can take place in various forms ranging from verbal teasing to physical violence. Tackling each situation requires a good understanding of the different elements involved and the impact each one has on the situation. While most parents consider adopting online learning platforms to escape such situations, they need to first understand exactly what they are dealing with before they make the jump. While it is true that online schools can help in such situations, their limitations must be considered along with the rise of cyber bullying. Virtual learning platforms can be helpful but only if they are understood properly and used efficiently. Here is an overview of the four most common types of bullying found in schools.

1. Verbal

This is the most common form of bullying and can be witnessed in all grades starting right from elementary school. It typically involves saying or writing mean things such as teasing and name calling, spreading rumors and gossiping, making intimidating advances, threatening someone etc. Online schooling can prove to be an effective solution in this case since your child’s learning environment can be controlled by you.

2. Physical

Physical bullying can be easily identified since it typically involves acts like hitting, pushing, kicking, or damaging property. In some cases, it can go as far as threatening to hurt someone. If your child is being physically bullied, an online school can be considered as an alternative since it takes the physical element out of the picture.

3. Social

This form of bullying is in stark contrast to physical bullying. It is extremely hard to recognize since it cannot be identified easily. It typically involves actions directed at making someone feel excluded or humiliating them by spreading rumors about them, socially manipulating them, or totally excluding them. While online learning platforms can help in this scenario, there are other forms of social bullying that can be harder to tackle given the increasing use of social media platforms.

4. Cyber

Cyber bullying is one such form, which defines bullying in the online world. As more and more students take to the internet for social interaction, bullying via virtual learning platforms is a possibility and needs to be closely monitored. It typically involves conveying mean or inappropriate messages online via text or images such as posting rumors or gossip online and sharing the same, sexual harassment, issuing threats, or sending unwelcome emails or text messages.

The Reasons Behind Bullying

There are various reasons why students may resort to bullying. Very often, it is a result of trying to deal with a distressing situation in one’s personal life (maybe a situation at home), embarrassment or the need to feel in control. Bullying is usually associated with social, cultural, and familial factors, which serve as common sources of aggressive behavior. While virtual learning platforms can help tackle this social problem to a certain degree, parents must understand that bullying can take place anywhere. However, it commonly occurs in situations involving the lack of direct supervision of students.

With increasing use of social media platforms, bullying is now easier since students can post messages and images online anonymously. While several steps have been taken to tackle this particular menace in the form of legislation, it is true that cyber bullying still remains a widespread issue. There are several reasons why bullies may target their victims ranging from their image or ethnicity to their sexual orientation. In general, victims of bullying are often students perceived as weak or different in some way. In such cases, online schooling can prove to be a viable alternative for parents seeking to protect their children.

The Effects of Bullying

Most people only focus on the impact bullying has on its victims. However, the effects are more far-reaching and can be devastating in some cases. The direct effects of bullying on the victims may include anger, depression, and anxiety. While online learning platforms can help in certain cases, it is important for teachers and parents to address the situation and take appropriate action to stop the bullying. If unsuccessful, continued bullying may have a deeper impact on victims and they may lash out. This can have an indirect impact on the students around them, which in turn hampers the entire learning process not just for the direct victims but for those indirectly impacted by it as well.

Online schools can help mitigate both the short-term as well as long-term effects of bullying. Short-term effects include depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts and feelings, lower grades than peers who aren’t subjected to bullying, and the desire to avoid situations in which bullying may occur. The long-term effects however, can cause victims to face difficulties in terms of trusting people, securing employment, developing interpersonal relationships, and may also lead to increased incidence of continued bullying. These effects can be partly mitigated with the effective use of virtual learning environments.

How Online Schooling Can Help You

Online schools provide students with an environment that is safe and secure. Not only is this conducive to their learning process but it also helps them feel safe and protected while they learn. Additionally, parents play an important and integral role in their child’s education by directly supervising their learning schedules. Parents are also aware of what their child is doing at all times, which gives them a sense of control over their child’s circumstances. In addition to making the child feel safe, online learning platforms also make parents feel safe!