A call has been made for the Ministry of Education to adapt a national anti-bullying strategy where a ‘whole-school’ approach is used to target students of all age and of both genders.Â* This proposal was made by lecturer attached to the University of Guyana’s Tain Campus, Ms Maureen Bynoe, as she made a presentation during the recent hosting of the University’s Research Day activity at the Turkeyen Campus.UG Lecturer, Maureen BynoeBynoe’s proposal was premised on a survey she conducted earlier this year. That survey was aimed at assessing the extent bullying has infiltrated schools along Central Corentyne, Berbice.The research sample comprised 199 students from Grades Eight to 10. The study which included 89 boys and 110 girls discovered that ethnicity was a major factor that contributed to bullyism in the school system.Aside from the reasons that students bullied each other, the study, according to Bynoe,Brett Hundley College Jersey, focused on the forms of bullying, the consequences of bullying on the victim, what strategies have been effective in dealing with bullying and whether there was a significant difference in the form of bullying due to gender.A questionnaire was used to capture the responses. It defined bullying as “a student being victimised when he or she is exposed repeatedly and overtime to negative action on the part of one or more students.”The questionnaire comprised two sections of 12 close-ended questions with section one comprising data based on the respondent’s bio data and Section Two comprising data dealing with the nature of bullying. All of the questions from Section Two of the questionnaire were used to answer the research questions,Kevin Love College Jersey, Bynoe said. However, she pointed out that a pilot test was done with 10 students and the results of the questions were reformatted in order to collect data for the survey.She said that in order to find out the types of bullying behaviours that were prevalent in the schools, the questions asked were to ascertain whether students were made fun of or teased in a hurtful way; whether they were ignored by a group of students; whether they were kicked,Brian Cushing USC Jersey, shoved or locked indoors, lied on or had money taken from them; whether they were threatened or forced to do things that they didn’t want to do, called mean names or whether comments were made of their colour (ethnicity) or if they were shown sexual signs.The results showed that the students were bullied in a number of ways. The most frequent were by being made fun of, teased in a hurtful way or called mean names. Most notably there were comments about their colour.“The latter finding is very significant in Guyana where most of the students were being bullied because of their colour. As we know, there is a perception that there is some form of ethnic bias in Guyana. So it was no surprise to me that students were bullied because of their colour,Cheap Villanova Wildcats Jerseys, and I think that this is worthy of further investigation,” Bynoe noted.In an attempt to determine why students were bullied,Taylor Mays USC Jersey, the response items Bynoe used were: because they were short for their age; whether they were of a different race; whether they were fatter or slimmer than most students; whether they considered themselves soft or whether they were from a different culture and were found to be strange as a result.The resulting conclusion was that the main reasons for bullying were because students considered themselves quiet and soft. The notion of race again surfaced, Bynoe said, representing another factor highlighted by respondents as a cause for bullying.“Here again we can see evidence of race coming up as an evident cause for bullying,Chris Paul Wake Forest Jersey,” she amplified. The effects of being bullied, she noted, caused victims to feel depressed, harbour suicidal thoughts, indulge in truancy, be overly anxious, and in some instances not be able to sleep.However, the most common effect, Bynoe disclosed, was the fact that some victims felt fearful of school and wanted to stay away, a state of affairs which affected their overall academic performance.The study sought to decipher whether schools had measures in place to outline strategies which could be used to prevent bullying such as the introduction of bullying prevention educational programmes; whether teachers talked about or intervened in bullying situations; whether there were explicit rules against bullying; whether there was parental involvement or whether students stood up to the bullies.The latter trait, Bynoe noted, is believed to be one that was learned through trial and error or was encouraged by parents or teachers, and thus is one that requires further investigation as well.According to Bynoe, “Although the study focused on the Central Corentyne area, it can be used as initial data on bullying in Guyana.”