Learning environments are expected to illustrate considerable degrees of harmonious coexistence among students. However, this is not always the case, thus bullying in schools becomes a challenging factor in a child’s education. The school setting plays a critical role in mitigating the extent of bullying. Bullying is significantly triggered by indifference of some students towards others in their school. In most cases, bullies tend to feel special or more privileged more than other students. Differences such as religion, race and ethnicity, sexuality or physical size are factors which contribute to bullying. Consequently, these are more evident in public schools than in private schools. As a result, public schools have higher bullying rates in contrast to private schools.
Private schools are based on a business model, where profit is a key factor to the school’s going concern status; as a result, a vigorous selection process is utilized in admitting students. In light of this, maintenance of a harmonious environment where academic excellence can be attained remains to be a critical factor; since the school’s continuity depends on academic achievement and student development. Public schools integrate students from various backgrounds without prejudice; consequently there are numerous cases of bullying especially on new, different or physically challenged students. Moreover, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation are significant contributing factors, which lead to a high rate of bullying in public schools, in contrast to private schools.
Bullying does not primarily depend on the child’s age but rather on the schools setting and the level of standardization of the expected behavior among students in school. For instance, my neighbor’s son was constantly bullied because he ascribes to the Islamic faith in a school dominated by Christian students. It was evident that ignorance and fear of something that the student’s were not familiar with made them respond by bullying him. However, this could have been prevented had the school sensitized the other students; without prejudice on the freedom to worship, respect and accept other students subscribing to varying religions other than their own. The high numbers of students in most public schools, which exceed the teacher student ratio, more so in inner city schools, prove difficult to manage and control bullying. Therefore, it is evident that the extent of bullying is influenced by the setting of the school and the school’s internal and external environment.