Discrimination refers to when one is not treated fairly because of belonging to a given group, gender or race. There are different forms of discrimination, including direct and indirect forms, bullying and harassment. This paper focuses on discrimination in a school environment, which mainly occurs through bullying. Bullying is a form of discrimination which can be executed by both students and teaching staff, and it has many detrimental effects to victims (Affolter 235).
Bullying In Schools
Discrimination in schools takes on four main types. These include bullying, victimization, harassment and direct or indirect actions. In direct discrimination, a student suffers unfair treatment because of being of a specific gender, age, religious belief or sexual orientation. Indirect discrimination is when policies in the school do not favour a given race, gender or religious function. Students with disability and those of color are the main groups which are affected by discriminatory acts of bullying. They are considered as being disadvantageous group. For example, a student with disability can be denied access to the library because he or she is incapacitated. This type of discrimination is an indirect one, because the school will institute policies and practices which have to be followed and cannot be detested. Harassment in schools in not a new phenomenon. Students get harassed sexually and physically, and the complaints made towards this issue are not addressed altogether. This type of discrimination can affect the individual who experiences it, because it deals with the cognitive (Haugen and Susan 5). One who is sexually and physically harassed will live with the incident forever and will never find the time of reconciliation. The dignity of a pupil is violated through harassments. For a student who experiences harassment, there are chances of the development of hostility, intimidation, and an offensive learning environment for a student. The final type of discrimination is victimization that takes many forms. For example, a learning institution can decide to restrict a given group from participating in an activity which they like. They are made to develop a feeling of inferiority. The learning institution does not provide the necessary resources to a given group, gender or race because of the belief that they should not enjoy these facilities.
Bullying includes verbal or physical attack such as calling of names or repeated exclusion of an individual from activities or social groups. It also includes mimicking, nasty jokes or the causing of physical harms. Indirect bullying is carried out in the back of children with the intention of humiliation or hurting of reputation. Bullying from students is reinforced through the stereotyping of attitudes from members of the family. Bullying also comes from staff having stereotyped attitudes including a teacher telling a student of for lack of trying minus recognizing their disability. It is an act which can be reinforced by teachers who do not challenge these behaviors form staff and other students. Bullying in schools is caused by factors including social norms and gender. Discriminatory gender norms help in shaping male dominance and women subservience, and when these norms are perpetuated, they result in violence. Social norms supporting teachers' authority over children can result in the use of violence against children. The pressure of conforming to dominant gender norms are often high, and this means that young individuals who are not able to conform to these norms are punished by bullying in schools. Schools can also impact children's violence by discriminatory practices, textbooks or curricula. When not checked, power imbalances and gender discrimination in schools encourages students practices and attitudes which lead to their subjugation. Also, education system and schools function in a wider structural and social context, and this affects the reproductive environment which do not offer protection to adolescents and children from bullying and violence (Donnor, and Adrienne 3).
Effects of Bullying
Bullying has an effect on gender and race. For male and female students experiencing bullying, their confidence and self-esteem levels are damaged considerably. When their self-esteem and confidence are damaged, the learning environment does not become friendly. These students begin missing classes, and this translates to their overall performances in schools. For a given race that experiences bullying, they begin showing feelings of social withdrawal and exclusion. A given race such as African Americans begin associating amongst themselves while avoiding other communities. Also, a female or male student who is a victim of bullying experiences the development of effects such as anxiety, depression, and lack of concentration which are examples of mental health issues. Discrimination is either systemic or covert, including the failure of instructors to assess students on a fair basis because of biases against their cultural, religious or political beliefs. Bullying can also be manifested openly in the form of threats, derogatory language, hate crimes and violence. Accordingly, discrimination has direct impacts on physical and mental health. A student who is a victim of discrimination can experience anxiety, depression, and lack of concentration, low self-esteem, high blood pressure, insomnia, backaches, and listlessness (Cerully 2).
It is clear that discrimination is manifested in any school environment. It is clear from the above discussion that discrimination is a phenomenon which affects students in all spheres of life, and it is practiced in almost every school environment. This paper has clearly identified the different forms of discrimination practiced in any school environment. The four types of discrimination which have been identified are harassment, victimization, indirect and direct discrimination in the form of bullying. Direct discrimination is when a child is not treated fairly on the grounds of disability, gender, religious belief, age, sexual orientation, and race. Indirect discrimination is when practices or policies affect a group more than the other groups for no apparent reason. Apparently, there are exceptions to incidents of discrimination in learning environments. However, there are measures which can be used in safeguarded against discriminations in schools and to avoid the associated risks. For instance, the strategy of integrating public health in schools to create awareness among students. The importance of this awareness is that it will help in the fostering of what is known about the discrimination results into profiles of healthcare. Schools should also use methods which promote alliances and fosters unity and do not lead into divisions in the school environment.
Affolter, Jacob. "Fighting Discrimination with Discrimination: Public Universities and the Rights of Dissenting Students." Ratio Juris, vol. 26, no. 2, 2013, pp. 235-261.
Cerully, Jennifer L. Effects of Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Trainings Conducted Under the California Mental Health Services Authority: An Evaluation of Disability Rights California and Mental Health America of California Trainings. Rand Corporation, 2015.
Donnor, Jamel K, and Adrienne D. Dixson. The Resegregation of Schools: Education and Race in the Twenty-First Century. Routledge, 2013.
Haugen, David M, and Susan Musser. Discrimination. 2014.
Nelson, Jack L, et al. Critical Issues in Education: Dialogues and Dialectics. McGraw-Hill, 2013.
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