There have been studies done and from what I’ve seen from my brief look at the subject on the internet, the evidence does seem to support the theory that victims of bullying suffer from low academic attainment. I did read one report to the contrary but that study was about Key Stage 1 pupils, which is children aged 5-7 years. However, I don’t need a study to tell me this, I experienced it first hand!
From the October I was in fifth grade until the same month of eighth grade, I lived in a town where I was bullied non-stop. Every day was a daily nightmare as there seemed rarely a day went by where something negative didn’t happen. Needless to say, my grades suffered as a result. Fifth and seventh grades were particularly tough for me. It didn’t help that I had teachers who knew what I was going through but didn’t think to link the bullying to the low grades.
In fifth grade, I was considered to do average work although I had a lot of problems with this teacher. She seemed to delight in showing me up for my mistakes and humiliating me in front of the class. Many of the other children picked up on that and used it to bully me. With all that I was going through, it was a huge wonder that I managed to achieve average grades.
Sixth grade wasn’t too bad. I did experience quite a lot of bullying and I can’t say that I was happy but my grades weren’t too bad. I even got an ‘A’ in English. That all changed in seventh grade. The bullying was worse and it had knock on effects in many ways. My school grades was one of them. I struggled to get straight “C’s” by the end of the year. The bullying I suffered directly contributed to that in two ways. First, the psychological effect and then the fact that kids would steal my books and then mysteriously putting it back after the lesson so I would get in trouble with no comeback. It was by this time that the bullying got bad outside of school and I had to resort to using avoidance techniques and cutting through yards and alleyways to avoid detection from hostile elements. Again, no wonder my grades were suffering.
If I hadn’t moved after a month in eighth grade, it would have been a continuation of seventh. I had one of my biggest bullies in my class and some of his buddies as well. The torment had a direct effect and school was beyond a nightmare. Moving out of that town actually saved me. The funny thing was that I didn’t suffer bullying in that town and as a result my grades improved dramatically. I even made honour roll. So if anyone says that bullying doesn’t effect academic attainment, tell them to come and talk to me.
In mine and some of the books I have mentioned on Peaceful Rampage, the main characters who were bullied also experienced problems in school. In “Nineteen Minutes,” Peter Houghton was considered at his trial to be a student working below his ability. Gray Wilton in “Endgame” was getting straight “D’s.” The same for Mark in “He Was Weird.” His lack of progress was a huge concern for his mother and teachers and like the other two, no one seemed to link the bullying to it. That said, I am not surprised that all three of these boys ended up shooting up the school. My conclusion is that being bullied has a direct result on doing well at school, end of.
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