THE EFFECTS OF RELIGION-BASED BULLYING AT SCHOOL ON ADOLESCENTS
Children who are viewed as different are often bullied. There’s no wonder that kids are frequently bullied for their religious beliefs, especially if they’re not widely held.
For example, girls wearing hijabs (head scarves) and boys wearing patches or daystars (turbans) are frequently singled out for bullying because of their visible religious symbols. Non-Western religions are not exempt from bullying, either. Anyone’s faith can be used as a weapon of intimidation.
Religious Bullying: New Findings from the Literature
Although little research has been done on religious bullying, it has become increasingly frequent in recent years. In the last 2016 election, many children, particularly Muslim youngsters, felt a great deal of anxiety and terror.
Anti-Muslim sentiment has grown, according to a Southern Poverty Law Center informal survey of instructors who were asked about the topic. Anti-Muslim and anti-Sikh bullying is also on the rise, according to other reports. As a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there is a perception that their religious background is linked to extremism.
A radical sect of Muslims, for example, has caused hardship for many Muslim families. They may not be directly involved in terrorism, but their peers’ religious intolerance nevertheless impacts them.
Bullying in the Name of Religion and Its Effects
Leaders of religious congregations are concerned that religious bullying can harm a teen’s spiritual growth because it is common and can be severe. This may make him reevaluate his religious convictions. Having different beliefs should never be an excuse for bullying a teenager.
Religious ideas should be allowed to flourish as long as they do not damage anyone else, and most people agree on this point. Even more so than nationality, looks, intelligence, talents, and interests, a teen’s religion plays an important role in shaping who they are as a person.
Therefore, he should never be bullied, shunned, or attacked because of his religion. Every teen should be able to practice their religion without fear of being bullied.
Bullying based on one’s religion is rising in the United States. Many people believe that religious bigotry and intolerance are at an all-time high. Consequently, you must confront and prevent religious bullying in your school if you are a teacher or an administration.
You must establish an environment that is both safe and supportive of learning. To that end, I’ve included three options below.
Focus on Talks About Different Religions First
Talk to students about any misconceptions they have regarding specific religions. As a result of their lack of understanding or fear of particular religious views, some youths engage in discriminatory bullying. It is possible to teach kids to accept and tolerate individuals who are different from themselves if you freely discuss their differences.
Make Teachers More Aware
Teachers should be taught how to deal with religious bullying. If your school’s instructors and staff members aren’t on board, no anti-bullying program will be successful. Be sure to teach kids how to recognize bullying and how to deal with it. Classroom management ideas can go a long way in the fight against bullying.
Educate your pupils about the various religions represented in your school. This is crucial! Thus, they will be able to clarify any myths and clear up any misunderstandings, which will help prevent religious bullying.
Encourage the involvement of your children’s parents. When the entire community actively prevents religious bullying, it is more successful. For example, schools can organize special events, such as multicultural celebrations, when parents can come in and share their values and culture with their children. As a starting point, it is important to involve parents. Programs that prevent religious bullying will be less effective if they don’t include them.
It’s Important To Know How To Respond.
When your teen is the victim of religious bullying, it can be stressful, confusing, and distressing. You can help your youngster respond in an acceptable manner, however. The following are five strategies for dealing with religious bullying:
Make Sure You’re Playing by the Law
Under Section IV of the Civil Rights Act, the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division may be able to intervene where bullying based on religious beliefs is serious and continuing. If you’re a victim of religious bullying, remember that it’s generally based on shared ethnic characteristics, not religion. Section VI of the Civil Rights Act may allow the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights to step in.
Notify the College of Your Intentions
School administrators and teachers should be notified immediately if a student experiences bullying. As a result, they are able to conduct an investigation and take immediate action. Every report of bullying should be handled seriously by both teachers and parents. It’s not only a sign of care for the student’s safety but also demonstrates to the victims of religious bullying that they don’t have to tolerate it.
Make a Police Report
Religion-based bullying is often associated with physical or verbal assaults and cyberbullying. This form of harassment may be illegal if it occurs. There’s no harm in filing a complaint even if the cops can’t help. At the very least, you’ll have a record of your complaint in case the bullying persists.
Make Sure Your Child’s Security Is Priority #1
Bullies who target your child because of their religion may believe that your teen is linked to terrorist organizations, making religious bullying particularly harmful. You must verify that the school is doing everything possible to keep your child safe.
Depending on the circumstances, this could include new classes, a new route to school, and a new locker assignment. Just be sure to keep administrators informed of your teen’s needs frequently.
It’s Up To You To Help Your Child Deal With The Stress.
Having to deal with religious bullying may be extremely difficult for kids because it targets their identity. Victims of religious bullying sometimes suffer from stress, anxiety, and despair. They may even contemplate suicide in severe instances. To help your child recover from religious bullying, you must take action.
The less religious bullying occurs in schools, the more it will be uncovered and challenged. Teens are more likely to speak out against bullying and do something about it if their school is actively working to combat biased bullying.