This article, compiled by Brenda Morrison in February 2002 at the Australian Institute of Criminology, has critically analyzed bullying and victimization in schools especially in elementary and high school levels not only in Australia but also in many other parts across the world. The main idea that Ms Brenda Morrison has tried to bring out is that bullying in children that mostly take place in schools has both short term and long term effects, with effects affecting both the physical as well as the psychological wellbeing of the child both in his young age as well as later age, ranging from anxiety, varied levels of stress, depression and even physical illnesses at severe levels.
According to Brenda Morrison, there have been many reported cases of child molestation going on across the world, and most of them have been recorded in the lower levels of learning, that is, elementary and primary school, reaching its highest peak in junior high school and high school levels but then declines as students proceed to tertiary levels of learning. For this reason, many countries have especially in the last one decade defined ways of fighting and totally ending bullying in schools, and in Australia for example, bullying is associated to crime and antisocial behaviors. However, as Ms. Morrison points out, finding a solution to bullying is not easy, and for this reason Australian Institute of Criminology after seeking to find out the most dominant reason behind bullying was an attempt by the bully to manage shame acquired from a mistake or an embarrassing situation he finds himself in (Morrison 2).
For this reason therefore, to curb Australian bullying in schools in a big percentage will mean that the Australian Institution of Criminology will have to come up with a way of managing shame among the young people. Shame is mostly associated with youths having to do things contrary to their families, friends or schooling institutions’ expectations. However, as it does so, a few principles must be maintained especially based on the fact that the institution is dealing with children. For example, it is important to have in mind that the bullies still suffer from shame and are also members of the school institution. Secondly, since bullying in young people can be changed, the transformation should not involve denigrating the child into a completely new person.
This article is important since it has addressed the issue fully especially how bullying can be handled. In my opinion however, Ms. Morrison has concentrated much on shame as the reason that causes bullying in kids and that makes children to develop bullying habits, but has not fully addressed other factors that could lead to the same, for example the background in which a child has been brought up and other circumstances that may lead to a child gradually developing into a bully.
Secondly however, as Ms. Morrison puts it through the REACT program as a method of addressing and ending bullying through conflict resolution through repairing the mistake that the offender does, expecting and having positive opinion about others and caring about them and finally taking responsibility for each and every action that a person gets involved in, this is a good strategy in my opinion and a workable idea initiated by the Australian Institute of Criminology. When this principle is instilled in children at an early age of probably five years, it will play a big role in ensuring that they grow up to be responsible people, taking into account and responsibility of all their activities and actions. It is therefore a workable idea.
Morrison, Brenda. Bullying and victimization in Schools. Canberra: Australian Institute of Technology,