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The Effects Of Bullying On Communities

The Effects Of Bullying On Communities

Many communities, schools, and neighborhoods are facing the effects of bullying. Gangs and groups having one type of culture harass and fear another.

While it may seem a personal matter, it’s not. Bullying rapidly becomes a problem throughout the whole community, school, neighborhood or organization even while it may seem that just a few people are involved.

There are ways to tell if your community is becoming a target or is feeling the effects of bullying.

Many cultures make for an interesting diversity in a community. When there are "turf wars" it errodes the whole community.

  • One group of individuals has priority over another
  • Selective information or selective invites to community events
  • No one wants to travel the streets or hallways by themselves

Fear of talking about the bullying situation. People would prefer to ignore what is going on or acknowledge that there is a problem.

Those in the group or out of the group are aware of their position within the group itself. When I was doing research for a book on children’s friendships, the kids know exactly who the popular kids, the controversial, the clowns etc are. Outsiders may not know, but those who are in the midst of the situation know the exact pecking order.

Fear Of The Unknown

Bullying comes in many forms but it usually involves fear of one type or another. This can be individual fear or group fear. Many fundamental churches fear the liberal segment of society and vice versa. Rather than communicate what each group has in common, it is easier to pull down or belittle those who do not think, look and act just like us.

Any type of subtle or overt bullying or harassment will not only affect one person or group but also steadily erode the confidence within the community.

Within a larger group you may find that one type of culture or one type of individual is not invited to share in community events, not informed of community events or is positioned on the outskirts of the event.

This is cultural bullying and will involve a whole cultural group of people. Personal or group bullying is similar but can cover differing cultures or peoples but still means one group is trying to show dominant power over another.

Exclusion or Inclusion

Exclusion of an individual can happen to anyone but it’s usually those who don’t conform or do not have a group of their own. We are much more alike than we are different.

While it’s devastating to the growth of community to not appreciate and celebrate diversity, to the individual it can actually be life threatening.

While we may not like or agree with all segments of our community, we do have an obligation to respect them and the choices they make.

Polarizing A Population

If one individual, group or segment of a community is pitted against another, there are no winners. When different “sides” or “points of view” separate rather than come together and agree to disagree, then we have an imbalance of power.

And that is a definition of bullying.

Please feel free to comment or share your thoughts.  This is one way we can get an open dialog going about the effects of bullying on communities. Check out

Article written by

Judy is a parent educator, family coach, and personal historian who has written more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and speaks internationally on family issues, including care giving. Trained as a ready to learn consultant, she works with Head Start organizations and child care resource centers.

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