Solutions to Religious Bullying

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Education

Document 1

1 in every five students in America reported to have experienced some form of bullying at school. The traditional form of bullying that involves verbal, physical or destruction of property has 35% prevalence rate compared to cyber bullying which has a 15% rate according to bullying resources (National Center for Education Statistics, 2016). Students report repeated cases of bullying at least once or twice every month. Reports of name calling, physical abuse, and rumors spreading have been stated with more female students than male being victimized. Despite more awareness, students still face faith-based, ethnic and racial discrimination both by teachers and students. Upon investigation, the student refused to get up from the classroom floor and was holding a piece of paper. I quitted the class down, helped the student up and began to examine the contents of the paper.

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As I read the note, I was shocked and appalled at the hate, ignorance and discrimination spewed in one sentence; “you’re a girl, stop using the boys’ bathroom or we’ll cut your hair”. I was shocked at such malice and hate stemming from very young minds and directed to a peer whom they had been in the same classroom with for a couple of years now. Matters to do with religion in a multi-religious society are very touchy but two issues had to be addressed; religious diversity and inclusion as well as bullying. Christians from conservative faith are also said to face discrimination. It is important that conversations that address questions to do with religion are left open and students encouraged to participate to eliminate ignorance.

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Organizations that deal with religious discrimination recommend that persons in positions of authority such as teachers, school administrators, guidance counsellors and parents answer questions stemming from religion using responsible and non-captious approaches (Dallas, 2016). Allen (2010) posits that there are various conditions in school that might promote bullying of students. Teachers and administrators can be able to learn and improve conditions and therefore improve well-being and performance of students. Bullying tends to originate from ignorance or fear. Therefore opening these discussions between students and teachers creates awareness and alienates any misconceptions and misgivings about students who are different from others. To increase acceptance and tolerance of people’s diversities an honest and open conversation is inevitable. School staff members and teachers need to receive continuous and informative trainings on religious bullying to know how to effectively manage such incidences, how to discipline while still promotive productive learning (Gordon, 2017).

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Introducing classroom management courses in teachers’ training curriculum is fundamental to curbing this problem. Studies have shown the dire consequences of bullying in children transcending until adulthood. In most situations, teachers who are in primary contact with students in school might detect the very first signs and signals of bullying. They, therefore, need to be properly equipped to manage and address these situations in a timely and proper way. Religious bullying needs to be exposed in the proper channels to ensure neither of the students is negatively affected; physically, emotionally or psychologically. As teachers we need to be more informed on laws pertaining to religious bullying, ensure we create a safe environment in class for openness and sharing from the victims.

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