June 28, 2022

Unilagsun

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BULLYING: A MENACE

Ututu Victoria Kelechi, Oyi Princess Blessing

While it is sad to see someone with flesh, and blood in pain; some people take pleasure in not just seeing others in pain, but being the source of their pain. This is exactly how you describe a bully.

 A lot of factors according to experts are responsible for this abnormal behaviour. Just before we dive into examining those factors responsible for bullying, let’s quickly take a look at the definition of bullying.

According to the United Nation International Children Education Fund; “Bullying can be identified through the following three characteristics: Intents, Repetition, and Power. A bully intends to cause pain, either through physical harm and hurtful words or behaviours and does so repeatedly.”

Here in Nigeria, physical bullying has remained prevalent among secondary school students. A major one that broke out recently was the case of Sylvester Oromoni; a 12-year old student of Dowen College in Lagos who was alleged to have died from extreme physical torture from his bullies who were senior students of the same learning institution. Just a few weeks before the incident, Mercy  Johnson Okojie, a Nigerian actress, called the attention of the general public to how her daughter, Purity Okojie, was bullied by her class teacher because she was a celebrity’s daughter and unfortunately not the teacher’s favorite.

One would wonder why other humans should suddenly become demigods amongst their fellow humans, and go as far as influencing lifetime pain on them. Well, I guess this leads to the question-WHY DO PEOPLE BULLY?

Man by nature loves to be in charge. Hence, most men are power-hungry. In so many instances, people who have at one point in their lives bullied others, always attributed their behaviour to excessive demand for power and strong social influence among their peers. A lot of them got involved not for financial gain but rather for the sake of influence and to be seen as powerful people.

Another major reason why people bully is their quest for vengeance. If you attended a boarding school in this part of the world, then you are definitely familiar with senior students treating the junior students as animals and passing down the baton of bullying from one set to another. In this case, bullying is sometimes regarded as a norm because you have to do to others what has been done to you. This evil tradition has been going on for decades.

Bullying to assaulters feels like the right thing to do, as they get their rewards whilst forgetting Karma. Bullies are sometimes driven into this dysfunctional behaviour because they want anything they desire, which includes material things like food, money, and total submission from their victims.

Also, as the world evolves with the aid of technology so does bullying.  The present world requires a lot of online interaction. Bullying has metamorphosed into what is now regarded as cyberbullying. This takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. This kind of bullying is what is often experienced by students in tertiary institutions.

Finally, bullying in any form is regarded as a menace in our society because of its adverse effects such as psychological pain, low self-esteem, physical injury, or death. 

While social media giants like Facebook and Twitter are taking giant strides to curb it, all other stakeholders must heed the call to end this societal disorder. We must be reminded that parents have a part to play in the proper upbringing of their children by paying close attention to ones who are vulnerable. The institution also has a responsibility to ensure that reported cases of bullying are well handled, and appropriate machinery to checkmate future occurrences are put in place.