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Background of study

One of the most serious aggression and violence acts that school teenagers are engaging in
school nowadays is bullying. Bullying is a practice of aggression and violence that
intentionally occurs to hurt and harms others for personal gain or interest. It is considered as a
serious social problem that has negative affect to school teenagers. Numerous researchers
have found that increase in violence to be the key factor causing the victimisation and
bullying behaviours to develop (Zurina, 2005).The act of a bully is considered to be a nasty
type of repeated aggressive behavior that is directed toward the victims who are powerless
and unable to protect himself or herself. (Olweus,1993)

Bullying occurs when there is an imbalance of power (Smith et al, 2002, p.1120) between
bullies and the victims. Therefore bullies normally are physically, verbally or socially
stronger than the victim (Zurina, 2005).Olweus (1993) found that bullying give negative
emotional and psychological effects on the victims of bullied. Studies have shown that when
the bullies turned to adults, they may carry on their bullys traits to other form of harassment,
violence or abuse hence the cycle of violence continues. A study found that boys who were
bullies in the primary school are most likely to be engaged in criminal acts when they turn
20s. (Canada Safety Council,2004)

Previous research conducted have consistently emphasized on the negative impacts of

bullying both psychologically and emotionally on the victims of bullies. Therefore, school
bullying should not be tolerated and there should be strategies to prevent it.

Statement of Problem

Nowadays in Malaysia, it is common to hear the misbehaviours and delinquent behaviours by

students that are in the secondary school. Every day, there will be news through mass-media
and electronic news about the school teenagers are getting themselves in trouble with the
laws. There is an increase in the crimes related to aggression and violence by the school
teenagers (Salmi, 2006). Hence, the Malaysian societies are becoming concern with
aggression and violence that are committed by the Malaysian youngsters. Malaysian
youngsters are committing violence acts such as stealing, armed robbery, assault,
gangsterism, drug abuse and murder. According to Malaysian Criminal Investigation
Department that was published in the New Strait Newspaper dated 1st of August 2005, in the
middle of the year 2005 about 1,048 youngsters below the age 18 were arrested for criminal
delinquencies (News Strait Times,2005 as cited in Zurina, 2005). Moreover, in 2003 almost
half of crimes reported were committed by adolescents under the age of 18 (Sudan, 2006).
Another newspaper article dated 18th of July 2011 from Star online highlighted that the vice-
chairman for Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye stated that the
crimes that committed by school students have increased by 38 percent according to police
statistics. The crimes committed by school students have increased from 1,049 in 2009 to
1,947 in 2010 (The Star online, 2011). This information is shocking because these delinquent
teenagers may end up becoming the future criminals.

Bullying gives a negative impact on the quality of life of the school children according to
educators and psychologists around the world (Zurina,2005). Based to the study conducted by
Noran,Fauziah and Yakub(2004), 82.7 percent school students involved in psychological
bullying compared to 56 percent physical bullying. There are many negative outcomes of
bullying. Not only it affected the academic performance of the victims of bully but also have
a negative outcome on their psychological well- being. There have been many researches that
highlighted that victims of bully go through depression period and have suicidal thoughts.
Moreover, one horrific bully incident was reported in Malaysia in 2005. It was about the
brutal killing of 16-year-old student named Mohd Farid Ibrahim by his school seniors in
Sekolah Menengah Agama Dato Klana Petra Maamor in Ampangan (Yaakub and
Leong,2007). Hence, this bully case showed a clear picture that bullying can escalate to
criminal case. This shocking news created awareness to the Malaysian public about the
violence and aggression that were occurring in Malaysian school and the destructive bullying
behaviours among teenagers in Malaysia (Uba, Siti Nor and Rumaya, 2009).

The head of school, teachers, counselors and wardens were held responsibilities for the death
of Mohd Farid Ibrahim in SekolahMenengah Agama Dato Klana Petra Maamor in
Ampangan. However, the bullies were merely placed in the teenager delinquency centre for
their serious crime as the society blamed the school for the lack of counseling program in
school(Zurina, 2005).

Over the years, there has been an increase number of school bullying cases in Malaysia
shown by the statistical data whereby between the years 2004 to 2010, two death cases were
reported due to school bullying incident (Jamal Safri.S et. al, 2012)

Research Questions

In this research, the researchers are instigating the answer for the following questions:

1. What are the characteristics of school bullies and victims of bullying?

2. What are the causes of bullying?
3. What are the psychological impacts of bullying to the school teenagers?
4. What are the effective ways to prevent school bullying from happening?

The purpose of the study

The purposes of the study is to identify the characteristics of the bullies and the victims in
order to understand why some students chose to bully others and while other get bullies by
others. Moreover, the researchers would like to discover the factors that made the bullies
become a bully. Besides that, researcher would like to find the psychological impact of
bullying to school teenage. Moreover, the primary objective for this research is to explore the
specific strategies that are currently used by schools overseas and schools in Malaysia in
preventing bullying from happening in order to find the solution to this rising nationwide

Significant of the study

In this research the researcher is hoping to provide valuable information about the school
bullying phenomenon that is occurring in the world. Moreover, the researchers hope that the
information of the study will be useful for educators, counsellors and parents in preventing
the school bullying.

Definiton of Term

Bullying :The term bullying is not easy to define since it is associated with both a wide range
of behaviour that are related to bullying and the characteristics of bullying behaviour.
Moreover bullying may occur to anyone and anywhere regardless of the age or environment.
(Montgomery,1994, p3) . However , according to Roland (1989) bullying a is long standing
violence, physical or psychological , perpetrated by an individual or group directed against an
individual who cannot defend himself or herself (p.21). Moreover, Olweus (1991)
described bullying as repeated , negative action over time, including hitting, kicking,
threatening, locking inside a room, saying nasty and unpleasant things and teasing (p413). In
addition, Rigby (2008) highlighted bullying is the systematic abuse of power in inter
personal relationship (p.22). Hence, bullying has three criteria. First it is an aggression
behaviour or intentional harm doing, second it is carried out repeatedly and over time and
third it is an interpersonal relationship characterized by an imbalance of power. (Smith et al,
2002, p.1120). Furthermore, bullying can occur without obvious incitement (Olweus ,1999).

Bully: a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker
(https://www.google.com/#q=definition+of+bully&spell=1, retrieved November 2,2013)

Victim:a person who is harm or injured result from incident

(https://www.google.com/#q=definition+of+bully&spell=1, retrieved November 2.1013)

Characteristics: a feature or quality belonging typically to a person, place, or thing and

serving to identify (https//www.google.com/#q=characteristics+entify , retrieved November,

Strategies: Plan of action designed to achieve a long-term or overall aim

November 2013)


Design of the study

The research is conducted in an in-depth, open-ended, face-to-face, confidential qualitative

interview for four respondents to have a better understanding about the bullying cases that
occur in International Islamic School Malaysia (Secondary) and the ways used to solve those
cases. Two students were interviewed. One is a former victim of bully and the other one is a
former bully. Besides that ,parents of the former bully and the victim of bully and the school
counsellor were also interviewed. Each interview lasted for about an hour. In addition, the
researcher conducted follow-up interviews that lasted about 20 minutes for each respondent
to allow the respondents to elaborate on their previous answers for the questions.

This method was suitable because the researcher was able to gain information that deal with
human issues which differ from one respondent to another. In this type of research the
respondents were able to respond to the questions asked in interview based on his/her
experiences, opinions, beliefs and emotion openly.

Subject and Research Setting

For this study, the researcher chose to interview former victims of bully and the former bully
in order to understand why the victim was bullied and why the bully chose to bully. In
addition, the research interviewed the mother of the bully and the mother of the victim of the
bully to learn what sort of strategies they took to stop bullying from happening to her child
and to stop her child from bulling others. Furthermore, the researcher also interviewed the
school counselor to obtain in depth information about bullying and to learn the strategies that
have been taken by the school to overcome the bullying problems. All the respondents fit the
criteria of the researchers mini research which is to have a better understanding bullying
cases in school and finding the strategies that are implemented by the school authority. The
researcher has explained to the respondents about the research prior to the interview.


The researcher has set the date and time to interview the couple separately in the school.
Moreover, the interviews were audio taped by the researcher. The researcher asked few
warm-questions such as their demographic information before going to the questions that

help the research to investigate more about the bullying cases and the strategies to eradicate
these problems.

Data Analysis

The data analysis was done to find the theme experienced by the students, parents and the
school counselor. The main objective of the data analysis is to have a better understanding of
bullying cases in the school and analyze the strategies that have been taken by the school
authority. The interviews conducted were transcribed by the researcher. The interviews were
analyzed using the open coding approach in order to determine the main theme of
experiences that respondents have gone through. Straus and Corbin mentioned (1990) this
type of approach allowed the research to breakdown the data, compare and conceptualize it.
In addition, from the result of open coding the researcher developed a selective coding in
order to understand this topic better.

Literature Review

This chapter shall focus on the literature review regarding bullying. The literature review will
be divided into several subtopics the characteristics of bullying, the characteristics of the
bullies and the victims of bully, causes of bullying and consequences of bullying.
Furthermore, the research will include an overview of bullying cases in Malaysia as well as
International in order for the general public to understand the impact of bullying that
happened in Malaysia and abroad.

Characteristics of bullying behaviour

The act of bullying can occur through physical contact, verbal expression, facial expression
and body language. (Farrington,1993). There are two type of bullying which are direct
bullying and indirect bullying. The direct bullying includes hitting, kicking, insults, and
offensive remarks or threats whereas indirect bullying is when a person is being ignored or
isolated by the peers. In addition, both types of bullying give painful and unpleasant
experiences to the victims of bully. ( Olweus,1993). Hence bullying is consisting of physical,
verbal attacks, harassment that are done to the victim by an individual or a group of people.
(Espelage and Swearer, 2003)

Characteristics of the bullies

Based on the study conducted by Dan OIweus (1993), the pioneer of the school bullying
studies revealed that the consistent act of bullying by bullies gave them the power and self-
assurance. The bullies were studied to gravitate positively towards the attitude of aggressive
behaviours such as physically harming others, verbal slurring, teasing, gossiping or isolating
the victims from the social circle. Hence, the bullies tend to act with violence and aggression
toward adults and children with the intention to threaten and control the victim. Moreover,
the bullies normally are physically, verbally or socially stronger than the victim (Zakaria,
2005). In additional bullies have emotional and behavioural problems.(Quarles,1993) and
they refused to be accountable for their actions (Olweus, 1993).

Characteristics of the victims

According to Fraser-hill (2010), the victims of bully are children who have insecure
personalities such as submissiveness, anxiousness and lack of assertiveness. Besides, that the

children who are depressed and experiences bodily symptom of stress such as stomach ache
and headaches are most likely to be bullies. Moreover, the victims of bully have lack of social
skills. (Fox and Boulton 2005) and are isolated and rejected by their peer groups. Hence, it
would they would be an easier target to get bully because they have no friends and tend to be
alone. In addition, children with learning disabilities (Norwich and Kelly, 2002) are also tend
to be bullied by their peers. Furthermore, the victims of bullycould be students from a
minority group ,appear to be sad, lack of self-confidence have negative perception on
themselves (Olweus,1986), isolate themselves from others (Bryne ,1994), anxious and
sensitive compared to other students( Sudan,2006).

Bullying cases in school overseas

The bullying in school has been a universal problems and this phenomenon has received the
attention of researchers, the media, school authorities and parents who are worried about the
well-being and the safety of the students (Moon et al, 2008 p1). Bullying in school has
negative impacts on the school environment and psychological being of the students.
According to Sampson (2002, p2) most frequently bullying happens during elementary
school and slightly less during middle school and less so, but still frequently, in high school.
In addition, based on a systematic study in Norwegian and Swedish school conducted by
Olweus (1993) showed that 7% of Scandinavian students in the sample were involved in
school bullying. Moreover Olweus (1993) also found between 5% and 15% of students in
different grades were report being bullied and one in seven students was involved in bullying
on regular basis either as a bully or victim. Whereas in United State, a study was conducted
by Nansel et al. (2001) to represent the American youth found that 13% of the sample group
of youth in grade 9th and 10th were involved in bullying. On the other hand in Italy, a study
conducted by Baldry and Farrington (2000) showed that 53% of sample of 238 middle
school students reported to bully others in the last 3 months. In Hong Kong, Wong (2004)
investigated a sample of 7,025 students who attending primary and secondary school and
discovered 17% of students at secondary schools and 23% of those at primary schools were
involved in physical bullying such as slapping, fist-fighting, hitting, and assaulting fellow
students. In South Korea, the National Youth Commission (2003) conducted a study on a
sample of 14,638 elementary, middle, and high school Korean student and found that 26% of
the sample experienced school bullying.

Many studies on bullying were conducted in countries such as Austria, Canada, China,
England, Finland, Italy, Japan, South Korea, and the United States to identify commonness of
bullying such as the factors associated with bullying, negative consequences, and prevention
mechanisms (Moon et al,2008). Hence, this determined that bullying is a global phenomenon
(Moon et all, 2008). However, it is not determined whether the commonness of bullying
differ from one country to another or not that could be due to different definition and
methodologies conducted by the researchers.

School bullying in Malaysian context

The cases of school bullying and violence increased in 1980s and 1990s (Rahimah and
Noraini 1997 as cited in Zurina,2005). Therefore, Malaysian schools requested to submit
School Discipline Student Report to the the District Education Office (DEO) since 1984.
According to the report obtained by the Malaysian District Education Office and studies
conducted by the Ministry of Education ,it showed that bullying occur mostly in the urban
poor and working class groups. Moreover, according to Kass (1999) eighty percent of
students in middle school engaged in bullying behaviours in Malaysia. The number increased
as the children shifted from the primary school to middle school. Although the violence in
Malaysian school started about back in 1980s and 1990s but the cases were not as grim as
now. (Singh,2000 as cited in Netto, 2000)

Causes of bullying

There are many causes that the bullies bullying the victims. However, some of causes are as
followed parental attitudes, broken family intuitions, students attitudes, peer influence,
educational systems, school climate, mass media and social environment (Zakaria ,2005).

Parental attitudes, broken family intuitions, students attitudes, peer influence

Children learn through imitation the adults. Hence, if the child comes from a broken family
institution and constantly exposed to negative parental attitudes, the child emotional and
psychological development would be disturbed causing the child to act violently toward
others. A study have shown child that parents that imposed physical punishment and allow
aggression within the family institution would most likely have an aggressive children.
Hence,those adolescents that are very aggressive often came from coercive home

environment and they normally will have negative outcome in their life whereby their
aggressive and defiant behavior will eventually isolate the teachers and normal peers. In most
cases, they would form their own aggressive and violence group in order to support each
other deviant behaviours (Shaffer,1994). Moreover, the family of single parents lifestyle that
are stressful and unsettling may affect the child relationship with their peers. Hence, when the
child is face with problems at home, they may turn to their peers for help and they would be
influenced by their peers behaviours (Che Noraini, 2002). Some stressful adolescents who
faced problem at home would join a gang to seek protection from being attack or abuse by
others. These adolescents are typically face cultural,emotional,attudinal assimilation
problems and often they came from broken family. Hence, the gangs these adolescents join
would be came their new family and offer them status, rank and prestige (Quarles, 1993).
Moreover, peer acceptance is very important for adolescents and students may follow the
deviant behaviours conducted by their deviant groups in order to gain social acceptance. For
instance, in United State in order the adolescents to join the ghetto gang they need to fulfill
the requirement by conducting delinquent behaviors in order to obtain membership to the
group(Rice, 2001). According to Zurina (2005), gangs in school always lead to bullying
behaviours. In some cases, the gangs would force the other students to pay them money in
order to allow the students to have the freedom to walk inside the schools and to seek

The educational system , school climate, mass media and social environment

The objectives Malaysia educational system is to produce integrative person that has
excellent knowledge as well as having good characters. However, the curriculum that
imposed by the Malaysian school only focuses in making students excel in their academic
performance while ignoring the spiritual development. Therefore, Malaysian educational
system should also focus the spiritual development of the students as it associated with the
development moral conducts and good behaviours (Che Noraini, 2002). Furthermore,
Ravendar Singh who is a retired primary school officer made a statement that the school
authorizes such the head school, district education officers and the state education department
did not report the truth about bullying cases that happened in school to the higher authority.
The information was kept a secret in order to keep the good reputation of the school. Hence,
the press and police were not aware of the situation of the bullying the school (Netto,2000).

Besides educational system and school climate, the mass media also contribute to the
adolescents to engage in bullying behavior. The information that has been transmitted on
television are inaccurate and misleading (Shaffer, 1994). For instance, some scenes in
television exposed the adolescents to excessive violence. Moreover, nowadays it has becomea
norm to see an action movies that are consist of extreme violence that would somehow
influence the adolescents behaviours and attitude. Furthermore, it would make the
adolescents become more tolerant toward aggression (Zurina,2005). According to Rice
(2001) children who watch violence for long period of time would lead to increase of their
aggressive behaviours irrespective of their geographical location and socioeconomic status.

General Strain Theory

General strain theory explained that individual who experience stress or strain may manifest
he or her negative emotions such as anger, frustration and depression into deviant behaviours.
(Agnew ,2001 as cited in Darmawan 2010). Moreover bullies are more likely to suffer from
physical punishment, rejection from parents, peer and teacher (Olweus, 1993). Hence, the
bullies bully others to express their negative feelings that they have.

The impact of bullying on the bullies and the victims of bullies

Bullying has a psychological impact on both the bullies and the victims. However, the
victims of bullies may suffer negative psychological well-being compare to the bullies. When
victims are bullied for long period of time, the victims may suffer being depressed, losing
interest in school, having higher absenteeism and low academic achievement, in school,
having anxiety, having poor self-regard, feeling lonely and low self-security, low self-dignity,
and feel lonely. In addition when the victims are bullied for a long period of times, he or she
would loss her self-esteem would prefer to be alone and withdraw themselves from their
peers( Rigby and Slee, 1995). Moreover, the victims of bullies will have suicidal thoughts
and higher absenteeism rates in school. In unusual cases the victims of bullied may act out
their vengeance by endangering the whole school which could lead to possible serious
injuries or worse death (Sharp and Smith, 1994).

On the other hand, the bullies have a higher chance to break the law according to Boulton and
Smith (1994). Moreover, Olweus (2003) who conducted a study in the Norwegian school
found that the children who were bullies are 4 times more to have problem with the law
comparing to other children. In addition, Farrighton (1993) who conducted a study in the
United Kingdom found that children who were bullies in school are more likely to have
children who have aggressive behaviours.

Strategies to eradicate bullying in school

It is important for the school authorities to look into their school policy, school curriculum
and school counseling services in order to eradicate bullying in school (Zurina,2005). The
school has to create a clear policies that emphasizes on students equality regardless of their
race, gender, disability, ability, learning , behavioral difficulty, appearances and cultural
background. Hence, students should be able to accept and obey the rules in order for the
students to behave well with one and another. (Lund, 1996). In addition, the school should
have strong anti-bullying policies and the staffs of the school should have the tools to create a
dynamic, approachable and nonviolent atmosphere for all. Therefore, the school should
considerate its leadership, management style and practices, the quality and delivery of
curriculum, playground activities, the quality of supervision and the procedures how the
school handle bully cases (Suckling and Temple, 2001).

The school curriculum needs to provide awareness about bullying in school. It should be able
to provide information about the consequences of bullying that would affect victims and the
bullies (Sharp and Smith,1994) because the school curriculum consists of the content,
teaching, learning style and interpersonal skills (Zurina, 2005). According to Educational
Department of Queensland (1998)

..curriculum refers to all experiences through which knowledge, skills and values are
communicated at school. It encompasses formally planned curriculum content, informal
unplanned curriculum content, informal or unplanned messages and the ways in which this
information is structured and communicated (as cited in Suckling and Temple, 2001, p17)

Hence, school curriculum could assist in developing anti-bullying environment and create
awareness to students about negative impact of bullying through educational programs such
as role-play or drama activities, discussion based activities and creative writing. (Sharp and
Smith,1994). Through types of programs students can indirect learning more about bullying
behaviours and understand the severity of the problems.

The school counseling unit also plays a big role in eradicating bullying in school. An example
in United Kingdom an approach called no blame was developed by Maines and Robinson
whereby the teachers did not admonish the bullies and they recognized that bullies are not
bad student but students who need to adjust their behaviours. The bullies, the victims of
bullies and other students were place in small non-confrontational small group. In the group,
the victims of bullying were encouraged to express or write their feeling about being bullied
and share it with the small groups of the students. Hence, other students would have the
understanding about the feeling of the victims of bullied and the painful experiences the
victims have to go through. Moreover, the students were asked for the suggestions and
advices on the best to way to tackle bullying cases. However, the teachers did not notified to
the group who were the bullies in the group in hoping that the bullies would be able to
recognize his faults and understand the victims feeling. (Lund, 1999).

The school counseling unit should be able to help the students develop their moral values by
discussing with the students topics such as leadership, friendship, assertive, tolerance, self-
esteem, confidence, skewed perception, responsibility, relaxation, inner constraint and self-
control. In addition, the items that could be used by counselor to stimulate the students mind
are video, graphs film and literature and others (Besaq,1989). Therefore, counselors are
capable in helping the school deal with bullying cases in school. Moreover, peer counseling
strategies also help the students who were victimized overcome the fear, violence,
mistreatment, abuse through activate listening method. It important for the victim to have a
peer support group as it would enable them to express their feeling and find ways for them to
deal with the negative experiences and their interpersonal issues.Besides that, the peer
support group could defy the behaviours of students who are bullies (Smith, 2003).

Findings and Discussions

This chapter will discuss on the finding and the themes that were highlighted in the
interviews which include the characteristics of bullies and the victims of bullies, the
psychological impacts of school bullying on children and the strategies to prevent bullying.

The former bully is 15 years old boy and he is now in grade 9. He is from North Africa. He
bullied his classmate when he was in grade 8 and teachers reported his actions to the school
counselor. After being sent to the detention room and attending counseling session, he has
stopped bullying his classmates since

Characteristics of Bullies

Based on the interview conducted with a school counselor, it was found that some of the
bullies came from broken family institutions which expose them to a violent aggressive
behavior consistent to the findings in the literature review that was mentioned by Shaffer

(1994). Bullies have also experienced the emotional and behavioural problems according to
the school counsellor which also fit with the literature review that mentioned students who
join a group to bully other may have emotional problems (Quarles,1993) . In addition, the
counselor explained that the bullies tend to break the rules and have positive attitude towards
violence which parallel with the review that were highlighted by Dan Olweus (1993) that
bullies have a positive attitude toward aggressive behaviours. Moreover, the counselor added
that they seek attention due to lack of love and care from their family members. These
characteristics lead them to being intolerance to others, lack of empathy, enjoying others
misfortunes, short-tempered hence, their need to control those who are inferior to them.
Despite these negative attitudes and behaviours, bullies are observed to refuse in taking
responsibilities in their actions.

Characteristics of the victims

Researcher found that the characteristics of the victims of bullies that were described by the
counselor is consistent with the literature review which portrayed the victims of bullies to be
physically smaller , physically weak (Lowenstein, 1978) , having poor social skill(Fox and
Boulton 2005) and insecure in socialing with others, students with special educational
needs(Norwich and Kelly, 2002) students from a minority group, appear to be sad, lack of
self-confidence (Bryne ,1994) , have negative perception on themselves (Olweus,1986),
isolate themselves from others (Bryne ,1994), anxious and sensitive compared to other
students( Sudan,2006).

The psychological impact of bullying of to the children

The victim of bullying described of hating the experiences that he had and he would pretend
to be sick because he felt helpless and he did not see the point of going to school which is
parallel with the literature review that tries to find excuses to avoid going to school often sick
or has other excuses, loses interest in friends or participating in extracurricular activities.
Besides that, the victims of bully explained he used to be moody, anxious, depressed or
withdrawn from their peer group because he was depressed and he felt worthless. This
finding fit with the literature review that explain bullied for long period of time, the victim

will have depression, anxiety, low self-security, low self-dignity, low self-esteem, feel lonely
(Olweus ,1993)

The former bully revealed that the more he bullied his classmate the more powerful he felt
and it gave the sense of control and self-assured. In addition, he wanted the classmates to
look up to him and be afraid of him. He enjoyed having those power and control. This result
is comparable to the literature review on the study conducted by the Dan Olweus (1993) that
highlighted that repeated act of aggression give the bully the power, self-assured and positive
attitude aggression.

The causes of bullying

When the former bully was asked why he bullied others he said he did not know what he was
doing was wrong. Furthermore, the counsellor added some bullies are not aware of their
actions would hurt others and thought of their actions as something normal .This finding is
consistent with the literature review that state some students bullies others because they are
lack of awareness and knowledge about bullying behaviour. Hence, the bully did not think of
his behaviour was wrong. (Jamalsafri ,2009) . Moreover, the bully highlighted that he bullies
others students in class because his friends were doing it and he wanted to fit in although he
feel guilty doing sometimes. Besides that, the parent of the former bullies explained that her
son watched too many movies that consist of violence and agression at home and due peer
influences. She further elaborated that her son used to think by bullying others through
mocking, teasing and isolating the victims gave him power, confidence and social acceptance
by his peers. Her explanation is similar to the literature review that stated excessive viewing
of violence by children would lead to aggressive behaviour and in order for the students to be
acceptance by their peers they would follow the deviant behaviour of their peers (Rice,2001).

Ways to prevent bullying

The counselor mentioned that International Islamic School (Secondary) conducts the
intercultural day, once a year to promote and educate intercultural, interracial harmony
between the students since the school is an international school which has many students
from different racial and cultural backgrounds. During the week, the counselor and discipline
department would inculcate the concept of respect yourself and other students in order to
foster high moral values and eradicate misbehaviour among students. However, the counselor

said the school does not have anti-bullying campaign but hoping to establish that campaign
sometimes in the nearest future.

In the interview, the counselor mentioned she used the techniques of cognitive behavioural
approach to help the victim cope with their emotional trauma. During her therapy sessions
with the victims of bullies she tried to achieve her goals which are to help the victims to learn
to stand up to bullying in a productive, safe and positive manner, to learn how to cope with
bullying, to learn how to cope with fear and learn problem-solving skills, to understand the
motives behind a bully and how to be a friend, to develop social skills and build self-esteem.
Besides cognitive behavioural approach, the counselor used the motivational interviewing
method to foster willingness to change for the bullies. Furthermore, she mentioned she does
not force the bullies to change however she encourages them to listen to themselves and
reasons why they want to change. During her sessions with the bullies her objectives are to
help them understanding the underlying reasoning for their bullying and opposition, to learn
how to cope with stressors at home or at school, learn how to be held accountable for their
action, learn to improve their social skills and their self-esteem. She highlighted the
motivational interviewing method provides supportive talk therapy and create awareness for
the bullies. The counselor said that she tried to create awareness for bullies about their actions
by showing video that contained violent images and discussing with them about their feeling
of anger, anxiety, fear and many more. Moreover, she emphasized most bullies are not bad
children but problematic students who need guidance from teachers and parents.In addition,
the counselor stressed that International Islamic School Malaysia (Secondary ) is not any
ordinary school because the school has students from 46 nationalities and different
background and values. Hence, the bullying cases are not easy to handle because parents may
have different perception about bullying. However, she said it is important to teach students
to respect, sincerity, honesty, trustworthiness, self-reliance, excellence, responsibility while
observing the Islamic adab.

The former bullys parent acknowledged the existent of the counseling service in school and
satisfied with the counseling service that was provided by the school for her child. She
thanked the school counselor for helping her son became aware of his actions and help him
changed his behaviours. She said now her son has become more sensitive to his surroundings
and respects others differences.

The information received from the former bullys parents, counselor and the former bully
correspond with the literature review that emphasized the important role of the counselor in a
school which developed their moral values by discussing with the students topics such as
leadership, friendship, assertive, tolerance, self-esteem, confidence, skewed perception,
responsibility, relaxation, inner constraint and self-control. (Besaq,1989). Furthermore, based
on the interview with the former bully and his mother showed that the counselor in
International Islamic School Malaysia is doing her best trying to help create awareness on
bullying and how to cope with it or prevent it, work through the depression or aggression that
is caused by bullying or being bullied. However, the mother of victim of bully mentioned that
school has no counseling facility. Moreover, she approached the teachers and the discipline
teacher telling them about her son being bullied but she said the school authority did nothing.
In addition, her husband spoke to the father of the bully and the bully stopped bullying her
son for a while but he started to bully her son again. Then, she and her husband tried to
contact the mother of the bully but the school authority stopped them. Nonetheless, the
mother of the victim did not mentioned anything about the counselor ,the researcher believed
she never met the counselor and she lose hope in seeking help from the school after the
school authority and her sons teachers did not do anything to help them solve her son
bullying case.

Conclusion and Recommendation

The bullying cases in the secondary school are not an easy matter to solve. Moreover, it is a
lot more difficult to handle in International School Malaysia (Secondary) because the school
has students who came from different nationalities and backgrounds that have different
values and perceptions. However, the study has found that bullying in the school environment
can only be solved effectively if the school authority or staff do not try to solve the problem
in isolation but together with the school community. Furthermore, it is important for school
authority to help the parents and students to solve the bullying problems instead of ignoring
the issues. When the authority or teachers ignore the issue of bullying, the parents would
somehow lose hope in the school discipline units and would take actions in their own hands.

Moreover,it is important for the counselor to work together with the bullies and victims in
order to achieve the best way to help the students to solve the bullying problems. However,
the research believes it is not only the job of the counselor or discipline teacher to solve the
problem of bullying but also the job of every staff in the school. The school should train the
teachers, administration staff and other members of the schools the practical skills to deal
with bullying behaviours successfully and deal with parents concerns. When every teacher
has the practical skills to handle bullying cases, then the teachers could inculcate the good
moral values in their lesson and form discussion with the students on how to deal with the
bullying problems in school. Furthermore, the school authority should provide students and
parents awareness campaign that would educate parents and students about the negative
consequences of bullying by conducting a session during the school orientation day or during
parents teacher conference. By doing so, this would increase the parents involvement in
solving and handling bullying problems. In addition, the school authority should encourage
the students to report any bullying incidents that occur in school to the teachers or any of the
school staff. Moreover, the school should establish healthy and open communication
discussion with the students whereby the students would not feel scared to report any
bullying incident. In conclusion, the school should establish anti-bullying policy that are
practical and have that have a positive effect on the students and on the school environment
to lessen the problems of bullying among students. Moreover, teachers, counselors, discipline
teachers, students, parents and other members of the school should work together in making
the school a safe place to learn for all the students.. Hence, it is the responsibilities of the
school authorities to create an environment filled with respect, learning and the absence of
violence. Moreover, the teacher should be able to transmit positive values to the students
through teachers and students daily interaction. In addition, the previous studies have shown
that number of bullying decrease in school when the whole school provides a solid,
supportive foundation that could overcome these problems by implementing, maintaining and
evaluating the prevention strategies. Furthermore, it is importance for every staff in the
school to understand the characteristics of bullies and victims before the prevention can take

School bullying is an austere issue that affects the physical, mental and psychological well-
being of the students who are involved. Hence, every staff and parents that are involved
should not take this matter lightly and should seek solutions to curb or eradicate these
bullying problems.

Future Research

On the subject of the limitation and weakness in this study, the research recommends that

1. A comparison study of study should be done about bullying cases that occur in several
international in Malaysia order to investigate whether or not the these international have
similar or different bully cases.



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Interviewing the former victims of bully
Tell me about yourself. How old are you? What is your hobbies? What do you want to
become when you grow up?

Salam. My name is Ahnaf (named has been changed). Im 15 years old and I like to read
during my free time. I plan to become an English teacher.

Are you close to your family (parents/ siblings) ? Yes I am close to parents and siblings.
Do you share your problems with your family?
Nope, I dont . Yeah I share my problems with my family especially my mom and dad.

Do you get along with your teachers and students at school?

Yes I get along with the teachers at school but not all the students.

Are happy with your school environment? Do you enjoy your classes?
Now I enjoy being in school but 3 years ago I used to hate it.

Do you have any problem at school?

Now I dont but I used to. I used to hate coming to school because I hated being bully and
the feeling of being verbally harassed, insulted and teased. Sometimes I told my parents that I
was sick. So, I dont have to go to school.

How is your academic performance?

Alhamdullilah now it is okay but before it was terrible. I used to failed subjects because I
cant study whenever my classmates bullied me. I would go home feeling really terrible and I
thought of quitting school but my mom told me not to.

What does bullying means to you?

Emotionally and mentally torturing.

Have you been bullied? If you have , How were you bullied? What did you feel that
time? Why do you think you were bullied? Do you any phobia after being bullied?
I was bullied 3 years ago and I was bullied for a whole year. Kids called me names and told
others not to be my friends. I was always laughed at by my classmates. I think I was bullied
because I was different. I was a minority in the class .Most of the kids are either from African
countries or Middle East countries but I am from North America. Yeah I had a phobia of
making friends now because when I was bullied , my former good friends joined the bullies
and started to make fun of me and ignore. I dont trust the people easily.
Have you bullied others? If you did what did you do it? What did you feel that time? Do you
have any remorse for bullying others? What made you stop bullying others?
Nope because I would never do anything that hurt others because I know it hurts a lot.

Do you know any bullies or victims of bully?


Have you seen any bullying incident in your school?


Why do you think some people were bullied by others?

I think some people bully others to feel powerful and it was fun for them.

Interviewing the former bully
Tell me about yourself. How old are you? What is your hobby? What do you want to
become when you grow up?

Hello. Im Ibrahem and Im 15 years old. I like to play video games on my ipad. I have not
thought of what I would like to do when I grow up.

Are you close to your family (parents/ siblings)?

Yes I am close to parents and siblings.

Do you share your problems with your family?

Nope, I dont .

Do you get along with your teachers and students at school?

I dont like some teachers at school but I dont tell them, though. The students are okay.

Are happy with your school environment? Do you enjoy your classes?
Im not extremely happy but I am okay with school environment but some classes at school
are boring.

Do you have any problem at school?

Yeah I hate Mathematics and Science.

How is your academic performance?

I am not sure. Ask my parents hehe

What does bullying means to you?

Its something bad to do to others.

Have you been bullied? If you have , How were you bullied? What did you feel that
time? Why do you think you were bullied? Do you any phobia after being bullied?

Have you bullied others? If you did what did you do it? What did you feel that time? Do
you have any remorse for bullying others? What made you stop bullying others?
Yeah I used to bullied others because everyone else was doing it. I wanted to fit in and feel
powerful. I used to tease and make fun of others in class. It was fun for me and my friends.
We used to laugh all the times. Yup because I hurt others and its not cool to be the bad guy
and it got me in trouble with the discipline teachers. Counselling stops me from bullying
others. The counsellor told me theres this boy she knows who used to bully people and now
he is in the jailhouse somewhere .So, she said she doesnt want me to turn up like him. And
my mom was always sad when the counsellor called her and I didnt want to make her sad

Do you know any bullies or victims of bully?


Have you seen any bullying incident in your school?


Interview with mother of the former victim

1. What comes to your mind when you hear the term bullying in school?
The word torment comes to mind, be it physical or psychological.

2. Have you child been bullied? How did you deal with it? What did you do to stop your
child from being bullied ?
Yes, my son was bullied for approximately one year. We approached the teachers and head of
discipline for help. They essentially did nothing. When this failed, my husband approached
the bully and told him to leave our son alone. This worked only for a limited time and had to
be repeated regularly. We tried to contact the bullys mother to see if she might speak with her
son, at which point the school got involved in order to stop US from bothering other
parents and chastise us for circumventing the schools authority.
For my part, I felt it important to support my son through it. To allow him to say all that was
on his mind after a day, to help process it. To make sure he knew that myself, and others, did
respect his value as a human being. To insist, though simplistic, that all of lifes trials
eventually came to an end and things got better if you stick it out.

3. Why do you think your child was bullied?

He is of a visible minority in his school, he has a tendency to be a bit of a loner, he had very
different academic goals and different attitude than his bully towards classes and teachers.

4. Do you think the counselling service at school helped your child to overcome his
phobia or trauma of being bullied?
To my knowledge, there is no counselling service and no support was given by the school. I
think it might have helped, has it been available.

5. Do you think the school policies (the discipline policies) are effective in solving
bullying problems in school?
No, not at all. Though the rules are clear in the student handbook, they are not applied,
leniency is given to all sorts of very bad behaviour. There is also a lack of supervision outside
the classroom (and sometimes in the classrooms) so the children can do just about anything
without repercussion.

6.What are the preventive measure adopt by the school? Have they been implemented?
Are they effective?
To my knowledge, nothing is implemented.

7. How do you help your child overcome his emotional trauma(emotional development)
after being bullied?
During the bullying, it was important to talk to him each day after school. Let him vent any
and all frustrations. Reinforce positive messages like telling him he was loved by others, he
did have positive qualities, the bully(ies) was/were wrong and he did add value to his classes

and to the school. Insist that as bad as the present may be, it will end and there is always
relief at some future time.

8. What are the negative effects of bullying on your child?

The year he was bullied, he became truly depressed. At the end of a school day he was
exhausted and you could sense he had no hope. He found it hard to enjoy anything in or out
of school. His grades dropped significantly that year too.

9. Has your child personality change after being bullied?

Yes. He is more compassionate. When he sees other kids being bullied he tried to put an end
to it on the spot (since he is now grown and can be a bit more intimidating). He pays more
attention to some bullied kids to be sure they feel like they have at least one friend.

10. In your opinion, what are the strategies to deal with bullying that could be used in
the school?
It begins with supervision, the supervisors (teachers, guards, volunteer parents, guards,
prefects, whatever) need to be aware of how the students are interacting. Second, when
bullying is witnessed, it needs to be logged so that bullied students get help and the bullies
are stopped and guided to reform not just punished, but punishment may be necessary.
Third, there are many opportunities to teach the kids tolerance toward others (Islamic
studies/hikmah classes, assemblies, etc. ) not just racial or religious tolerance but tolerance
for different incomes, social customs, intelligence levels, personalities, etc.

Interviewing the mother of the former bully

Interview with the counsellor

What does the term school bullying means to you?

Bullying and being a victim of bullying is a health issue for children and adolescents because
of the association with poor mental health, adjustment problems, extreme violent behavior,
academic problems and high risk for substance abuse

How frequent do you get bullying cases in your school?

Every day, there will be a report about the bullying cases.

Does the school environment or the physical characteristics of school cause the bullying
to occur?
No but I believe many students do not know that they are bullying others sometimes and
because they are unaware of their actions.

What are the characteristics of the bullies and the victims of bullying?

Does the school authority inform the parents about the bullying incidents? How is it done?
What are the steps or action taken to solve bullying cases? Are they successful?
How effective is the Parents-teachers committee in solving bullying problems?
How do the school authorities deal with the incident of bullying? How do they record,
discuss and evaluate the incident?
Are children encouraged to tell if they have been bullied and have witnessed bullying? How
is this done?
What are the steps or action taken to solve bullying cases? Are they successful?

Concern over rise in crime rate among youths