However, student bullying teachers and this subject is

However, very little studies have focused on the student
bullying teachers and this subject is still considered to be greatly
under-researched and is still rarely discussed in the public, political or in
the academic discourse). This phenomenon has been termed by various literature
as ‘teacher/educator-targeted bullying’, ‘cross-peer abuse’, ‘violence against
teachers’, ‘student bullying of teachers/SBT’ and ‘bullying and harassment of
teachers’ amongst others.

Most studies have define bullying using three criteria: (1)
presence of an aggressive behavior directed towards another with an intention
to harm, (2) repetition of the bullying act over a period of time and (3)
presence of an imbalance of power between the bully and the victim wherein the
victim is unable to defend himself (

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Student bullying of teachers or teacher targeted bullying is
defined as an intentional, unprovoked and persistent and repetitive aggression
targeted against teachers or those who should be the “sources of social, cognitive
and emotional well-being and who should ensure their safety” (causing harm
physically, emotionally, psychologically or professionally (). This is also
characterized by an imbalance of power in which the student is perceived to be
of a greater power than the teacher


Direct forms of bullying targets the teacher directly and
can be physical or non-physical. Physical bullying includes act such as
hitting, shoving, hair-pulling, etc. Non-physical bullying can be verbal (use
of hurtful comments, racist remarks, name-calling, etc.) or non-verbal (use of
offensive gestures, threatening facial expressions, staring, etc.)

Indirect bullying involves subtle form of aggressive
behavior directed at the teacher and is usually nonverbal. It is exhibited
through actions such as ignoring the teacher, damage/theft to the teacher’s
belongings, disseminating derogatory rumors/remarks, etc. In some cases, it can
be physical by controlling a third party to harm the teacher or by putting the
teacher in the way of the physical harm. These behaviors usually cause
psychological and emotional harm to the victim as well as damage to their
social reputation (

The act of bullying is not limited to the classroom, school
corridors or school premises and can occur at any location. Some studies have
reported that some teachers have experienced being attacked in the street, harassed
at their own home, or slandered through malicious graffiti spread through the
community. In addition, with the advent of high-tech communication devices and
high speed internet connections, cyberbullying has become one of the most
common methods of student teacher bullying and bullying is no longer confined
with school premises


Parenting styles have been shown to influence the
development of a bullying behavior on a student. Studies have shown that
bullies and victims of bullying usually originates from families whose
parenting styles are either permissive, uninvolved or authoritarian). Shaffer
(2002) defines permissive parenting as a parenting style wherein “adults make
few demands of their children and seldom try to control the family environment;
as well as no clear guidelines or boundaries for behavior and monitoring”;
uninvolved parenting as parenting style that is “both aloof or even hostile and
over-permissive, as if parents cared neither about their children or how they
become”; and authoritarian parenting as parenting style in which “adults set
many rules for their children, expect strict obedience and rely on power rather
than reason to elicit compliance”.

Studies have also shown that there is a relationship exist
between teaching styles and the presence of bullying in the classroom. The
studies done on good teaching practice and styles promotes the use of authoritative
style in teaching where in the teacher demonstrate control of the classroom
while motivating the students to develop their own self-determination and
independence with rational limitations (

suggests that the presence of a “coercive, chaotic,
disconnected and uncaring school environments” contribute to the development of
bullying in schools. According to Mayer (2002), school environmental factors
that promote bullying behavior includes: overuse of punitive disciplinary
methods, obscure rules regarding student behavior, student’s experience on
academic failure, student’s lack of involvement and social skills, and
student’s lack understanding of student differences.

Physically, teachers who are victims of bullying has been
showed to manifest symptoms such as headaches, sleep deprivation, eating
disorders, stress and burnout. In addition, researches also showed that these
victims also exhibit symptoms of psychological distress such as anxiety,
depression, feelings of powerlessness, lack of self-esteem, withdrawal from
others, self-repulsion, lack of assertion, feeling of guilt and inability to
control anger

In a study conducted teachers who experienced bullying were
noted to have increased levels of stress and decreased expectation for their
students as well as their professions. This was associated with the appearance
of a negative atmosphere in the classroom. These reflects that the effect of
the bullying on the teacher affects the performance of their duties and may in
turn create a more suitable environment to nurture bullying behaviors.

In another study, almost half of the teachers who
experienced bullying have retaliated by bullying back. This may demolish the
student-teacher relationship and may promote mutual aggression Furthermore,
these may also create a vicious cycle which can affect the teaching-learning
activities in the school. It was also noted that some of the teachers bullied
have claimed that the bullying have never influenced their lives. This can be
considered as a ‘state of insensitiveness’ which could cause problems in

Bullying also affects the professional career of the
victims. Their reputations are usually devalued in the opinion of their
students, colleagues, and principals. They are made susceptible to criticisms
and ridicule for their inability to handle and manage the bullying that occurs
in the classroom

The presence of bullying in a workplace, such as the school,
produces negative effects that influences the overall performance and
efficiency of the school organization. This is manifested by the increased
stress, diminished satisfaction for the job, and reduced morale of the teachers
which translate to frequent absenteeism and increased turnovers. Furthermore,
bullying also diminishes trust within the organization which can pose as a
threat to the previously perceived safe psychological environment. This, in
turn, can adversely affect the employee’s contribution and commitment