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Bullying Within Schools During Coronavirus

Bullying Within Schools During Coronavirus- an exploratory discussion

The significance of bullying

Bullying has impacted almost all of us in some way. Whether this was first-hand, or through a family member, we’re all aware of the consequences of bullying. Due to Coronavirus, we’re noticing a shift in the ways bullying occurs.

Bullying in 2020

The definition of bullying has been moulded over time, as society has grown to understand its complexity. Digital tools have also played a role in the evolution of bullying, however over the last 12 months we’ve also seen the emergence of ‘gaslighting’, which can be seen below:

According to Healthline.com, gaslighting is “the act of manipulating a person by forcing them to question their thoughts, memories, and the events occurring around them.” This trend serves as an example of how bullying is an ever-changing concept. For this reason, we should explore and question how Coronavirus has impacted bullying, and what the implications of this could be.

How is COVID-19 impacting bullying?

With the exception of anecdotal evidence, due to a lack of data, at the moment it is difficult to say explicitly what the effects of Coronavirus have been on bullying. UCL have recently published a series of special papers, looking at the various implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes a paper looking at school bullying. Here, you can see 4 predictions of behaviour change:

  1. Coughing assault- it is illegal to target coughing or spitting attacks, as it is a bio attack. You may see children using these techniques to scare and intimidate others. Clearly, this sort of behaviour must be met decisively.
  2. Cyberbullying- of course, cyberbullying has grown in significance over the last decade due to the popularity of social media. However, the pandemic has accelerated this trend, meaning now, more bullying begins and continues over the internet than ever before.
  3. Re-establishment of friendship groups- after lockdown, some individuals were excluded, while others aimed to re-establish their dominance over peers; and this inevitably resulted in conflict
  4. Location of bullying- due to a re-structuring of staff positioning across schools, we’re seeing a shift in the location of bullying across schools- perhaps off-site, such as on walks home and on bus journeys.

What can you do to combat bullying in your school?

It is common for schools to use some kind of behaviour management software to log incidents. However, many of these tools simply lack the flexibility to adapt to new circumstances, such as what we’re seeing in 2020. BehaviourWatch is the modern answer :

“There’s 1001 management platforms, but Eduspot is able to adapt to our unique needs unlike any other”

To learn more, watch BehaviourWatch’s introductory video here.

 

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