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"The Effects of Bullying Among Middle School Gifted and Talented Children"
 

"The Effects of Bullying Among Middle School Gifted and Talented Children"

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PAPER - An Independent Learning Project presented by Helen Tsipliareles-Pryor to ...

PAPER - An Independent Learning Project presented by Helen Tsipliareles-Pryor to
James J. Smith, Ed.D. Faculty Advisor in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Education in the field of School Administration - Cambridge College Cambridge, MA Chesapeake, VA Campus January 2011

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    "The Effects of Bullying Among Middle School Gifted and Talented Children" "The Effects of Bullying Among Middle School Gifted and Talented Children" Document Transcript

    • Gifted Children and Bullying 1 CHAPTER IINTRODUCTION
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 2 Chapter I “Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no ones definition of your life, but define yourself” (page 6). Harvey S. Firestone (2001)Introduction The link between bullying and school violence has drawn increased attention ever sincethe Columbine High School massacre which occurred on Tuesday, April 20, 1999. This massacreat the Jefferson County, Colorado high school left twelve students and one teacher dead, withtwenty-one other students injured directly, and three more injured while trying to escape. Thetwo gun-wielding high school seniors, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, were both identified asgifted and were bullied for most of their formative years due to this identification of academicsuccess. An analysis by officials of the U.S. Secret Service found that “this bullying caused thepremeditated shooting, ending with Harris and Klebold committing suicide following the directact” (Newman, et al. 2004, p. 380). Gifted children who are bullied and tormented often turn their rage on others, and insome situations, they suffer silently and turn the despair inwards. In 2002, J. Daniel Scruggs wasa slight-built twelve-year-old boy with an IQ of 139 and attended Washington Middle School inMeriden, Connecticut where he excelled in their gifted program, particularly in science andmathematics. However, Scruggs was a lonely kid who was tormented at school because he oftenwore mismatched clothes, acted ‘nerdy’ and was told that he smelled by his classmates. Veryoften during the course of his school day, Scruggs was hit, punched, kicked, spit on and laughedat, and ‘Kick Me’ signs were often affixed to his back; he had been thrown down a flight of stairsseveral times, and sometimes made to eat his lunch off the cafeteria floor. Many of the teachers
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 3and administrators were aware of the abuse but failed to intervene because they felt this wasnormal middle school behavior amongst peers, in essence “innocent rights of passage”(McIntosh, 2006, p. 4). On January 2, 2002, Scruggs walked into his bedroom closet and hunghimself.Statement of the Problem All children are vulnerable to the effects of bullying, but gifted children differ from otherchildren in several significant ways. Most gifted children are already very intense and anxious, aswell as highly sensitive due to their own and others’ high expectations of them. Gifted childrenconsider social justice issues very important to them, and “with their own hyper-sensitivity toself-criticism and perfectionalism, they struggle to make sense of this cruelty and aggression;many times blaming themselves and withdrawing socially in order to hide from bullies” (Clark,2008, p. 151). These gifted and talented children are “more susceptible to the severe emotionaldamage that bullying can inflict” (Bosworth, 2009, p. 342). Take into consideration that giftedstudents “tend to strive towards perfectionalism and consider their lives less fulfilling without thepursuit of high goals, some impossibly high” (Lumsden, 2002, p. 346). Due to these tendencies,“gifted students possess a multitude of behaviors ranging from healthy to dysfunctional”(Lumsden, 2002, p. 346). Attributes of ‘healthy’ behavior among gifted children include “an intense need for orderand organization, time-management skills, self-acceptance of mistakes and efficiency incorrecting, meeting high parental expectations, and great pleasure in achievement” (Bosworth,2009, p. 343). “They have a use of positive coping strategies within a structured gifted climateand they view personal efforts as an important part of success and happiness” (Clark, 2008, p.187-188).
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 4 Attributes of ‘dysfunctional’ behavior among gifted children consist of “anxiety aboutmaking errors, extremely high standards for oneself which are sometimes unachievable, andperceived excessive expectations and criticism from others” (Clark, 2008, p. 188). This causesthe “questioning of one’s own judgment, the lack of effective coping strategies, and the need forconstant approval and acceptance” (Clark, 2008, p. 189). Bullying children within the gifted andtalented population is “an overlooked problem that leaves many of these students emotionallyshattered, which creates additional issues such as extreme depression and anxiety that maymanifest itself into violence or suicide” (Romain, 1997, p. 16).Research Method and Questions Researchers have been actively seeking answers to many commonly asked questionsinvolving adolescent bullying and victimization; however, “posttraumatic stress and dissociationare limited areas of study in relationship to bullying, particularly among gifted children” (Rigby,2003, p. 16). The Reynolds Bully Victimization Scale for Schools (BVS) is designed to assess bullyingbehavior and bully-victimization experiences in children and adolescents. This assessment isused to identify students who are bullied as well as those who are doing the bullying. Measuredthrough the Reynolds Bully Victimization Distress Scale (BVDS), the scale “evaluatesinternalized symptoms such as depression, anxiety and fear, as well as externalized symptomssuch as anger, acting-out, and defiance” (Reynolds, 2009, p. 8). The BVS and BVDS are the most commonly used standardized instruments to form acomprehensive picture of a child’s experience of peer-related threat, level of distress, and anxietyrelated to school safety. These benchmarks are used to identify a child in need of intervention, orfor identifying what students perceive as a threatening or unsafe aspect of their school
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 5environment. The limitations of both the BVS and the BVDS are that neither is specific to theneeds of gifted children. Therefore, “an interdisciplinary approach for assessment has beenformulated to assess the wide scale psychological impacts associated with bullying to includeintrapersonal and interpersonal difficulties associated specifically to gifted children” (Reynolds,2009, p. 3). In order to understand the research methods for this study, take an opportunity to reviewthe categories of questions which will be presented in order to formulate the data regarding thebullying of gifted and talented children in the middle school environment. Category Onequestions will pertain to how safe gifted and talented students feel about bullying. Questions willinclude how safe do they feel in their general and elective classrooms, as opposed to their giftedclassrooms; as well as areas such as the gymnasium and athletic fields, cafeteria, and hallways.These questions will extend the safety issue out to walking to and from school, as well as takingthe school bus with all the other students of the school. Category Two will allow them to discusshow others treat them, with questions such as how often do other students bully them by layingtheir hands on them, including incidents of hitting, kicking, pushing, or hurting their bodyotherwise. Questions will ask how often do other students bully them by saying mean things tothem, things which hurt their feelings, how often do other students bully them by spreading meanrumors about them, and how often do other students bully them by leaving them out of theiractivities. Further insight will be acquired by asking in what grade is the student or studentswhich bully them, and have they ever told or asked for help when being bullied. Category Three will question what they have seen or heard, such as how oftenthey have seen another student bully others by laying their hands on them or by saying meanthings to them, things which hurt their feelings. Also, how often have they seen another student
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 6bully others by spreading mean rumors about them, and how often have they seen anotherstudent bully others by leaving them out of their activities. Category Four questions will ask howthey reacted, such as what have they done when they have seen a student being hit, kicked,pushed, punched or otherwise physically hurt in school or on the school bus; and if they helped astudent in a bully situation, what was the outcome, and whether it was positive or negative.Category Five pertains specifically to gangs due to the demographics of the subjects, such as dothey know of students in their school who are members of a gang, or are wanna-be’s of a gang;and exactly how much of a problem do they think gangs are in their school. Category Six willcomplete the questionnaire with an essay question asking how much of a problem do they thinkbullying is in their school. Participants will be asked to give some examples and specificsituations, and no names are to be included.Rationale for the Study The significance of this study is not to review bullying in gifted and talented childrenversus common classroom children; however, it is to study the prevalence and impact thatbullying has on gifted and talented children specifically. The most common type of bullyingduring the middle school years is “name-calling, teasing about appearance, pushing and shoving,and insults regarding their intelligence and grades” (Smith, et al. 2008, p. 3). Regular childrenget bullied too but gifted children are most often bullied based on their school performance,which “turns their strength into a weakness and a source of shame” (Smith, et al. 2008, p. 7).Certain challenges due to emotional immaturity come automatically with exceptional intellectualabilities, therefore, gifted children are extremely sensitive to bullying. Take into consideration the general traits exhibited within the gifted community, such aswhat gifted children say. Statements such as “If I can’t do it perfectly, what’s the point? I should
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 7excel at everything I do. The task should be done before anything else and every detail should beperfect” (Clark, 2008, p. 57). These statements manifest themselves into more intense anddepressed reactions, such as “I’d better not make a mistake or people will think I’m stupid.Everything should be clearly black or white. Gray is a sign of confused thinking” (Clark, 2008,p. 57-58). Also, take into consideration other general traits exhibited within the giftedcommunity, such as what gifted children think and feel. Mostly they are “deeply embarrassedabout mistakes that they make and disgusted with themselves when criticized, anxious whenstating an opinion rather than a fact and afraid of rejection, and afraid of appearing incompetentor stupid” (Clark, 2008, p. 59). Therefore, plagued by self-hate when feeling guilty about lettingothers down, these attributes lead to them being “discouraged, anxious and exhausted due tobeing unable to ever relax, and stressed when their routine is interrupted” (Clark, 2008, p. 59). In essence, they are accustomed to easy success and praised for work requiring modesteffort, and they often do not develop a work ethic or learn to meet a challenge. When thesechildren grow up, they seek applause constantly without knowing how to get it. Children held toimpossibly high standards and deprived of praise may get “caught in a cycle of hopeless,misdirected perfectionism, trying to please parents, teachers, or bosses who never can besatisfied” (Delisle, et al. 2002, p.14). “The words that are put on them when they’re young arelikely to stay with them the rest of their lives” (McIntosh, 2006, p. 5). It is important toremember that although gifted children are cognitively advanced, the same cannot be said ofthem physically, socially and emotionally. In actuality, their emotional maturity is even lessdeveloped due to their excelled anxieties and stress-levels. Teachers, administrators, parents, andeven counselors usually miss the indicators of stress; and “the lack of opportunity for giftedstudents to discuss these social and emotional issues contributes to their vulnerability to bullying
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 8(McIntosh, 2006, p. 5). Bullying creates a sense of fear that disrupts the learning environment, and we mustactively address the impact of bullies on school climate and academic success of students.Administration, educators, parents, coaches and even trained counselors may miss the indicatorsof their distress, and the lack of these opportunities for gifted students to discuss concerns relatedto social and emotional development potentially contributes to vulnerability A student that hasbullied can have far-reaching effects in a school and “create a climate of fear and intimidationnot only in his or her victims, but in fellow students” as well; therefore, students who bully, theirvictims and bystanders are all affected (Milsom, et al. 2006, p. 38). Bullying sets a tenseenvironment in a school and as addressed earlier, can lead to violence towards others or suicideby the victims. Although freedom from the fear and shame of bullying does not necessarilyensure academic success for all students, it is indeed “a necessary condition to promote effectivelearning in a positive classroom culture” (Bosworth, et al. 2009, p. 363).Anticipated Outcome Once scores and summaries have been created, this study intends to reflect differentapproaches to bullying issues among the gifted and talented population of middle schoolchildren, providing information intended for positive intervention programs. Approaches willinclude “the responsibility to the victim by assisting in developing the skills and capacity toresist bullying,” and intervention techniques to deter it from occurring or re-occurring (Reynolds,2009, p. 12). Administrators, teachers, counselors, and school personnel have a responsibility tothe bullies as well, to treat them with consequences and a firm manner in order to deter theirbehavior. Providing these problem solving skills to school staff and administrators, they wouldhave the tools required to “reach constructive outcomes and develop programs to support
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 9emotional and social rehabilitation for the bully and the victim” (Reynolds, 2009, p. 12). Being bullied has already been “recognized as a health problem for children because oftheir association and adjustment problems in adolescence, and leads to poor mental health andeven violent and suicidal tendencies” (Delisle, et al. 2002, p. 77). It is therefore important toassess how these children are affected, reflect on the outcome of this study and those within theliterature review, and create pro-active programs and classroom environments to nurture thespecific needs for these gifted and talented children, considering that their needs have shown tobe more pronounced and profound.Definition of Terms Gifted and Talented Gifted and talented students are those who give “evidence of high achievement capabilityin such areas as intellectual, creative or artistic, or in specific academic fields; and who needservices or activities provided on the gifted and talented curriculum in order to fully developthose capabilities” (Delisle, et al. 2002, p. 19). Children capable of high performance includethose with demonstrated achievement or potential ability in any of the following areas, including“general intellectual ability, specific academic aptitude, creative or productive thinking,leadership ability, visual and performing arts, and psychomotor ability” (Milsom, et al. 2006, p.37). Bullying When using the term bullying, it is used to describe a child being “teased, terrorized orsystematically victimized by his or her peers” (Burrill, 2006, p. 85). Further descriptions includethe concept that there is a difference in power between peers in this bullying dynamic in which“one imposes negative consequences towards another individual” (Burrill, 2006, p. 87). Bullying
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 10has also often been defined as “a behavior that occurs repeatedly over time as well as behaviorthat can occur as an isolated incident” (Juvonen, et al.2003, p. 1233). For the purposes of thisstudy, bullying will refer to “one or more perpetrators, directly or indirectly; and attacking avictim or a group of victims, one time only or repeatedly over time” (McIntosh, 2006, p. 4). Organization of the Study This study has been organized within five chapters. Chapter 1 includes an introduction tothe study, statement of the problem, the research method and questions, the rationale for thestudy, the anticipated outcome, the definitions of terms, and the organization of the study.Chapter 2 is comprised of a literature review, dealing with studies previously done on the effectsof bullying on gifted and talented middle school children; as well as the instruments of measureused to conduct these studies. Chapter 3 provides an introduction to the methodology of thestudy, as well as the purpose of the study, and research questions. Within the methodologysection are also descriptions of the setting, participants, measures, instruments, and procedureused for the study, as well as the rationale for the study. Chapter 4 includes the purpose of thestudy and the research questions implemented, as well as the presentation of the data and results.Chapter 5 concludes this study with the findings and a summary of the findings, the implicationsof the study, and recommendations for further studies.
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 11 CHAPTER IILITERATURE REVIEW
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 12 Chapter II “We are not all the same, we do not all have the same kinds of minds; education works most effectively for most individuals if these differences are taken into account rather than denied or ignored” (p. 36). H. Gardner (1995)Introduction Research began in the early 1970’s in the areas of bullying and victimization, andresearchers have been actively seeking answers to many commonly asked questions such as“which children bully, who are the targeted victims, where does it happen, why does it happen,how can we prevent it, how can we identify it, what causes it, what are the effects, and is itgetting worse?” (Peterson, 2004, p. 135). Existing literature agrees that bullying is “a complexprocess that involves multiple facets on many levels” and studies conducted over the last 40years provide evidence that there is some consistency pertaining to certain patterns and trends(Bosworth, et al. 2009, p. 341). This literature review will provide an overall perspective on theeffects of bullying on middle school gifted and talented children, including what constitutes agifted and talented child, as well as the definition of bullying, bullying and school climate,psychiatric and psychological factors, meeting the social and emotional needs of bullies and theirvictims, bullying intervention, and bully victimization instruments of measure.Defining Giftedness and Talent In order to fully understand the effects of bullying on gifted and talented children, it ismost important to be able to identify these children first. Through this identification process andunderstanding of their unique makeup, we can further delve into why bullying impacts themdifferently than the children in the common or traditional classroom settings or school
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 13environments. Gifted children are those considered by educational systems to have significantlyhigher than normal levels of one or more forms of intelligence. During the 20th century, thesechildren were often classified by the use of Intelligence Quotient (IQ) Tests but recentdevelopments in theories of intelligence have thrown doubt on the use of such tests exclusively.The fact remains that “these students are beyond their peers and often feel they are alienated orlimited by those around them,” including but not limited to teachers, coaches, and administrators(Bradshaw, et al. 2007, p. 362). Many schools in the United States now attempt to sort out thesestudents, and offer additional or specialized education and counseling in the hopes of nurturingtheir giftedness and their talents. Gifted and talented children are capable of high performance, and include those childrenwhich demonstrate achievement or potential in such categories as general intellectual ability,specific academic aptitude, and creative or productive thinking. Over the years, these categorieshave been expanded to include leadership ability, psychomotor skills, and visual and performingarts. Using these categories, “a school system could expect to identify 10%-15% of its studentpopulation as gifted or talented” (Clark, 2008, p. 28). Understanding each of these categoriesallows for a better understanding of giftedness as a concept more meaningfully with parents,administrators, school board members, gifted advisory committees, researchers, and anyone whoneeds to understand the dynamics of the term.Identification of Gifted and Talented Children The process of identifying students for gifted and talented programs must be based onmeasurable practices, and in recent years there has been a focus on identifying those students thatare typically under-represented. This includes “culturally and linguistically diverse and low-income students, and the use of alternative assessments such as verbal ability tests and creativity
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 14profiles” (Lane, et al. 2006, p. 391). The assessments referenced below are aimed to be inclusiveof students from different cultures, races, and economic circumstances. In addition, the use ofmultiple assessments in the identification process is done not only to identify those students thatare in need of instruction beyond the regular curriculum, but also “those students who display thepotential for high-level learning beyond their current accessibility” (Lane, et al. 2006, p. 394). General intellectual ability or talent is usually defined in terms of “a highintelligence test score or a series of test scores, and in which the student has measured twostandard deviations above the mean” (Reynolds, 2009, p. 2). These children are often recognizedby their “wide-ranging knowledge of general information as well as high levels of vocabulary,abstract word knowledge, abstract reasoning, and memory” (Schuler, 2002, p. 3). Additionally,they tend to have longer attention spans, they understand directions and complete tasksindependently as well as do more than is expected on an assignment, and they use complex,normally compound sentences. Since they grasp new concepts quite easily, they ask probingquestions and apply information to formulate solutions. Specific academic aptitude or talentapplies to students identified by their outstanding performance on an achievement or aptitude testin one particular area such as language arts, mathematics, science, history or social studies, orforeign language. In their particular area, they are self-motivated and risk-takers, and able torecognize relationships between concepts and comprehend their meanings. Furthermore, they“analyze and reason out complicated theories and apply their knowledge to reason things out”(Schuler, 2002, p. 3). These students “normally score on the 97th percentile or higher on standardachievement tests” such as the Virginia Standards of Learning, and later on higher educationtests such as the PSAT and the SAT (Reynolds, 2009, p. 3). Creative and productive thinking is “the ability to produce new
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 15ideas by bringing together elements usually thought of as independent or dissimilar, and theaptitude for developing new meanings that have real-life relevance and social conscious value”(Piechowski, 1999, p. 218). Characteristics of creative and productive students include“openness to experience, setting personal standards for evaluation, ability to play with ideas,willingness to take risks, preference for complexity, tolerance for ambiguity, positive self-image,and the ability to become submerged in a task” (Piechowski, 1999, p. 218). Creative andproductive students are identified through the use of tests such as the Torrance Test of CreativeThinking (TTCT) or through demonstrated creative performance. Recently, the Minnesota Testsof Creative Thinking (MTCT) have been used in order to assess verbal and nonverbal tasks, anduses techniques outside the norm to scale these tasks such as taking common problems andapplying an impossibilities task, or develop a just-suppose theory. Gifted students with talent inthe arts demonstrate special aptitude in visual arts, music, dance, drama, or other related studies.These students can be assessed and identified by using task descriptions such as the CreativeProducts Scales (CPS). Indicators of these tests include the inclusive assessment of particularcognitive abilities as well as “problem-solving skills, perseverance, and high levels ofmotivation” (Cukierkorn, 2008, p. 27). Leadership ability is identified as the ability to direct individuals or groups to a commondecision or action, and students “who demonstrate giftedness in leadership ability use groupskills and negotiation techniques in difficult or controversial situations” (Polgar, 2007, p. 78).These skills are normally recognized through “a student’s keen interest in problem solving, andsome of the characteristics include self-confidence, responsibility, cooperation, a tendency todominate, and the ability to adapt readily to new situations” (Polgar, 2007, p. 78). These studentscan normally be identified through using instruments such as the Fundamental Interpersonal
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 16Relations Orientation Behavior Assessment (FIRO-B). Psychomotor ability involves kinesthetic motor skills such as practical, spatial,mechanical, and physical skills; however, it is seldom used as a criterion in acceptance into agifted program. Updated criterion now includes classroom observations of students’ behaviors,collected by the use of Gifted Rating Scales (GRS) designed to assess “student characteristicsand behaviors, and student interviews provide useful supplemental data” (Lane, 2006, p. 418).Teachers and administrators use GRS in the identification process because they are “based on amultidimensional model of giftedness” (Pfeiffer, 2006, p. 107). The levels of achievementpossible for each demonstration or performance are defined by the use of rubrics. Rubrics areoften developed within these scales with the quality of achievement defined, and “rated from 1 to6, with 6 being high, and there can be as few as three levels of achievement: minimum,competent, and exemplary” (Koth, et al. 2008, p. 101). When these rubrics are developed, thereis an understanding of the expectations and quality of the demonstration or performance thatmust be met for each level of evaluation. This knowledge of expectations and quality allows fora fair and meaningful evaluation, and “observing the various levels of proficiency provides betterinformation on the strengths and weaknesses of the student” (Koth, et al. 2008, p. 101). These gifted and talented children are not only different from the general adolescentpopulation, but they are different among themselves in personality types, usually measured bythe Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Personality dimensions have also shown to beassociated with academic achievement, intelligence, and talent development; and normally fallinto two categories, attitude-related types and function-related types. Using the indicator scales,these children exhibit either extraversion or introversion traits. The extraverted types normallydevelop “a strong awareness of their environment and have a strong propensity to influence
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 17others, but are highly unlikely to be influenced by others” (Sak, 2004, p. 72). These childrenusually seem “confident, accessible, and expansive in their manner” but harbor a need foracceptance and praise” (Sak, 2004, p. 72). Introverts, on the contrary, are somewhat “moreindependent and idea-oriented than extraverts, as they usually get their excitement from the innerworld” (Sak, 2004, p. 73). They may sometimes seem “lost in thought or inaccessibleemotionally” but they too harbor a need for acceptance and praise (Sak, 2004, p. 73). Using thesetwo dimensions of extraversion and introversion, indicators provide data between two differenttypes of judgment used by gifted children. Feeling types usually “value harmony and humanrelationships, and make decisions subjectively with a consideration of society’s values” (Sak,2004, p. 75). In contrast, thinking types emphasize logic and objectivity in reasoning, and “thispreference suppresses values and uses impersonal feelings in making objective decisions” (Sak,2004, p. 77). Using these categories as a guideline, “gifted and talented children are those identified byprofessionally qualified persons who by virtue of outstanding abilities are capable of highperformance” (Schuler, 2002, p. 4). Gifted and talented children are usually not the first groupthat comes to mind when educators think of diverse populations or differentiated instruction,however, “these students constitute a distinct group of individuals who, as a result of their gifts,share common experiences and have unique needs” (Shepard, 2008, p. 11). In accordance withthese unique needs, many gifted programs have developed their own multidimensional screeningprocesses, such as the one referenced below. These are the children who require differentiatededucational programs and counseling services beyond those normally provided by the regularschool program in order to realize their contribution to self and society.
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 18Table 1: Multidimensional Screening ProcessStep One: 1. Nominations - teacher, principal, counselor, parents, peer, self 2. Teacher report on student functioning 3. Family history and student background 4. Peer identification 5. Student inventory of works, achievements, and interests 6. Variety of testsStep Two: Development of Profile (done by Coordinator)Step Three: Coordinator decision to refer to committee and parental consent to referStep Four: Development of Case Study (Coordinator) 1. Screening data 2. Parent interviews 3. Test protocols a. Individual intelligence b. Content area c. Creativity (tests)Step Five: Committee meeting for consideration Committee decision to identify and place in appropriate program Parental decision to placeStep Six: Placement in Gifted ProgramStep Seven: Assessment for Individual Educational Plan (IEP) 1. Case study material 2. Functional assessmentStep Eight: Assessment of Appropriate Educational Program and IEP PlanGrowing Up Gifted: Part II: Educating the Gifted Student, Chapter 6: Assessment andIdentification of Gifted Students, by B. Clark, Columbus: Pearson Publishing, Seventh Edition,Copyright 2008, p. 203.
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 19Mental Self-Management and Multiple Intelligences Robert Sternberg (1982) had suggested that giftedness is a type of mental-selfmanagement, and “the mental management of one’s life in a constructive, purposeful waynormally possesses three basic elements which include adapting to environments, selecting newenvironments, and shaping new environments” (Clark, 2008, p. 66). According to Sternberg, “thekey psychological basis of intellectual giftedness resides in insight skills that include separatingrelevant information from irrelevant, combining isolated pieces of information into a unifiedwhole, and relating newly acquired information to information acquired in the past, as well asactivating prior knowledge” (Clark, 2008, p. 67). Sternberg emphasized problem-solving abilitiesand viewed the gifted student as one who processes information rapidly and uses insight abilities.Researchers continue to challenge the traditional definitions of intelligence, and Sternbergdeveloped the Triarchic Theory of Intelligence which suggests there are actually threedimensions to intelligence, thus three components to consider when testing for giftedness.Compotential intelligence consists of mental mechanisms for processing information,experiential intelligence involves dealing with new tasks or situations, and the ability to usemental processes automatically, and contextual intelligence as the ability to adapt to, select, andshape the environment (Clark, 2008, p. 37-38). Howard Gardner (1983) suggested a concept of multiple intelligences, stating that thereare “several ways of viewing the world including linguistic, logical or mathematical, musical,bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, and intrapersonal intelligence” (Gagne, et al. 2003, p. 69).Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences is more widely known among educators because itreflects what teachers already know, which is there are many different ways of being smart.Gardner developed his theory by combining studies of the brain with research on the contextual
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 20aspects of intelligence. He believed that “only if we expand and reformulate our view of whatcounts as human intellect, we will be able to devise more appropriate ways of assessing it andmore effective ways of educating it” (Clark, 2008, p. 37). These processes resulted in three typesof giftedness, according to Gardner, and modified the concept of intelligence. The first type ofgiftedness being analytic giftedness, which is “the academic type of reasoning, measured byintelligence tests” (Clark, 2008, p. 38). The second type as synthetic giftedness, which refers tocreative and intuitive thinking; and the third as practical giftedness, which is “the ability to applyanalytical and synthetic abilities to everyday problems and issues successfully” (Clark, 2008, p.38). In the process of formulating his original theory, Gardner drew from a wide range of studieson subjects including prodigies, gifted individuals, brain-damaged patients, normal children andadults, and individuals of diverse cultures; and developed the seven steps to optimizing learning.Gardner’s theory addresses many areas that had not previously been seen as a part ofintelligence, and “he brings additional clarity to the critical importance of the interaction of bothgenetics and environment in its development” (Clark, 2008, p. 37).Table 2: The Seven Steps to Optimizing Learning Step 1: Understand brain development as a basis for learning Integrative Standards Step 2: Create a responsive learning environment * Intuitive Step 3: Integrate the intellectual process * Cognitive Step 4: Establish the continuum for learning * Affective Step 5: Assess the students level of mastery * Physical Step 6: Differentiated and individualize teaching and learning * Sensing Step 7: Evaluate teaching and learning, reflect and reformGrowing Up Gifted: Part II: Educating the Gifted Student, Chapter 7: Optimizing Learning:Using Brain Research in Elementary and Secondary Classrooms, by B. Clark, Columbus:Pearson Publishing, Seventh Edition, Copyright 2008, p. 227.
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 21 Joseph Renzulli (1986) stated that gifted behavior reflects “an interaction among thebasic clusters of human straits which include above-average general or specific abilities, highlevels of task commitment and motivation, and high levels of creativity” (Gagne, et al. 2003, p.71). Gifted and talented children are those who possess or are capable of developing thesecomposite of traits and applying them to any potentially valuable area of human performance.While a few students will demonstrate these behaviors consistently and across the disciplines,other students may demonstrate them in specific activities and interest areas. Renzulli contendsthat the most effective approach to educating high-ability students is for teachers to choosecontent, instruction, activities, and opportunities according to a student’s learning needs andchallenges. “Higher-order thinking, investigations, innovative learning links, and creativity areall essential teaching techniques in order to empower learners and inspire teachers” (Evans,2008, p. 85). The recent growth of charter schools have become a more promising environmentfor gifted and talented children as well due to their ability to “provide varied instructionalprograms and employ recommended practices, such as acceleration and project-based learning”(Buchanan, et al. 2006, p. 128).Differentiating Between Giftedness and Talent The definitions of giftedness and talent “designate the possession and use of superiornatural abilities, aptitudes or gifts, in at least one ability domain, to a degree that places anindividual at least among the top 10% of his or her peers” (Delisle, et al. 2002, p. 31-32).Francoys Gagne’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT) proposes that thereare four aptitude domains, which are intellectual, creative, socioaffective, and sensorimotor.These natural abilities “whose development and level of expression is partially controlled by theindividual’s genetic endowment, can be observed in every task children are confronted with in
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 22the course of their schooling” (Delisle, et al. 2002, p. 41). The intellectual domain consists offluid reasoning, including inductive and deductive; as well as memory, a keen sense ofobservation, and judgment skills. The creative domain is mostly inventiveness and imagination,with skills in retrieval fluency and problem-solving. Within the socioaffective domain liesperceptiveness, and empathy and tact within the communication skills; with a strength ininfluence due to advanced leadership and persuasion skills. Finally, the sensorimotor domain areadvanced visual, auditory, and olfactory skills, with an aptitude for strength, endurance, andcoordination. The developmental process is dependent on the learning, training, and practice ofthese aptitude domains, and supports Gagne’s theory that “giftedness designates the possessionand use of untrained and spontaneously expressed natural abilities, called aptitudes or gifts, in atleast one ability domain, to a degree that places an individual at least among the top 10% of agepeers” (Delisle, et al. 2002, p. 44). If this model which supports multiple intelligences is applied to educational curriculum,by providing lesson plans and programs “in a way that all students are encouraged to developtheir stronger area, and at the same time educators provide opportunities to enhance the learningprocess in the less strong areas, academic success may be attainable for all children in our schoolsystem” (Delisle, et al. 2002, 45-46). For instance, the intellectual abilities needed to learn toread, speak a foreign language, or understand a new mathematical concept, the creative abilitiesneeded to solve many different kinds of problems and produce original work, or the socialabilities that children use daily with classmates, teachers, administrators, coaches, and parents.Table 3: Gagne’s Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent Catalysts (Positive/Negative Impacts) GIFTEDNESS MOTIVATION TEMPERMENT TALENT
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 23 Aptitude PERSONALITY Field Domains Domains Intellectual Initiative Adaptability Academics reasoning, verbal, needs, attitude, English, History, spatial, judgment, interests, values, Math, Science, memory perseverance competitiveness, Foreign Language Creative self-esteem Games of Strategy originality, humor, chess, puzzles, video interpretive DEVELOPMENTAL PROCESS Technology Socioaffective Learning - Training - Practicing mechanic, model leadership, empathy, Arts self-awareness ENVIRONMENT PERSONS visual, drama, music Sensorimotor home, school, parents, peers, Social Action strength, endurance, relatives, church teachers, coaches tutoring, politics flexibility UNDERTAKINGS EVENTS Business Others activities, sports, encounters, trips, sales, manufacturing ESP, gift of healing community events vacations Athletics / SportsWhen Gifted Children Don’t Have All The Answers, Chapter 2: Identifying Gifted Children, byJ. Delisle and J. Galbraith, Minneapolis: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc., Copyright 2002, p. 45. High aptitudes or gifts can be observed more easily and directly in young childrenbecause “environmental influences and systematic learning have exerted their moderatinginfluence in a limited way only” (Piechowski, 1999, p. 221). However, “they still showthemselves in older children and even in adults through the facility and speed with which
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 24individuals acquire new skills in any given field of human activity” (Piechowski, 1999, p. 223).The easier or faster the learning process, the greater the natural abilities and achievementsthrough aptitude, and “talents progressively emerge from the transformation of these highaptitudes onto the well-trained and systematically developed skills characteristic of a particularfield of human activity or performance” (Piechowski, 1999, p. 223). These fields can beextremely diverse and given natural ability can express itself in many different ways, dependingon the field of activity preferred and adopted by the individual. For example, manual dexterity asa natural physical ability can be modeled into the particular skills or talents of a painter, a pianist,a jewelry maker, or a video-game designer. Similarly, intelligence as a natural ability can bemodeled into the figurative language of a poet, the scientific reasoning of a chemist, themechanics of an architect, or the strategic planning of an athlete.Defining Intelligence The attempts to define giftedness in one way or another are reliant on intelligence and tobetter understand giftedness, a closer look will be taken on the concept of intelligence.Significant efforts have been made to measure intelligence but since the concept is elusive, testconstructors aim at testing what they feel are typical manifestations of intelligence in behaviors.Often these tests of intelligence create other terms in defining a child, and educators becomeconfused regarding the actual intellectual ability of their students. The term ‘genius’ used to bewidely employed but now is reserved for reference only to the “phenomenally or profoundlygifted person” (Evans, 2008, p. 84). The term ‘talented’ tends to be used when referring to aparticular strength or ability of a person” (Evans, 2008, p. 85). However, thought should be givento whether the talent is truly a gift or is it rather an ability that has become a highly developedskill through practice. Terms such as ‘prodigy’ or ‘precocious’ are more commonly used when a
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 25child shows a “decidedly advanced degree of skill in a particular endeavor at an early age, aswell as a very disciplined type of motivation” (Evans, 2008, p. 84). ‘Superior’ is a comparative term, meaning that when the term is used, it should be“referenced in accordance to whom or what group is the student superior to and to what degree”(Evans, 2008, p. 84). A child may be “markedly superior to the majority of children in a specificmental ability such as verbal comprehension, and at the same time be equally inferior in anotherspecific mental ability such as psychomotor” (Evans, 2008, p. 84). ‘Rapid learner’ is a helpfulterm in understanding giftedness because it is “a distinct characteristic manifested by theidentified gifted child” and the term ‘exceptional’ is appropriate when referring to the giftedchildren being different in their characteristics of intelligence (Evans, 2008, p. 85). The termwhich is used often in referencing gifted children is ‘elitism,’ which means the choice, best, orsuperior part or class of persons. However, the misunderstanding of this word has given thenegative connotation of implying snobbishness, selectivity, and unfair special attention ortreatment. The fact is that gifted and talented children are elite in the same way someone is arecord champion holder or a leader in their field, and the negative connotations of the word neednot apply since they are not accurate in their definition, thus they are not credible. The levels of giftedness are measured by intelligence tests and although most IQ tests donot have the capacity to discriminate accurately at higher levels, they are able to provide a rangeto distinguish levels of aptitude. “The Stanford-Binet is the only test that has a sufficient ceilingto identify the basic bright child from the profoundly gifted; and teamed with the use of theWechsler Intelligence Scale for Children, they provide the guidelines for the assessment of thegifted population” (Parker, 2008, p. 102). As of 2008, the ranges are as follows: Bright: 115+, or 1 in 6 (84th percentile)
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 26 Moderately Gifted: 130+, or 1 in 50 (97.9th percentile) Highly Gifted: 145+, or 1 in 1,000 (99.9th percentile) Exceptionally Gifted: 160+, or 1 in 30,000 (pp.997th percentile) Profoundly Gifted: 15+, or 1 in 3 million (99.99997th percentile) David Perkins (1995) synthesized much of the research and theories of intelligence andgrouped them into three strands. Neural intelligence is “rooted in a biological system anddetermined by neural efficiency, which is the brain’s physical process” (Peterson, 2003, p. 66).Experiential intelligence involves know-how or knowledge of typical patterns and situations andas a result, “intelligence is a matter of experience with thinking in particular contexts” (Peterson,2003, p. 66). Reflective intelligence is “based on knowledge of thinking strategies” whichmeans knowing how to think (Peterson, 2003, p. 67). This includes how to monitor one’sthinking and how to persist, and Perkins contends that “not one, but all three strands contribute tointelligence and behavior” (Peterson, 2003, p. 68-69). As the concept of intelligence becomes more multidimensional, the concept of giftednessalso evolves; and if intelligence is not a single quality, there cannot be a single definition ofgiftedness. Schools are becoming more specific about identifying abilities and areas of strengthrather than giving students the generic gifted label. If intelligence is not static and can be learned,then the assumption is that giftedness and talent can be developed. This further supports the needfor the use of multiple assessments in the identification process, as well as the need to be able toidentify the characteristics of gifted students. Therefore, you not only identify those students thatare in need of instruction beyond the regular curriculum, but also “those students who display thepotential for high-level learning beyond their current accessibility” (Lane, 2006, p. 394).Table 4: Characteristics for Helping to Identify Gifted Students
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 27 Positive Negative Characteristics Characteristics able to generate many ideas FLUENCY many dominate others, may to solutions and problems have difficulty closing task has high tolerance for FLEXIBILITY may be impatient with details ambiguity or restrictions, unproductive able to express ideas in ORIGINALITY may be considered unusual or unique ways, fantasy, fun CREATIVITY silly, may refuse authority interested in a wide variety of CURIOSITY may ignore activities in order things, asks many questions to pursue individual interests has knowledge which is KNOWLEDGE may be intolerant of others, unusually advanced for age, SKILLS may dominate, bored with progress at a more rapid pace routine relates positively to peers and SOCIAL may have difficulty relating adults RELATIONSHIPS to peers and adults persistent, self-motivated and TASK COMMITMENT may have difficulty bringing able to stay on task task to closureAdapted from Challenge: Reading and Teaching The Gifted Child, by Judy Luker, Good ApplePress, www.sengifted.com, Copyright February 2002, Volume 48, p. 21.Special Needs of Gifted Children In order to understand the true meaning of giftedness, it is necessary that we separate theconcept of giftedness from academic or talented achievement. High achievers are those who aremotivated to do well in school, and gifted students may be high achievers or they may be highschool dropouts. They have learning needs that differ from other students, just asdevelopmentally delayed students have different learning needs as well. “When giftedness isseen as the ‘mirror image of retardation,’ it becomes clear that there is a responsibility to meettheir needs, whether or not they are high achievers” (Lind, 2001, p. 4). In the past, the concept of
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 28giftedness was associated primarily with a high IQ and it was assumed that gifted students wereborn with high intelligence which was identified by their grades and test scores, and werecapable of excelling in all areas of school and life. These assumptions are still prevalent, butthere have been a lot changes due to “cognitive science, developmental psychology, and newunderstandings of how learning takes place” which are influencing the way gifted is defined andhow the special needs are conceptualized (Polgar, 2007, p. 79). Many students who are achieving A’s may be severely underachieving and by the sametoken for gifted children, achieving an A may not be a goal. The real purpose of education is tolearn new information, and students who achieve A’s based on what they have already learnedare gaining daily practice in underachievement. All students have a right to struggle andstruggling is essential to growth, and it means that the student is stretching to attain new power inlearning. “Gifted students actually enjoy struggling to master new material and when notpressured about their grades, they welcome the challenge” (Polgar, 2007, p. 79). Teachers havean enormous impact on the lives of their gifted students, and underachieving students have beensalvaged by one or more teachers who took an interest in them. The investment of time andenergy in differentiating the curriculum for gifted students can inspire them to have higheraspirations, to win scholarships, to choose demanding and fulfilling careers, and to use their giftsfor the betterment of society.Defining Bullying Now that the identification process for gifted and talented children has been presented,we can further explore the research on why bullying impacts these children differently than thechildren in the common or traditional classroom settings or school environments. When using theterm bullying, it is often used to describe a child being “teased, terrorized or systematically
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 29victimized by his or her peers” (Burrill, 2006, p. 85). Further descriptions include the conceptthat there is a difference in power between peers in this bullying dynamic in which “one imposesnegative consequences towards another individual” (Burrill, 2006, p. 87). Bullying has also oftenbeen defined as “a behavior that occurs repeatedly over time as well as behavior that can occuras an isolated incident” (Juvonen, et al. 2003, p. 1233). Berthold and Hoover (1987) argued thatbullying exists when students are “exposed repeatedly or over time to a negative action on thepart of one or more students” (Berthold, et al. 2008, p. 65). Bullying is invoked when“aggression is directed on purpose to one student by another student that enjoys physical orpsychological power over a victim” (Berthold, et al. 2008, p. 65). Mobbing occurs when “anindividual is bullied collectively by several bullies” and these behaviors range frompsychological abuse to physical altercations (Burrill, 2006, p. 89). Victims tend to worry, dislikethemselves and “desire to stay home from school for the sake of their physical safety” (Berthold,et al. 2008, p. 72). Relational aggression is also considered a form of bullying, which is essentially “non-physical aggression but deeply psychological” (Peterson, et al. 2007, p. 149). This form usespeer and social relationships as the weapon to harm someone, meaning that the bully threatens todestroy a victim’s relationship with the few peers and friends they presently have, thusdestroying their social life. Examples of this type of bullying include spreading rumors, ignoringthe victim completely, and telling others to specifically ignore the victim. Burrill’s study (1990)shows that “relational aggression is more common in girls than in boys, as girls have a tendencyto place a higher value on friendships and social status than boys” (Burrill, 2006, p. 88). Burrillsuggests that “boys are more likely to use physical means of aggression on their victims whichgains them social power, ultimately rewarding them for their negative behavior” (Burrill, 2006,
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 30p. 89). Bullies are more likely than other students to spend time at home without adultsupervision; they drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, cheat on tests, and bring weapons to school.Bullies also fare poorly as adults, and they are “more likely to receive attention from lawenforcement officials, as well as seek mental health services from early adolescence into theiradulthood” (Bosworth, et al. 2009, p. 359). The aggression they exhibit from their childhoodtends to become a lifestyle as they grow older, and “these types of antisocial behavior lead tofailure in school, failure in the work force, and failure in their interpersonal relationships”(Bosworth, et al. 2009, p. 360). The primary purpose of the Berthold and Hoover (1987) study was to examine therelationship between bullying and risk factors among 591 fourth through sixth grade students in amid-sized Midwestern town in the U.S. They found that “more than one-third of the respondentsreportedly experienced bullying, while one-fifth reported that they themselves did the bullying”(Berthold, et al. 2008, p. 73). Implications of this study were outlined including various bullyingintervention strategies and suggestions for assessment and therapeutic approaches of addressingthe presence of psychological symptoms, such as posttraumatic stress and dissociation. Additionally, technology has brought us a new type of problem called cyberbullying, andthis social cruelty is widespread, growing, and children are often not telling anyone.Cyberbullying can include sending mean or threatening messages or images, pretending to besomeone else to make a person look bad, or sharing private information about another person.Cyberbullying is the sending or posting of harmful or cruel texts or images using the Internet orother digital communication devices such as e-mail, instant messaging (IM), text messages ordigital images sent on mobile phones, social networking sites such as FaceBook and MySpace,web pages, blogs, virtual worlds, chat rooms or discussion groups, and interactive game sites
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 31such as Xbox. “The biggest problem with this type of bullying is that it can be difficult to trace,can happen at any time, day or night; and the messages can be sent out quickly to a large groupof people” (Kirk, 2009, p. 24). Cyberbullying can be conducted 24 hours a day and 7 days aweek, making the victim a perpetual target at any moment in time. The harassment can beanonymous, and a single message posted online or sent to a mobile phone can be spread andcirculated to a wide audience quickly and efficiently. Hurtful or embarrassing messages orimages can remain online indefinitely to damage the childs reputation, social life andfriendships, and possibly their self-image. Many researchers agree that the duration of bullying, the number of bullies, andthe profile of the victims are all very integral factors in the bullying victimization process. Thereare also different types of bullying dynamics, “such as direct bullying as an open verbal orphysical attack on an individual, and indirect bullying which indicates that much of the bullyingis proactive aggression” (McIntosh, 2006, p. 5). Proactive aggression, as described by McIntosh,is aggressive behavior that usually occurs “without any apparent provocation or threat on the partof the victim” (McIntosh, 2006, p. 5). For the purposes of this study, bullying will refer to “oneor more perpetrators, directly or indirectly; and attacking a victim or a group of victims, one timeonly or repeatedly over time” (McIntosh, 2006, p. 4).Bullying and School Climate In the Bosworth and Simon study (2001), bullying was examined as a “continuum ofmild to extreme behaviors” in order to improve identification and targeting of those individualsmost at risk for bullying (Bosworth, et al. 2009 p. 342). “Demographic, behavioral, andpsychosocial correlates were tested on a continuous measure of bullying behaviors, and wererated according to the number and frequency of the behaviors” (Bosworth, et al. 2009, p. 342).
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 32Among the 558 middle school students surveyed in the study, only 20% reported no bullyingbehavior and in multiple regression analysis, it was found that misconduct, anger, and beliefssupported in violence encouraged bullying behavior. However, confidence in using non-violentstrategies, and intentions of using non-violence or alternative strategies were associated with thelowering of the levels of bullying behavior. Although boys reported more bullying behavior thandid girls, “gender was not a significant predictor in the multiple regression analysis” (Bosworth,et al. 2009, p. 361). These studies were inconsistent with the perspective that early adolescentswere either bullies or non-bullies, and indicated the need for a comprehensive approach topreventing bullying behavior. Peterson found that the actual school climate leads to the vulnerability of gifted childrento bullying, with one student subject stating “our classes are different, so the other students don’teven know us” (Peterson, et al. 2006, p. 258). Furthermore, another student subject of the studystated that “there are groups that are protected, such as you don’t say bad things about differentraces; but there are other groups, if something’s said, nobody does anything – like smart or gaypeople, or groups that people are uncomfortable thinking about. The administration may say theydo something about it, but they don’t” (Peterson, et al. 2006, p. 258). Since many gifted childrenare perfectionistic, they feel that telling an adult what is happening is “a reflection on their abilityto control their lives” (Schuler, 2002, p. 3). To their detriment, however, many adults tell thesechildren that this is a form of tattling, snitching, or story-telling, therefore, leading these childrento distrust all adults and withdraw into themselves, often causing them to suffer silently assituations escalate from their tormentors. Some studies in the past have challenged the myth that gifted children do not have uniquesocial and emotional concerns, and when the myth prevails, “pertinent concerns are not
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 33recognized and addressed formally or informally, proactively or reactively” (Milsom, et al. 2006,p. 36). Administration, educators, parents, coaches, and even trained counselors may miss theindicators of their distress, and “the lack of these opportunities for gifted students to discussconcerns related to social and emotional development potentially contributes to vulnerability”(Milsom, et al. 2006, p. 38). A student that has bullied can have far-reaching effects in a schooland “create a climate of fear and intimidation not only in his or her victims, but in fellowstudents” as well; therefore, students who bully, their victims, and bystanders are all affected(Branson, et al. 2009, p. 8). When asked the number one reason for not returning to school, “10%of high school dropouts reported fear of being harassed, teased, or attacked” (Walker, 2009, p.7). Similarly, more than one-third of middle students felt unsafe at school because of bullyingand did not report such behaviors to school personnel because they were “scared, lacked theconfidence or parental support to make a report, and felt that adults would not be supportive oftheir dilemma” (Walker, 2009, p. 8). Teachers and administrators working with gifted children should be aware that thesestudents can and do drop out, and individual case studies need to be taken into account whenresearching this trend. Although many drop out for the same general reasons that regular studentsdo, such as disinterest, a need to find employment, or they are underachievers; teachers andadministrators should be “particularly sensitive to gifted students who show attendanceproblems, discipline problems, or academic problems” (Matthews, 2006, p. 220). Giftedprograms continue to strive to “identify and serve an even greater proportion of students fromnon-mainstream cultural and economic backgrounds,” however, with this also comes the issuesof discrimination and harassment, thus raising the probability that these students will be bullieddue to their academic and environmental makeup (Branson, et al. 2009, p. 15). It is becoming
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 34increasingly important to “understand how giftedness or talent may interact with socioeconomicand cultural factors to influence students’ educational decisions” (Matthews, 2006, p. 220).Improving understanding will hopefully lead to more effective bullying interventions andreduced dropout rates. Peterson and Ray (2006) surveyed 432 gifted and talented eighth graders in eleven statesregarding bullying during their school years and used structured interviews to explore the livedexperiences of being bullied or being a bully. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods,they researched “bullying as related to giftedness by examining prevalence and the effects ofbullying among gifted individuals specifically” (Peterson, et al. 2007, p. 149). They found that“67% had experienced bullying by the eighth grade, 16% defined themselves as bullies, and 29%had violent thoughts” with the vast majority expressing depression, hopelessness, unexpressedrage, and most often school absenteeism as responses to their bullying experiences (Peterson, etal. 2007, p. 152). Further analysis of the interview information and data found that even just oneincident was distressing for some. “All children are affected adversely by bullying, but giftedchildren differ from other children in significant ways, and what they experience may bequalitatively different,” said Peterson, whose study was conducted at the time with doctoralcandidate Karen Ray (Peterson, et al. 2006, pg. 149). “It is important to remember that althoughcognitively these children are advanced; physically, socially and emotionally, they may not be”(Peterson, et al. 2006, p. 259). “The most disturbing thing about this study is that we do notknow what those violent thoughts are,” was Peterson’s major concern upon completion of thestudy (Peterson, et al. 2007, p. 167). Peterson states that they could be anything from kicking atrash can to blowing up the school but they have no concrete evidence. However, just the factthat there are violent thoughts should be enough to make everyone stand up and pay attention,
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 35and Peterson calls for further studies to identify these perpetrators and their level of aggression. Although most studies have found that gifted children, especially those with high verbalaptitude, are more sensitive than their less-gifted peers and worry more about their socialstanding, we must remember than most regular kids get bullied as well. The issue is that “giftedkids are bullied based on their superior school performance, which makes the child’s strengthinto a weakness” (Peterson, 2003, p. 65). Inevitably, their advanced academic or talentperformance turns into a source of shame for the child and unable to cope with this shame, theyturn to violence to deal with their frustrations. Due to the fact that bullying behaviors arouse asense of fear and can lead to major physical altercations that disrupt the learning cycle,“educators are urged to address actively the impact of bullies on their school culture and on theacademic success of all students” (Bosworth, et al. 2009, p. 362). Bosworth and Simon (2001)concluded that freedom from fear of bullying is not enough to ensure successful learning, but itis “a necessary condition for effective learning” (Bosworth, et al. 2009, p. 363). In the last decade, “Columbine-style plots involving students as young as twelve havebeen erupted in more than half a dozen American communities” (Peterson, 2009, p. 282).Bullying has been cited as the motive in the majority of these incidents, all because “theconspirators were considered different due to their academic precocious” (Peterson, 2009, p.282). In 2003, sixteen-year-old Jaysen Kettl was sentenced to four years in prison plus ten yearsof probation for conspiracy to commit capital murder by killing twenty fellow high schoolstudents plus four of his teachers. Kettl acknowledged that he first started having problems inschool when he was about nine due to his high grades and good relationships with his teachers,but all took a turn for the worse when he entered Vidor High School in Orange, Texas. The samestudents he had attended intermediate school with took to “name-calling, mocking, stealing his
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 36school books, and pushing him down the stairs” (Walker, 2009, p. 8). After confiding in whatKettl considered the few friends he had that he was a homosexual, the bullying became moreviolent when his sexuality was made public. He turned to the school administration and evensecurity and asked for help and protection, and he attested that they did nothing. Through thisprocess, he met three other students all going through similar experiences in the high school, and“a strong bond was formed based on mutual misery” (Walker, 2009, p. 8). Kettl and the fourother students created a book which named all the students that bullied them over the years andnamed the teachers that did nothing to stop the bullying, and the book went into detail on howthey planned to kill these individuals. Although the plot was foiled three days prior to takingeffect due to one girl in Kettl’s group turning them in after confiding to her parents, Kettl attestedthat he just wanted the people in his book to get off his back and there was nothing he could doto change it besides the plan he came up with; and even if he could go back and change things,he said “high school is nothing but hell nowadays anyway” (Walker, 2009, p. 8). Statistics show that “up to 85% of bullying happens in front of a large group, and aplayground or classroom makes a great theater” (Schuler, 2002, p. 3). During the school yearsthere are many physical and emotional changes in girls and “many girls will go along withbullying or not intervene because they just want to ‘fit in’ themselves” (Phoenix, et al. 2003, p.162). In addition to the behavioral and psychosocial measures in these studies, many participantsanswered questions which led to the revelation that they “perceived access to guns as a relevantcorrelate” (Walker, 2009, p. 8). Immediate access to firearms brings an increased risk forhomicide, suicide, and even unintentional firearm deaths through horseplay or carelessness.Psychiatric and Psychological Factors Previous research suggests various psychiatric and psychological factors contribute to
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 37bully victimization, however, posttraumatic stress and dissociation are presently limited areas ofstudy in relation to bullying. The overall purpose of the Burrill study (1990) was to address thesocially relevant issue of bullying in schools across grade level, age, and gender. A correlationstudy was conducted with 147 middle school children using a bully index and a victimizationindex, and the measures included anxiety, depression, anger, stress, and dissociation. However,these measures did not note differences across the original factors measured, they were actuallynoticed between regular classroom children, special education children, and talented and giftedchildren, “with the talented and gifted children scoring highest among the bullying victimizationscale” (Burrill, 2006, p. 87). Research related to giftedness has not focused on the inner life ofgifted children and adolescents until recently, and “the inability to respond to negative behaviorsfrom others is related to the vulnerability to bullying” (Robinson, et al. 2006, p. xi). Robinsonnoted that the most highly gifted and talented, because of their normally poor fit to schoolprograms, are the most vulnerable to poor peer relations. The issue precipitates itself in thesituation that they are “unable in finding compatible friends, especially when they are young andtheir social sphere is restricted to a particular classroom, school, neighborhood, or small town”(Robinson, et al. 2006, p. xii). Due to these dynamics, they are “likely to be less socially adept,more introverted, and more inhibited than other gifted children” (Robinson, et al. 2006, p. xxiv). There are two categories of self-concept that help identify gifted students, “the academicself-concept, which most often they rate quite highly in; and the social-self concept, an area thatreceives a very low rating” (Pittinsky, et al. 2008, p. 134). All children need positive responsesfrom others, starting with their home and school environment, in order to “experience well-beingand self-satisfaction” (Pittinsky, et al. 2008, p. 134). Responses received by gifted children fromthose outside of the family are often less than positive and can lower their views of themselves,
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 38usually from statements such as “if you are so gifted, figure it out; you seem to know everything”(Clark, 2008, p. 146). This gifted label can create problems within itself, as these children feeldifferent and alienated, and unable to find a group to belong. Unfortunately, many teachers donot relate to these children in ways other than their levels of achievement, and these childrenhave “a need to feel valued for some reason other than their giftedness” (Clark, 2008, p. 148). Most gifted and talented children are already very intense and anxious, as well as highlysensitive due to their own and others’ high expectations of them. They consider social justiceissues very important, and with their own hyper-sensitivity to self-criticism and perfectionalism,they struggle to make sense of this cruelty and aggression. They develop low self-esteem whichresults in even higher levels of anxiety, less effectiveness, and even destructive behavior; andbegin to believe themselves to be powerless and even unworthy of love or attention. Many timesthey blame themselves for the lack of adult support, and respond by withdrawing socially inorder to hide from bullies. In essence, their vulnerable areas have been attacked, and “giftedchildren become more susceptible to the severe emotional damage that bullying can inflict”(Schuler, 2002, p. 3).Table 5: Vulnerable Areas for Gifted Children Personal Characteristics Motivation School Conditions Perfectionism leads to self- Too easy or difficult a task If individuality is not valued, criticism, competition, and/or limits the students possibility then social isolation occurs unrealistic expectations for success Supersensitivity to social The student feels fear from Teachers have unrealistic feedback leads to withdrawal high expectations expectations of high success in all areas consistently
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 39Desire for independence leads Desires and abilities may not Teachers are uncomfortableto attempts to control the match opportunities, no with differentness, they fearsituation positive image of the future superior student knowledgeGiven an intense desire to Unable to control emotions, School activities are notsatisfy curiosity, the student easily frustrated, ashamed, differentiated or challenging,feels restricted in analyzing the angry at obstacles offer no depth or complexityproblem in the time allocatedUsing advanced problem The student doesnt have The school district does notsolving, student manipulates accurate self-knowledge provide any appropriatepeers and adults about his or her ability educational provisionsDesiring complexity, the The student doesnt have the No positive role model isstudent is not interested in energy to persist to the presentmemorization or repetition completion of a goalAdapted from Giftedness, Conflict, and Underachievement, by J.R. Whitmore, Boston: Allynand Bacon, Copyright 1980, p. 143. Many victims suffer in silence, struggling to understand bullying, make futile attempts tohalt bullying, despair when it continues, and formulate violent thoughts. Most victims associatenot being well-known or popular as the reason for being bullied, and most definitely for beingclustered within a gifted program which identifies them for their select abilities and focuses ondifferentiation, therefore, once again setting them apart from the rest of the school population.Differentiation is designed for instruction in mixed-ability classroom regarding multipleintelligences, as referenced earlier; and not for meeting the special needs of gifted children.Many peers, and even adults, do not understand the placement of students in these particular
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 40classroom environments, and this distinction can be explained and understood quite simply byreferencing the following table.Table 6: Differentiated Instruction for Mixed-Ability Classrooms Differentiation is … Differentiation is not…provision of a variety of ways to explore making all tasks the same, with adjustments bycurriculum content merely varying difficulty level of questionsprovision of an array of processes for marking some students harder than othersunderstanding and owning informationprovision of options for demonstrating or letting those who finish early play games forexhibiting what has been learned enrichment giving students extra problems, extra reports, or extension assignmentsDifferentiating Instruction for Advanced Learners in the Mixed-Ability Middle SchoolClassroom, Dr. Tracy Riley, Massey University, 2000 at http://www.kidsource.com/kidsource/content/diff_instruction.html. Certainly a victim’s apparent tendency not to tell adults about being bullied means thatparents and school personnel are often not aware of the extent of the bullying. Bullying oftenoccurs under the radar, and is “even normalized by adults as a ‘basic rite of passage’ intoadulthood” (Peterson, 2009, p. 280). These behaviors invalidate the feelings of the victim andchildren who try to cope or adapt pay a big price, particularly when it comes to their health. Theyexperience significant physical and mental health problems including, but not limited to “highstress much like post-traumatic stress disorder; and chronic stress which causes physical changesin the brain that can lead to depression” (Peterson, 2009, p. 281). Stress is also linked with highblood pressure, phobias both real and perceived, insomnia, bad dreams and bed-wetting, andeating disorders. Additionally, “many gifted children suffer from extreme self-criticism, and self-
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 41destructive behavior caused by perceived inadequacies” (Peterson, 2009, p. 281). Theseconditions cause many to self-medicate with stolen or illegal substances and alcohol, followed byfinally dropping out of school in order to remove themselves from the source of their stress. Gifted children that have difficulty coping tend to choose one of three patterns foradjusting to their world. They may choose to withdraw and isolate themselves, and this occursmost often when a situation seems hopeless. They may become disruptive or even class clownsin order to gain acceptance, but this behavior is normally carried to a point that “teachers andpeers reject such attempts as being inappropriate or silly, and view the child as a nuisance” (VanTassel, et al. 2008, p. 55). Finally, some gifted children may hide their superior intelligence, butthis results in “loss of function, and growth cannot be nurtured through this subterfuge” (VanTassel, et al. 2008, p. 55). Gifted students, particularly those inhibited by their need forperfectionism both academically and socially, now account for “as much as 20% of students whodrop out of high school” (Van Tassel, et al. 2008, p. 61).Table 7: Perfectionism At-A-Glance How A Perfectionist Acts overcommits self rarely delegates to others hard time making choices always has to be in control competes fiercely arrives late often does last-minute cramming gets carried away with details never satisfied with their work frequently criticizes others refuses to hear criticism of self checks on other peoples work makes negative comments calls self stupid procrastinates How A Perfectionist Thinks "If I cant do it perfectly, whats the point in doing it at all?" “Every detail of a job should be perfect.”
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 42 “I always have to stay ahead of the others.” "Im a wonderful person if I do well; Im a lousy person if I do poorly." "Id better not make a mistake here, or people will think I am stupid." "Everything should be clearly black or white. Grays are a sign of confused thinking." How A Perfectionist Feels anxious and nervous deeply ashamed of mistakes worried about details afraid of rejection angry if routine is interrupted discouraged ashamed of having fears ashamed of being rejected plagued by self-hatred exhausted, unable to relax afraid of appearing incompetent disgusted by criticismWhen Gifted Children Don’t Have All The Answers, Chapter 3: Emotional Dimensions ofGiftedness, by J. Delisle and J. Galbraith, Minneapolis: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc., Copyright2002, p. 65-66.Social and Emotional Needs School officials, peers, and adults at one time assumed that gifted and talentedchildren did not have unique social and emotional needs. “Positive stereotypes prevailed basedon media images of confident and motivated students, athletes, actors and actresses, andmusicians;” and these media images did not reflect the underlying concerns of their social andemotional well-being (Young, et al. 2004, p. 529). Early identification of giftedness may havealso “contributed to the notion that high academic capability means solid mental and physicalhealth, and future success in higher education, careers, and interpersonal relationships” (Young,et al. 2004, p. 533). Federal education mandates have also shown little concern for the well-beingof gifted children, and even the field of gifted education itself has not advocated as strongly as it
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 43could have for “proactive approaches to promote healthy social and emotional development”(Walker, 2009, p. 8). Even past literature suggests that “characteristics of giftedness such assensitivity, intensity and overexcitability are not only overlooked risk factors, but detrimental toa child’s overall well-being if not equipped with coping skills” (Robinson, et al. 2006, p. xi).Gifted individuals differ greatly from less able age peers and among themselves in the actualdegree of characteristics associated with giftedness, making it “difficult sometimes to identify,anticipate, and react to social and emotional concerns” (Young, et al. 2004, p. 534). Giftednessmay also co-exist in a child with learning disabilities; therefore, further contributing tofrustration, behavioral problems, and bully victimization. Asynchronous development is quite common in gifted and talentedchildren, and refers to “uneven intellectual, physical, and emotional development” (Breedlove,2010, p. 48). The developmental rates are usually even within average children, includingphysical, cognitive, social, and emotional. With above-average children, their rates ofdevelopment are a little faster than average children, however, they are still linked. Thedevelopmental rates of these four categories for gifted and talented children are out-of-sync, witheach child normally developing in their own unique pattern. “These children are usuallycognitively gifted, however, there is a less rapid rate of development physically, socially, andparticularly emotionally” (Breedlove, 2010, p. 50). This out-of–sync development, also calledasynchronous, of gifted children is an integral part of who they are and how they interact withthe world; which explains why they may act like an adult one moment and throw a tempertantrum the next. Overexcitabilities are “inborn intensities indicatinga heightened ability to respond to stimuli” (Piechowski, 1999, p. 325). These overexcitabilitiesare found to a greater degree in gifted and talented individuals, as they are generally expressed in
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 44forms of increased sensitivity, awareness, and intensity. “One who manifests several forms ofoverexcitability sees reality in a different, stronger, and more multi-sided manner” andexperiencing the world in this unique way carries with it not only joys, but great frustrations aswell (Lind, 2001, p.1). There are five overexcitabilities and each once carries with it differentconcerns, particularly in relation to the reactions to bullying. Psychomotor overexcitability is a “heightened excitability of the neuromuscular system,”and this includes a capacity of being active and energetic (Piechowski, 1999, p. 325). Thissurplus of energy is usually demonstrated by “rapid speech, zealous enthusiasm, intense physicalactivity, and a need for action” (Piechowski, 1999, p. 329). Many gifted children experience lifemore intensely than others, and they react in big ways to small things. They often get tunnelvision, which causes them to have trouble changing topics or transitioning to the next activitysmoothly. These children tend to not be able to sit still or be quiet, and many teachers and adultsfind them disobedient and distracting; and “often they are misdiagnosed as Attention DeficitHyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)” (Piechowski, 1999, p. 329). Sensual overexcitability isexpressed as a “heightened experience of sensual pleasure or displeasure emanating from sight,smell, touch, taste, and hearing” and they have an early and increased appreciation for pleasuressuch as music, art, and language (Lind, 2001, p. 2). These children may find clothing tags,classroom noise, or smells in the cafeteria so distracting that they are unable to function at thatmoment beyond their uncomfortableness. Intellectual overexcitability is marked by “a need to seek understanding and truth, to gainknowledge, and to analyze and synthesize” and these children are intensely curious, and usuallyvery avid readers (Lind, 2001, p.4). There is a strong moral focus which comes at this level, andthey tend to be concerned with issues such as AIDS, Gay and Lesbian Rights, animal cruelty,
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 45cancer research, the environment, and war. Since these children are so independent andoutspoken, they often appear critical and impatient of others who “cannot sustain theirintellectual pace” (Lind, 2001, p. 4). Imaginational overexcitability reflects a “heightened play ofthe imagination with rich association of images and impressions, frequent use of image andmetaphor, facility for invention and fantasy, detailed visualization, and elaborate dreams” (Lind,2001, p. 4). These children often tend to mix truth with fiction, and create their own imaginaryprivate worlds with made-up companions and scenarios. They also often sit in class and draw orwrite stories instead of doing their school work; and when they turn in assignments, they usually“are tagged by some incredible idea which sends them off in a different direction from theassigned task” (Lind, 2001, p. 4). The last and most prevalent of the overexcitabilities in gifted and talented childrenis emotional, which is “heightened, intense feelings, extremes of complex emotions,identification with others’ feelings, and strong affective expression” (Lind, 2001, p. 6). Thesechildren are often accused of overreacting to situations, and their feelings are so intense that theycannot return to tasks at hand like homework, chores, or even playing. Often these children have“extremely high energy levels, and require less sleep than their peers, having stopped napping ata very early age” (Lind, 2001, p. 7). This extra energy leads them to prefer faster activities andgames, and a desire to get away from a lesson or a situation that has lost their interest. Since thedegree of social difficulties may increase in proportion to the level of giftedness, not only is aprofoundly gifted child likely to have very few intellectual or interest peers at school or in thecommunity, but also “schools may not be receptive or accommodating to the child” (Breedlove,2010, p. 61). Even moderate giftedness may lead to a poor initial fit in school, with their socialand emotional discomfort levels increasing as they progress through their grade levels.
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 46 The moral development of gifted and talented children is also woven into their social andemotional development, and from an early age “they show evidence of moral concerns, includingempathy, compassion, idealism, global concern, and advanced understanding and judgment ofmoral issues” (Strip, et al. 2000, p. 47). These children are reported as being far beyond theirage-peers in understanding the “need for fairness, justice, and responsibility” (Strip, et al. 2000,p. 48). Adolescent highly compassionate children are especially vulnerable because they have“not yet developed effective ways to deal with strong emotional content,” and they areoverwhelmed by unclear directions, difficult situations, unfair treatment, and misunderstandings(Strip, et al. 2000, p. 50). The attitudes of teachers and school personnel towards gifted childrenclearly affect not only the students’ social and emotional well-being, but their educationalprogression as well. The concerns of these children have been surveyed below, further enforcingthe issue that an “establishment of a moral climate within the school is required in order for allstudents and school personnel to interactive positively” (Strip, et. al, 2000, p. 53).Table 8: Gifted Kids on Giftedness More than 1,000 gifted middle school children responded to an online survey regarding their giftedness. Here are the responses to some of the questions: Q: Gifted kids are often described as: easily bored when not intellectually challenged, needing a lot of novelty, craving mental stimulation, and are often overexcitable. In general, how true is this for you? 22% All of the time 41% Most of the time 29% Some of the time 8% Infrequently Q: Gifted children are often described as: intuitive, insightful, perceptive, and able to simultaneously see several points of view. In general, how true is this for you?
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 47 38% All of the time 49% Most of the time 13% Some of the time 1% Infrequently Q: Gifted children are often described as: introverted, preferring privacy, reflective, quiet in large groups, and uncomfortable as the center of attention in a large group. In general, how true is this for you? 24% All of the time 19% Most of the time 21% Some of the time 36% Infrequently Q: Gifted children are often described as: possessing a keen sense of justice, nonconforming, and frequently questioning rules and authority. In general, how true is this for you? 49% All of the time 28% Most of the time 18% Some of the time 5% InfrequentlyWhen Gifted Children Don’t Have All The Answers, Chapter 1: What is Giftedness, by J. Delisleand J. Galbraith, Minneapolis: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc., Copyright 2002, p. 35. Being bullied has also been recognized as a major health problem for gifted childrenbecause of their already present association with adjustment problems. This usually manifestsitself into “poor mental health with thoughts of suicide, and more extreme violent behavior suchas homicide perceived as justifiable retaliation” (Juvonen, et al. 2003, p. 1235). Juvonen (2002)found in her research that the bullies themselves were actually psychologically stronger than thevictims, and had a higher social standing. These bullies are often popular within their groups, andtheir groups possess other bullies; therefore making them a “higher population in respect to thegroups of non-bullies” (Juvonen, et al. 2003, p. 1235). To be able to intervene with bullying,Juvonen stresses that it is important to recognize the unique problems of these gifted childrenand address them directly with the assistance of parents, teachers, and school personnel. In
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 48addition to recognizing these problems, school-wide antibullying approaches that aim to changepeer dynamics that support and maintain bullying should be developed and implemented. Inorder to meet the social and emotional needs of these gifted children, a good school environmentshould set “explicit standards or codes of appropriate student behavior” (Juvonen, et al. 2003, p.1237). Administrators should also lay out clear expectations for their teachers and staff inadhering to these standards, and recruit their assistance in gathering and reviewing feedback andmeeting set goals. Juvoven admits that a code of conduct may not be enough to eliminatebullying, but “well-established policies with methods to investigate issues and resolve problemsas they arise provide all with a better opportunity to intervene on the behalf of students mostaffected by bullying” (Juvonen, et al. 2003, p. 1237). As educators struggle to reduce violence, dealing with all of these bullying behaviors hastruly come to the forefront. In order for effective programs to be developed and implemented, thesocial and emotional needs of those bullied, as well as the bullies themselves, must beunderstood and met. In the Bosworth study (2001), the first purpose was to “determine thedistribution of bullying behavior within a sample of urban middle school students” (Bosworth,2009, p. 345-346). The bullying behavior was viewed on several levels and these levels includedmild teasing all the way to extreme violence, as well as a review of the actual cases reported andthe frequency of these reports. The second purpose was to describe the characteristics associatedwith the bullying, such as which students were targeted, and what factors caused them to becometargets. Included in these variables were also the age, gender, grade, ethnicity, and socio-economic status, such as whether they received free or reduced lunch. The third and finalpurpose was to examine the extent of the psychosocial risks such as anger, feelings ofdepression, and the tendency to have thoughts of violence. Included in this purpose was also the
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 49accessibility to guns or other weapons, as well as if these victims had any intervention regardingthe “use of non-violent strategies associated in dealing with bullies” (Bosworth, 2009, p. 346). The variables of bullying behavior were examined within a sample of 558 urbanmiddle school students and the study focused mostly on the actual behaviors rather than thedemographics. The data was collected from student self-reports as well as information gatheredfrom teachers and parents, and all agreed that most of the bullying behavior took place at times“which adult supervision is limited or nonexistent” (Bosworth, 2009, p. 356). Also, manyteachers found it difficult to recognize the bullying because it was often done so subtle orindirectly, and many children as well as their parents do not report these incidents and they areunable to intervene effectively. Many teachers reported teasing, which they considered “acommon part of socialization to later adolescence,” but if teasing is related to problem behaviorsor negative consequences, then the teasing has crossed the line over into bullying (Bosworth,2009, p. 356). Berthold and Hoover (1987) found similar findings in their study of 591 fourth, fifth, andsixth grade students, noting the correlations they found between the bullying behavior as well asthe social and emotional consequences of the victims. In their study, they argued that theoutcomes of bullying and victimization are serious over the long term, and that early bullying ledto “inhibited self-esteem in young people” which rolled over into adulthood (Berthold, et al.2008, p. 66). In working with adults who were victimized as children through bullying, Bertholdand Hoover found that these adults “found it difficult to establish sexual relationships, hold downlong-term employment, and connect with their family members” due to the fact that theyexperienced peer abuse as children and still harbored the resentment (Berthold, et al. 2008, p.68). These adults all demonstrated a tendency towards depression, and remembered their
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 50childhood days most unpleasantly; and “they continue to experience anxiety when they try toformulate relationships, both interpersonally and professionally” (Berthold, et al. 2008, p. 68). There are many statistics and reports regarding bullying, and the prevalence ofthis information speaks volumes regarding the impact that bullying has on our schools and thechildren. It has been determined that “a high percentage of children, over 89% have experiencedvictimization at some point throughout their school experience” (Burrill, 2005, p. 84). Thesechildren are more likely to experience “attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder,conduct disorder, and depression” (Burrill, 2005, p. 86). Suicidal thoughts are more prevalent invictims of bullying, particularly the gifted, and “these victims reported experiencing feelings ofvengefulness, anger, and self-pity” (Olweus, 1996, p. 17). Olweus has extensively researched theeffects of bullying on gifted and talented children, and found that victimization is “highlycorrelated with low self-esteem, depression, isolation, suicidal ideation, and violent retaliation”(Olweus, 1996, p. 18). Victims of relational aggression are found to be at risk for developingadditional issues in adulthood, including “substance abuse, lack of connectednessinterpersonally, and maladaptive eating disorders” (Olweus, 1996, p. 22).Bullying Intervention Many gifted and talented children and adolescents are targets of teasing andbullying because teachers perceive them as “too verbal, too bossy, too nerdy, or too different”(Delisle, et al. 2002, p. 36). Since gifted individuals tend to be highly sensitive to others, theirreactions to being bullied are extremely intense, which just causes further problems. As Schulerhas commented in previous studies, “one only has to look at recent shootings and suicides aroundthe country committed by children who were identified as gifted to see obvious examples of thisintensity” (Schuler, 2002, p. 3). Schuler attests that administrators, teachers, and school staff
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 51including coaches and counselors, must be trained specially in the social and emotional needs ofthese children in order to maintain a positive school climate and a bully-free zone. First andforemost, they “must not minimize any bullying situation by suggesting that everyone getsteased; or suggesting that it is their problem and to stand up for themselves,” which only makesthese children feel even more inadequate and powerless (Cavanaugh, 2009, p. 9). The biggestmistakes made by school personnel is “speaking with the bully and negotiating a plan to stoptheir behavior by offering rewards; and calling the parents of the bully or bullies to complainonly intensifies the situation” (Cavanaugh, 2009, p. 9). Gifted children have an internal drive to learn and know things and unfortunately, theirinterests don’t always coincide with what their teachers are teaching. Due to their social andemotional needs, “they tend not to respond to the same rewards as general classroom students”(Jacobsen, et al. 2007, p. 8). A well-informed teacher motivates a gifted child by tapping intotheir interests, values, and abilities; and by “assisting in providing challenges and opportunitiesof interest for them” (Jacobsen, et al. 2007, p. 8). When these alternative strategies areimplemented within the classroom, positive interactions take place and the emotional and socialneeds of the child are being satisfied, as well as their educational needs. By the same token,recent research has shown that “teaching gifted children alternative strategies in dealing withbullying besides exploding in anger or suffering passively is the most important aspect of aschool improvement plan” (Beane, 2006, p. 3). Simple strategies which are non-aggressive and low stress can be taught to these childrento help them to go from being victimized, to being positive and assertive. These strategies takepower away from the bully and do not allow an opportunity for them to retaliate. Such strategiesshould include looking the bully in the eye but staying relaxed and friendly; and at the same time
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 52standing up straight, feet slightly apart, and staying in close proximity to the bully. To appearnon-threatening, the potential victim should keep their hands behind them or in their pockets;and speak loud enough to be heard using a firm and determined voice, but continuing to smile.Finally, they should “make statements such as ‘I do not like it when you push me around’ andend it with ‘you will no longer bully me,’ as they turn and be the first to walk away” (Beane,2006, p. 26-27). Bullying creates a sense of fear that disrupts the learning environment, and we need toactively address the impact of bullies on school climate and the social pressures of studentsvictimized by this bullying. Bullying sets a tense environment in a school and as addressedearlier, can lead to violence towards others or suicide by the victims. Although freedom from thefear and shame of bullying does not necessarily ensure academic success for all students, “it isindeed a necessary condition to promote effective learning in a positive classroom culture”(Schuler, 2002, p. 4).Table 9: Tips for Teachers and Students in Creating A Positive Classroom Climate TEACHER DIRECTIONS: STUDENT DIRECTIONS: At Our School, We Are: Clearly communicate a zero- Use kind words and help when RESPECTFUL tolerance policy for bullying. you can. * Show consideration for others Reinforce your students Listen to what others have to * Honorable positive behaviors. say, share, and take turns. * Appreciate our peers and teachers Get to know and understand Be honest and truthful, and ON TIME your students even better. remember your manners. * Punctual Treat your students with great Think before you speak or act, * Ready for the day kindness and respect. and hold your temper. * Eager to participate
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 53 Model accepting and Work and play fairly, PREPARED appropriate behavior in all kinds remembering to enjoy each * Have our homework of situations. other. * Always have necessary materials Teach your students skills that Think about the feelings of RESPONSIBLE will help them resolve conflicts, others, and how you would like * Make positive decisions affirm themselves and each to be treated. * Give it our best other, and make friends.The Bully Free Classroom: Over 100 Tips and Strategies for Teachers K-8, Chapter 1: CreatingA Positive Classroom, by A.L. Beane, Minneapolis: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc., Copyright 1999,p. 15. Instruments of Measure The purpose of the Olweus study was “to explore relationships between bullyingand additional psychiatric symptoms that have not been fully examined previously” (Olweus,1996, p. 15). In the Olweus study, as well as the studies of Burrill and Peterson, three self-reported, standardized instruments were used to form a “comprehensive picture of a child’sexperience to peer-related threat, level of distress, and anxiety related to school safety”(Peterson, 2009, p. 280). The Bully Victimization Scale (BVS) is designed to “assess bullyingbehavior and bully-victimization experiences in children and adolescents” (Burrill, 2006, p. 87).The BVS consists of two sub-scales, the Bully Scale and the Victimization Scale; and is designedfor use with students ages nine through thirteen, and takes five to ten minutes to complete. TheBVS provides for the “identification of youngsters who are being bullied and students whoengage in bullying behavior” (Burrill, 2006, p. 87). The BVS may be used individually and as aschool-based screening measure for the identification of bullies and bully-victims. The use of the
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 54BVS as a screening measure “assists in the creation of safe schools by identifying youngsterswho bully as well as their victims who often feel distressed, disenfranchised, and alienated fromschool” (Burrill, 2006, p. 88). The Bully-Victimization Distress Scale (BVDS) is designed to “evaluatevictimization distress in children and adolescents in ages nine through fourteen” (Reynolds,2009, p. 2). The BVDS is conceptualized as “measuring components of externalizing distress andinternalizing distress through self-reports which take around ten minutes each to complete”(Reynolds, 2009, p.3). A students response to being bullied may be characterized asinternalizing, meaning symptoms of depression, anxiety or fearfulness; and externalizing,meaning symptoms of anger, aggression, acting out, oppositional or defiance, and a tendencytowards thoughts of violence. The test provides scores on externalizing distress subscales andinternalizing distress subscales, as well as a total distress scale. There will be a “moderatecorrelation between the two sub-scales since it is expected that some students will show bothinternalizing and externalizing responses to bully-victimization” (Reynolds, 2009, p. 4). TheBVDS is a measure of a students psychological response to bullying and determines theinternalizing and externalizing nature of this distress and it allows counselors, psychiatrists, andclinical psychologists to evaluate students victimization distress, which is “an important activitygiven the extent to which bullying is a problem in our nations schools” (Reynolds, 2009, p. 4). The School Violence Anxiety Scale (SVAS) is a“measure of anxiety designed for use with students in grades five through twelve, to assessstudents perception of school violence and safety” (Burrill, 2006, p. 7). The SVAS evaluates astudents level of anxiety about the school as a safe environment, including “anxiety specific tophysical harm at school, harassment at school, and the potential for violence occurring at school”
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 55(Reynolds, 2009, p. 3). These SVAS items evaluate physiological, cognitive, and emotionalcomponents of anxiety due to the effects of bullying and victimization. All three of these scales lend themselves toscreening for children who engage in bullying as well as those who are the victims of bullying,and are used in both school and clinical settings. The BVS and BVDS are written at the thirdgrade reading level, while the SVAS is written at the fifth grade reading level, and profiles aredeveloped to “understand and treat the psychological underpinnings of bullying andvictimization” (Reynolds, 2009, p. 4). These scales are also used to monitor environmentalchanges associated with new safe school initiatives, particularly in checking for a decrease inbullying in school climate and the physical and emotional well-being of the students involved inthe initiatives. The Myers-BriggsType Indicator (MBTI) is often administered prior to the instruments referenced above, which isa “forced-choice, self-report inventory that identifies people’s basic preferences in relation totheir perceptions and judgments” (Sak, 2004, p. 78). The essence of the theory behind the MBTIis that much seemingly random variation in behavior is actually quite orderly and consistent,being due to basic differences in the ways individuals prefer to use their perception andjudgment. The indicators generate four preferences for the eight basic personality types: EI(Extraversion-Introversion), SN (Sensing-Intuitive), TF (Thinking-Feeling), and JP (Judging-Perception). An integration of these findings is used in order to understand the psychological types ofgifted children and adolescents, and sixteen personality types are created using the indicatorsabove to create more comprehensive results. For example, the combination ISTJ (Introversion-Sensing-Thinking-Judgment) identifies someone who is quiet, serious, and earns success by
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 56thoroughness and dependability. Additionally, they are “practical, matter-of-fact, realistic andresponsible, and decide logically what should be done and work toward it steadily, regardless ofdistractions” (Sak, 2004, p. 79). On the other hand, the combination ESFP (Extroversion-Sensing-Feeling-Perception) identifies someone who is outgoing, friendly, and accepting, as wellas an exuberant lover of life, people, leisure activities, and material comforts; and “they enjoyworking with others to make things happen, and bring with them a common sense and a realisticapproach to their work, and make work fun” (Sak, 2004, p. 79). These individuals are normallyflexible and spontaneous, adapt readily to new people and environments, and learn best by tryinga new skill with other people or peers. Through these measures, we are better able to identify theeffects of bullying among middle school gifted and talented children; and develop strategies formore effective bullying intervention for all students.Summary Bullying creates a sense of fear that disrupts the learning environment, and we need toactively address the impact of bullies on school climate and the social pressures of studentsvictimized by this bullying. Bullying sets a tense environment in a school and as addressedearlier, can lead to violence towards others or suicide by the victims. Although freedom from thefear and shame of bullying does not necessarily ensure academic success for all students, “it isindeed a necessary condition to promote effective learning in a positive classroom culture”(Schuler, 2002, p. 4).
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 57 CHAPTER IIIMETHODOLOGY
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 58 Chapter III “We are altogether too easily deceived by the time-worn argument that the gifted student, the genius perhaps, will get along somehow without much teaching. The fact is, the gifted... and the brilliant... are theones who need the closest attention of the skillful mechanic” (page 99). W. FranklinJones (1972) Introduction Research related to giftedness has not focused on the inner life ofgifted children and adolescents until recently; and according to Robinson, the inability to respondto negative behaviors from others is related to the “vulnerability to bullying” (Robinson, et al.2006, p. xi). Regarding this vulnerability, Robinson noted that the most highly talented, becauseof their normally poor fit to school programs, are most vulnerable to poor peer relations. The
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 59issue precipitates itself in the situation that they are “unable in finding compatible friends,especially when they are young and their social sphere is restricted to a particular classroom,school, neighborhood, or small town” (Robinson, et al. 2006, p. xii). Because of this, they are“likely to be less socially adept, more introverted, and more inhibited than other gifted children”(Robinson, et al. 2006, p. xxiv). All children are vulnerable to the effects of bullying, but gifted children differfrom other children in several significant ways. Most gifted and talented children are alreadyvery intense and anxious, as well as highly sensitive due to their own and others’ highexpectations of them. Gifted children consider social justice issues very important to them, andwith their own hyper-sensitivity to self-criticism and perfectionalism, “they struggle to makesense of this cruelty and aggression; many times blaming themselves or the lack of adultsupport,” and respond by withdrawing socially in order to hide from bullies (Morrison, et al.2006, p. 212). “Gifted children are more susceptible to the severe emotional damage thatbullying can inflict” (Schuler, 2002, p. 3). This chapter will include the purpose of the study, researchquestions and categories used for data retrieval, and an overview of the methodology. Themethodology will include descriptions of the setting for the study, the participants, the measuresand instruments used in the study, the procedure and the rationale. Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to indicate the incidents andreactions to bullying, and to what extent it exists within the school climate. Certainly, a victim’sapparent tendency not to tell adults about being bullied means that parents, teachers and schoolpersonnel are often not aware of the extent of the bullying. Bullying often occurs under the radar,
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 60out of sight, or is even “normalized by adults as a basic ‘rite of passage’ into adulthood”(Peterson, 2009, p. 280). These behaviors therefore, invalidate the feelings of the victim and asoriginally stated, they now continue to suffer in silence. Children who try to cope or adapt tobullying conditions pay a big price, particularly when it comes to their health and well-being.The problem is made worse when adults normalize bullying behavior, and then victims feel evenmore stigmatized and isolated. Research has shown that victims of bullying experiencesignificant physical and mental health problems including, but not limited to “high stress muchlike post-traumatic stress disorder; and unresolved, chronic stress which causes physical changesin the brain that can lead to depression” (Peterson, 2009, p. 281). In working with adults who were victimized as childrenthrough bullying, it was found that these adults “found it difficult to establish intimaterelationships, hold down long-term employment, and connect with their family members” due tothe fact that they experienced peer abuse as children and still harbor the resentment (Spriggs, etal. 2008, p. 742). These adults all demonstrated a tendency towards depression, and rememberedtheir childhood days most unpleasantly; and continue to experience anxiety when they try to“formulate relationships, both interpersonally and professionally” (Spriggs, et al. 2008, p. 744).There are many statistics and factual data regarding bullying, and the prevalence of thisinformation speaks volumes regarding the impact that bullying has on our schools and thechildren. It has been determined that “a high percentage of children, over 89% have experiencedvictimization at some point throughout their school experience” (Burrill, 2005, p. 84). For the purpose of this study, the researchquestions investigated how safe gifted children actually felt within school grounds and on theschool bus, how other students treated them, what they have seen and heard as well as how they
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 61reacted to bullying, their thoughts on gangs, and how much of a problem they believed bullyingwas in their particular school. Research Questions The following categories and questionsguided this research study: Category One questions pertained tohow safe they felt. These questions included how safe they felt in their general and electiveclassrooms, as opposed to their gifted classrooms, as well as areas such as the gymnasium andathletic fields, cafeteria, and hallways. These questions extended the safety issue out to walkingto and from school, as well as taking the school bus with all the other students of the school.Category Two allowed them to discuss how others treated them with questions such as how oftendid other students bully them by laying their hands on them, including incidents of hitting,kicking, pushing, or hurting their body otherwise. Questions asked how often did other studentsbully them by saying mean things to them, things which hurt their feelings, how often did otherstudents bully them by spreading mean rumors about them; and how often did other studentsbully them by leaving them out of their activities. Further insight was acquired by asking in whatgrade was the student or students which bullied them, and had they ever told or asked for helpwhen being bullied. Category Three asked questions about whatthey have seen or heard, such as how often they have seen another student bully others by layingtheir hands on them or by saying mean things to them, things which hurt their feelings. Also,how often have they seen another student bully others by spreading mean rumors about them,and how often have they seen another student bully others by leaving them out of their activities.Category Four questions pertained to how they reacted, such as what have they done when theyhave seen a student being hit, kicked, pushed, punched or otherwise physically hurt in school oron the school bus; and if they helped a student in a bully situation, what was the outcome, and
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 62whether it was positive or negative. Category Five pertained specifically to gangs due tothe demographics of the subjects, such as did they know of students in their school who weremembers of a gang, or were wanna-be’s of a gang; and exactly how much of a problem did theythink gangs were in their school. Category Six completed the questionnaire with an essayquestion asking how much of a problem did they think bullying was in their school. Participantswere asked to give some examples and specific situations, and no names were included. Methodology Setting The setting for this study was a public middle school in the city of Norfolk in the state ofVirginia, and the school contains sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students. More than 85% of thefamilies are economically disadvantaged and approximately 80% of students are eligible for freeor reduced lunch. The student demographics are approximately 84% African-American, 9%White, 4% Hispanic, and 3% Asian. The middle school has an enrollment of approximately1,440 students and continues to grow at a rate of 3-4% a year for the past 10 years. Participants This school provides a self-contained classroom academy program called Young Scholarsfor gifted and talented students with approximately 98 students totaling from the sixth, seventh,and eighth grade levels. These children range in ages from ten to sixteen, and cover all theeconomical and ethnic demographics. For the purpose of this study, students were selected fromthe Young Scholars program only. Measures The responses to the research questions referenced above were tallied for common anduncommon patterns, and the essay questions assisted in pinpointing specific reasons for the
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 63bullying of gifted and talented children within their school climate. Category One questionswhich pertained to how safe they felt allowed for responses of very unsafe and scared, kind ofunsafe, kind of safe, and very safe. Category Two questions regarding how others treated themallowed for responses to particular scenarios with answers such as every day, once or twice perweek, once or twice per month, once or twice per year, and never. Category Three questionsabout what they have seen and heard were responded to with frequency of particular incidentswith answers such as everyday, once or twice per week, once or twice per month, once or twiceper year, and never. Category Four questioned how they reacted with responses such as they have never seenanother student being bullied, they walked away and ignored it, they stood and watched, theyhelped the person who was being bullied, or they laughed. The Category Five questions aboutgangs had yes or no answers, and frequency of gang activity responses such as if they are a hugeproblem, a big problem, somewhat of a problem or no problem at all. Category Six responseswere provided in the form of an essay discussing how much of a problem they thought bullyingwas in their school, and they provided some examples and specific situations, and they excludedusing any names. Measurable content questions were rated according to the frequency of occurrences, andthree validity scales were used from the Trauma Symptom Survey (TSI), including a five-pointscale ranging from 5 (often) to 0 (never). “The validity scales and scoring provides summaries ofthe effects of bullying on gifted children, and registers the psychological effects of said bullying”(Reynolds, 2009, p. 11-12). The validity scales of the TSI are as follows: “Response Level (RL)measuring a tendency towards defensiveness, denial or a need to appear unusually symptom free;Atypical Response (ATR) measuring extreme distress, anxiety, and appearing dysfunctional, and
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 64Inconsistent Response (INC) attention or concentration problems, communication difficulties,and social withdrawal” (Reynolds, 2009, p. 7-8). Instruments A comparative research study was conducted in order to examine the impact of bullyingon gifted and talented children within the middle school climate. A questionnaire wasadministered and completed by the participants. Category One results were compiled in order toexamine how safe students felt within their school culture, and Category Two questions wereexamined in order to determine how they were treated by other students. Category Threequestions were reviewed to revel what these participants had seen and heard, and the CategoryFour Questions provided data on how they reacted to the referenced situations in the previouscategories. Additionally, Category Five provided data pertaining to gangs within the schoolclimate, and Question Six essays were analyzed for specific causes and situations of bullyingamong gifted and talented students. Procedure Questionnaires were administered at the same time on the same day to sixth, seventh, andeighth graders in three different classrooms each containing a teacher monitor. Each grade levelconsisted of 30 students which had been in the Young Scholars program from the beginning ofthe 2009-2010 school year. No time limit was placed on the questionnaires, and thequestionnaires were collected by the teacher monitors once all had been completed. Permissionhad been granted for this study by the district school board, gifted department chair, and assistantprincipal; and all issues of anonymity and privacy were adhered to and thereafter. All parentalconsent forms were signed and filed with the school main office, and additional copies wereprovided to the gifted department.
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 65 Both male and female participants were selected for this study with a total of 90students from the Young Scholars program; 30 from the sixth grade level, 30 from the seventhgrade level, and 30 from the eighth grade level. Since there was an average of 33-35 students pergrade level within the program, all students present the day of the test being administered wereincluded as participants. However, 94 participants were present, and four were randomlyremoved from the study to maintain a participation number of 90, 30 from each grade level, inorder to keep the study consistent across grade levels. Using the Trauma Symptom Survey (TSI) which is a five-point scale rangingfrom 5 (often) to 0 (never), the mean score was calculated per category, and the average meanwas compared across grade levels. Additionally, the essay questions served to provide specificdetails and situations asked for within the categories for clarity and further analysis. Rationale This study did show how bullying effects gifted and talented children in the middleschool grades. Much of the research within the literature review already indicated that the mostcommon type of bullying during the middle school years was name-calling, teasing aboutappearance, pushing and shoving, and insults regarding their intelligence and grades. Regularchildren get bullied too but gifted children are most often bullied based on their schoolperformance, which "turns their strength into a weakness and a source of shame” (Smith, et al.2008, p. 7). Certain challenges due to emotional immaturity comes automatically withexceptional intellectual ability, therefore, gifted children are extremely sensitive to bullying. The data collected from this study indicated how safe and unsafe these studentsfelt within their school culture and how they were treated by other students. It also provided dataon what these participants had seen and heard, and how they reacted to the situations of bullying.
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 66Furthermore, the study provided insight pertaining to gangs within the school climate, andspecific causes and situations of bullying among gifted and talented students.Summary Bullying creates a sense of fear that disrupts the learning environment, and we need toactively address the impact of bullies on school climate and the social pressures of studentsvictimized by this bullying. Bullying sets a tense environment in a school and as addressedearlier, can lead to violence towards others or suicide by the victims. Although freedom from thefear and shame of bullying does not necessarily ensure academic success for all students, “it isindeed a necessary condition to promote effective learning in a positive classroom culture”(Schuler, 2002, p. 4). CHAPTER IV PRESENTATION OF DATA
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 67 CHAPTER IV “Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life” (page 37). David M. Burns (1993)Introduction Included within this chapter, you will find a brief introduction restating the purpose ofthis study, as well as the setting and the participants. Research questions and the methodologyused will also be included, followed by the presentation of data and concluding remarks.Purpose of the Study The purpose of this study was to indicate the incidents and reactions to bullying, and towhat extent it exists within the school climate. Certainly, a victim’s apparent tendency not to tell
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 68adults about being bullied means that parents, teachers, and school personnel are often not awareof the extent of the bullying. Bullying often occurs under the radar, out of sight, or is even“normalized by adults as a basic ‘rite of passage’ into adulthood” (Peterson, 2009, p. 280). Thesebehaviors therefore, invalidate the feelings of the victim and as originally stated in Chapter I,they continue to suffer in silence, or retaliate with violence. Children who try to cope or even adapt to bullying conditions pay a big price,particularly when it comes to their physical, mental, and emotional health and well-being. Theproblem is made worse when adults normalize bullying behavior, and then victims feel evenmore stigmatized and isolated. Research has shown that victims of bullying experiencesignificant physical and mental health problems including, but not limited to “high stress muchlike post-traumatic stress disorder; and unresolved, chronic stress which causes physical changesin the brain that can lead to depression” (Peterson, 2009, p. 281). Bullying research suggests that bullying not only affects the bulliedvictims, but also damages an entire school’s atmosphere by creating “a climate of fear andintimidation” (Bandyopadhyay, et al. 2009, p. 44). In addition, teasing and bullying have adetrimental effect on student learning and achievement, and “contributes to school refusal,truancy, and dropout” (Bandyopadhyay, et al. 2009, p. 44). The setting for this study was a public middle school in thecity of Norfolk in the state of Virginia, and the school contains sixth, seventh, and eighth gradestudents. More than 85% of the families are economically disadvantaged and approximately 80%of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch. The student demographics are approximately84% African-American, 9% White, 4% Hispanic, and 3% Asian. The middle school has anenrollment of approximately 1,440 students and continues to grow at a rate of 3-4% a year for
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 69the past ten years. This school provides a self-contained classroom academy programcalled Young Scholars for gifted and talented students with approximately 98 students totalingfrom the sixth, seventh, and eighth grade levels. These children range in ages from ten to sixteen,and cover all the economical and ethnic demographics. For the purpose of this study, studentswere selected from the Young Scholars program only. A comparative research study was conducted in order to examinethe impact of bullying on gifted and talented children within the middle school climate, and aquestionnaire was administered and completed by the participants. Category One results werecompiled in order to examine how safe students felt within their school culture, and CategoryTwo questions were examined in order to determine how they were treated by other students.Category Three questions were reviewed to reveal what these participants had seen and heard,and the Category Four Questions provided data on how they reacted to the referenced situationsin the previous categories. Additionally, Category Five provided data pertaining to gangs withinthe school climate, and Question Six essays were analyzed for specific causes and situations ofbullying among gifted and talented students. Questionnaires were administered at the same time on the same day tosixth, seventh, and eighth graders in three different classrooms each containing a teachermonitor. Each grade level consisted of 30 students which had been in the Young Scholarsprogram from the beginning of the 2009-2010 school year. No time limit was placed on thequestionnaires, and the questionnaires were collected by the teacher monitors once all had beencompleted. Permission had been granted for this study by the district school board, gifteddepartment chair, and assistant principal; and all issues of anonymity and privacy were adheredto and thereafter. All parental consent forms were signed and filed with the school main office,
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 70and additional copies were provided to the gifted department. Both male and female participants were selected forthis study with a total of 90 students from the Young Scholars program; 30 from the sixth gradelevel, 30 from the seventh grade level, and 30 from the eighth grade level. Since there was anaverage of 33-35 students per grade level within the program, all students present the day of thequestionnaire being administered were included as participants. However, 94 participants werepresent, and four were randomly removed from the study to maintain a participation number of90; 30 from each grade level, in order to keep the study consistent across grade levels. Using the Trauma Symptom Survey (TSI) which isa five-point scale ranging from 5 (often) to 0 (never), the mean score was calculated percategory, the results were then calculated into percentages, and the percentages were comparedacross grade levels and genders. This survey measuring system was developed to assess theprevalence of the bullying and the various types of bullying, the attitudes on aggressive behavior,and the willingness to give and seek assistance. Additionally, the essay questions served toprovide specific details and situations asked for within the categories for clarity and furtheranalysis. Presentation of Data Category One questions pertained to how safe they felt, and these questions delved intohow safe they felt in their general and elective classrooms, as opposed to their gifted classrooms,as well as areas such as the gymnasium and athletic fields, cafeteria, and hallways. Thesequestions extended the safety issue out to walking to and from school, as well as taking theschool bus with all the other students of the school not within the Young Scholars Program.Table 10Results: Bullying Questionnaire
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 71Category One: How Safe Do You Feel?Question 1: How safe do you feel in your general and elective classrooms, as opposed to yourYoung Scholars classrooms? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a very unsafe, scared 00.00 00.00 00.00 00.00 00.00 00.00 b kind of unsafe 29.42 17.65 11.76 41.19 05.88 17.65 c kind of safe 35.30 52.96 17.65 41.19 35.30 35.30 d very safe 17.65 23.54 47.07 17.65 52.96 29.42 No Response 17.65 5.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65 For all three grade levels, 67.84% of the students found their general and electiveclassrooms kind of safe or very safe, with the remaining 20.63% finding them kind of unsafe,and very unsafe and scared, leaving 11.53% which did not respond to the question. The majorityof participants commented within their essay question and additional comments that they foundtheir Young Scholar classrooms equivalent to a haven, where they were safe and protected. Also,they commented that their Young Scholar teachers protected them as well as understood theirsocial and emotional needs, and there was no bullying amongst themselves. In fact, theycommented that if they were not within this inclusive program, many would not have attendedthis particular school at all.Table 11Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory One: How Safe Do You Feel?Question 2: How safe do you feel in the gymnasium or on the athletic fields? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a very unsafe, scared 00.00 05.88 00.00 05.88 00.00 00.00 b kind of unsafe 17.65 17.65 00.00 29.42 11.76 23.54 c kind of safe 41.19 35.30 41.19 53.30 23.54 23.54
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 72 d very safe 23.54 35.30 35.30 29.42 64.72 35.30 No Response 17.65 05.88 00.00 00.00 00.00 17.65 For this question, 73.61% of the students reported the gymnasium and the athletic fieldswere areas they felt kind of safe or very safe, with 18.63% finding them kind of unsafe, and veryunsafe and scared, leaving 7.76% which did not respond to the question. They commented thatthough the verbal harassment was still evident, the physical harassment was at a minimal due tothe careful watch of the physical education teachers. Furthermore, the Young Scholars were notdistributed across the other classes; they were still somewhat together with two mutual teachersfor physical education half the year in the gymnasium and health in a classroom for the other halfof the year. School climate can be defined as the “quality and frequency of interactions among adultsand students,” which includes aspects such as perceptions of fairness, strictness of school rules,and qualities of student-teacher relationships” (Spriggs, et al. 2008, p. 744). A good example ofthis are these two physical education teachers who work closely with the Young Scholarsprogram, and are aware of the vulnerability to bullying these children experience, therefore, theyput out the extra effort to support their social and emotional needs. There is bettersocioemotional adjustment among students within a positive climate, as indicated by “prosocialbehavior, greater teacher support, greater safety, and clarity of the rules” which ultimately leadsto a student’s higher commitment to academic achievement (Spriggs, et al. 2008, p. 746). Bullying creates a sense of fear that disrupts the learning environment, and there is aneed to actively address the impact of bullies and their victims on school climate and academicsuccess of students. These teachers are aware of this concern, therefore, lay out clearexpectations for their students in adhering to the schools’ non-bullying standards, and although a
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 73code of conduct may not be enough to eliminate bullying, “well-established policies withmethods to investigate issues and resolve problems as they arise provide all with a betteropportunity to intervene on the behalf of students most affected by bullying” (Juvonen, et al.2003, p. 1237).Table 12Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory One: How Safe Do You Feel?Question 3: How safe do you feel in the cafeteria? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a very unsafe, scared 00.00 11.76 00.00 05.88 00.00 00.00 b kind of unsafe 17.65 41.19 11.76 58.84 00.00 00.00 c kind of safe 29.42 29.42 17.65 11.76 35.30 47.07 d very safe 35.30 11.76 47.07 23.54 58.84 35.30 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65 In regards to the cafeteria environment, 63.74% of the students found it kind of safe orvery safe, with 24.51% finding them kind of unsafe, and very unsafe and scared, leaving 11.75%which did not respond to the question. They reported the cafeteria as an environment of‘distance’ bullying, meaning that since all students had to sit in their seats and there was a deanand a security guard present, the bullying was done differently. Mostly they were intimidatedinto the back of the food line with stares and whispers, and have learned early on to just get tothe back of the line when others enter the food line. Furthermore, they are with their Young Scholars class at the same table, so they are allbombarded with food every day. Although the dean and security guard often interfere to stop it,no one exactly ever sees who has thrown it so no administrative action ever takes place. Manyparticipants bring their own lunch, roughly 75%, in order not to stand in line at all; and often
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 74their table is released first by the dean so they may head back to their class before the rest of thegeneral population is present in the hallways with them.Table 13Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory One: How Safe Do You Feel?Question 4: How safe do you feel in the hallways? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a very unsafe, scared 00.00 05.88 00.00 29.42 00.00 00.00 b kind of unsafe 17.65 29.42 11.76 35.30 05.88 23.54 c kind of safe 47.07 41.19 17.65 29.42 64.72 35.30 d very safe 17.65 17.65 47.07 05.88 23.54 23.54 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65 The results reported that 60.77% of the students felt that the hallways were kind of safeor very safe, with 27.46% finding them kind of unsafe, and very unsafe and scared, leaving11.77% which did not respond to the question. The students that found the hallways unsafe andwere scared shared their remarks within the essay question. By far, they felt that the hallwayswere the worst and would rather be written up by teachers for arriving late to class, rather thanendure the bullies within the crowds. These students reported to developing methods andstrategies in order to avoid contact with bullies as much as possible in a consistent, daily manner. Location plays a significant role in bullying and the students noted that the hallways,cafeteria, and restrooms were the most vulnerable areas; and many refuse to enter the lockerrooms as well. The locker rooms are unmonitored and many students wear their gym clothesunder their uniform to avoid entering them all together. Many participants also reported sneakingto the fourth floor teachers restrooms in order to avoid the student restrooms where bullying not
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 75only occurs, but other incidents of smoking, drugs, weapons, and precocious behavior, and theyare afraid of being witnesses to this behavior or even accused of being involved. Within the essay comments, the participants noted that these are the same areas they werebullied in when in elementary school, and they cited that lack of adult supervision as the numberone reason that bullying occurs. Their biggest grievance was that they were aware of the rule thatall teachers are required to monitor the hallways during bell change, and they wanted to knowwhy so few are present during this time. Furthermore, they cited the lack of dean presence for themajority of the school day, and wanted to know why normally only two of the four securityguards were ever present in the building at the same time.Table 14Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory One: How Safe Do You Feel?Question 5: How safe do you feel going to and from school, walking or taking the bus? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a very unsafe, scared 00.00 05.88 00.00 00.00 00.00 00.00 b kind of unsafe 00.00 11.76 00.00 23.54 00.00 05.88 c kind of safe 23.54 29.42 11.76 35.30 29.42 29.42 d very safe 58.84 47.07 64.72 41.19 64.72 47.07 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65 Within this question, 80.39% of the students reported that the buses were kind of safe orvery safe, with 7.84% finding them kind of unsafe, and very unsafe and scared, leaving 11.77%which did not respond to the question. The students who reported feeling safe acknowledged thatthey took the 4:00pm activity bus everyday, whereas the general population left on the busses at2:35pm. Thus, only Young Scholars and students participating in afterschool activities are on thebusses, and the bullies have long since left the school grounds for the day. The students whichreported feeling unsafe did not participate in any activities or sports, and were on the busses
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 76daily with the general population, and therefore in the presence of the bullies. Many victims“avoid public areas in the school such as the cafeteria, restrooms, and hallways in an attempt toelude bullies” (Lumsden, 2002, p. 346). Within the essay responses, nearly half of theparticipants noted that the fear of being bullied is so great sometimes that they arrive very earlyand leave very late, or avoid school altogether when a situation has escalated to the point wherethey are fearful of their safety. Category Two allowed them to discuss how others treated them with questions such ashow often did other students bully them by laying their hands on them, including incidents ofhitting, kicking, pushing, or hurting their body otherwise. The questions also addressed howoften did other students bully them by saying mean things to them, things which hurt theirfeelings, how often did other students bully them by spreading mean rumors about them, andhow often did other students bully them by leaving them out of their activities. Further insightwas acquired by asking in what grade was the student or students which bullied them, and hadthey ever told or asked for help when being bullied. Additionally, the section for additionalcomments provided further analysis regarding their answers to the questions.Table 15Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory Two: How Others Treat YouQuestion 1: How often do other students bully you by laying their hands on you (hit, kick, orpush you or hurt your body otherwise)? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a every day 05.88 00.00 05.88 23.54 00.00 00.00 b once or twice a week 05.88 23.54 17.65 05.88 00.00 00.00
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 77 c once or twice a month 05.88 00.00 11.76 11.76 00.00 11.76 d once or twice a year 35.30 11.76 05.88 23.54 58.84 11.76 e never 29.42 58.84 35.30 35.30 35.30 11.76 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 64.72 Within this question, 14.71% of the student participants reported that other studentsbullied them by laying their hands on them, including hitting, kicking, pushing, or hurting theirbody otherwise on an frequent basis, either daily or several times per week. Many commentedthat this bullying was unrelentless, and from the same bullies year after year, some of it evencarrying over from elementary school. Those that reported the bullying was infrequent, perhapsonce or twice per month, or even per year, averaged at 31.36%. Finally, 34.32% reported neverhaving been bullied in this particular manner, leaving 19.61% which did not respond to thequestion. In review of the comments within this category, the participants noted that much of thebullying took place not only without intervention, but without interruption. Many of theparticipants have been bullied by the same students since elementary school, and these bullieshave recruited other students to assist them in their bullying behavior. This dynamic “empowersthe bully to act aggressively without fear of sanction, and encourages passivity in bystanders”(Tomlinson, 2008, p. 62). This creates an environment in which the victims of bullying no longersee a reason to report their victimization, and they have given up on any hope of adult assistance.These participants expressed a fear in reporting this bullying, since they will also be attendinghigh school in the future with their bullies. Additionally, many stated that this questionnaire wasthe only time they had actually been asked their opinion and remarks on the bullying taking placein their school.Table 16Results: Bullying Questionnaire
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 78Category Two: How Others Treat YouQuestion 2: How often do other students bully you by saying mean things to you, things whichhurt your feelings? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a every day 29.42 17.65 11.76 17.65 00.00 00.00 b once or twice a week 17.65 00.00 05.88 41.19 05.88 05.88 c once or twice a month 05.88 17.65 11.76 05.88 23.54 41.19 d once or twice a year 05.88 11.76 29.42 35.30 47.07 23.54 e never 23.54 52.96 17.65 00.00 17.65 11.76 No Response 17.65 00.00 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65 In responding to this question, 25.49% of the student participants reported that otherstudents bullied them by saying mean things to them, things that hurt their feelings on a frequentbasis, either daily or several times per week. These students reported that they were deeply upsetby the remarks and the rumors about them. As a group, they commented, the Young Scholarswere called ‘geeks,’ ‘nerds,’ and told they acted ‘stuck-up’ and better than everyone else.Individually, they were attacked for their weight and their race, with the majority of YoungScholars being of mixed-heritage and nearly all the white, Mexican, and Asian students withinthe school are in the Young Scholar program. By the eighth grade, they reported that they wereattacked with rumors about their sexuality, often called “faggots,’ ‘lesbos,’ and often accused ofbisexuality with each other because ‘no one else would want them.’ The essay comments werestrongest in this category and participants reported crying and being distressed about theseremarks on a daily basis. Those that reported the bullying was infrequent, perhaps once or twice per month, oreven per year, averaged at 43.13%. Finally, 20.59% reported never having been bullied in thisparticular manner, leaving 10.79% which did not respond to the question. Within the essay
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 79comments, the participants again noted that lack of adult supervision as the number one reasonthat bullying occurs. Their grievance was that they were aware of the code of conduct rules andeven signed the student contracts regarding bullying and harassment; however, teachers andadministrators were not following procedure in reprimanding the bullies with detention orsuspension. Furthermore, they again cited the lack of dean presence in the hallways for themajority of the school day, and wanted to know why normally only two of the four securityguards were ever present in the building at the same time.Table 17Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory Two: How Others Treat YouQuestion 3: How often do other students bully you by spreading mean rumors about you? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a every day 00.00 05.88 05.88 11.76 00.00 00.00 b once or twice a week 05.88 11.76 05.88 17.65 00.00 00.00 c once or twice a month 11.76 11.76 11.76 17.65 11.76 00.00 d once or twice a year 29.42 11.76 17.65 35.30 23.54 41.19 e never 35.30 52.96 35.30 17.65 58.84 41.19 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65 Within this question, 10.78% of the student participants reported that other studentsbullied them by spreading mean rumors about them on a frequent basis, either daily or severaltimes per week. Those that reported the bullying was infrequent, perhaps once or twice permonth, or even per year, averaged at 37.24%. Finally, 40.21% reported never having beenbullied in this particular manner, leaving 11.77% which did not respond to the question. The essay comments were essentially the same as the previous question, with theparticipants reporting that they were deeply upset by the rumors about them and stressing that
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 80they could not ‘get away’ from the rumors. In addition to being called ‘geeks,’ ‘nerds,’ and toldthey acted ‘stuck-up’ and better than everyone else since they were in the Young Scholarsprogram, they stated that as absurd as many of the rumors were, they were treated as ‘truth’ bythe general population within the school. This made it impossible for them to make friendshipsoutside of the program, particularly since they lived in the same neighborhoods with many of thenon-Young Scholars students. Individually, they were once again attacked for their weight andtheir race, with the majority of Young Scholars being of mixed-heritage and nearly all the white,Mexican, and Asian students within the school are in the Young Scholar program. By the eighth grade, they again reported that they were attacked with rumors about theirsexuality, often called “faggots,’ ‘lesbos,’ and often accused of bisexuality with each otherbecause ‘no one else would want them.’ Compounding these rumors were also accusations ofbeing “oreos” which means being black on the outside, but white on the inside; as well as beingattacked at school events for dancing like “dorks” or for their “Sears clothing.”Table 18Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory Two: How Others Treat YouQuestion 4: How often do other students bully you by leaving you out of their activities? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a every day 00.00 00.00 00.00 00.00 00.00 00.00 b once or twice a week 23.54 05.88 17.65 11.76 05.88 23.54 c once or twice a month 11.76 23.54 11.76 17.65 05.88 05.88 d once or twice a year 11.76 11.76 05.88 11.76 11.76 29.42 e never 35.30 52.96 41.19 58.84 70.61 23.54 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65 In responding to this question, 14.71% of the student participants reported that otherstudents bullied them by leaving them out of their activities on a frequent basis, either daily or
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 81several times per week. Those that reported the bullying was infrequent, perhaps once or twiceper month, or even per year, averaged at 26.45%. Finally, 47.07% reported never having beenbullied in this particular manner, leaving 11.77% which did not respond to the question. When it came to bullies leaving them out of activities, 47.07% reported that this rarelyhappened for the sole purpose that these bullies did not participate in school extracurricular orsports activities. The other participants who remarked that they experienced this behavior notedin their comments that this occurred when doing group projects within a classroom, or whengetting selected for teams within physical education class, but even these incidents wereinfrequent such as once or twice a month. Once again the participants reported in their comments that they took the 4:00pm activitybus everyday due to afterschool activities and sports, mainly with other Young Scholars students;whereas the general population left on the busses at 2:35pm. Thus, only Young Scholars andstudents participating in afterschool activities are within the school building, and the bullies havelong since left the school grounds for the day. Once again the participants noted that the fear ofbeing bullied is so great sometimes that they arrive very early and leave very late, or avoidschool altogether when a situation has escalated to the point where they are fearful of theirsafety. In addition, this fear carried over to even community-related and church activities, sincemany live in the same neighborhoods as their bullies. Category Three asked questions about what they have seen or heard, such as how oftenthey have seen another student bully others by laying their hands on them or by saying meanthings to them, things which hurt their feelings. Also, how often have they seen another studentbully others by spreading mean rumors about them, and how often have they seen anotherstudent bully others by leaving them out of their activities.
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 82Table 19Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory Three: What You Have Seen Or HeardQuestion 1: How often have you seen another student bully others by laying their hands on them(hit, kick, or push you or hurt their body otherwise)? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a every day 23.54 29.42 17.65 47.07 41.19 17.65 b once or twice a week 29.42 17.65 29.42 05.88 41.19 35.30 c once or twice a month 29.42 41.19 23.54 29.42 11.76 11.76 d once or twice a year 00.00 05.88 00.00 11.76 00.00 11.76 e never 00.00 00.00 05.88 05.88 00.00 05.88 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65 In responding to this question, 55.87% of the student participants reported that they haveseen another student bully others by laying their hands on them, either hitting, kicking, pushing,or hurting their body otherwise on a frequent basis, either daily or several times per week. Thosethat reported the bullying was infrequent, perhaps once or twice per month, or even per year,averaged at 29.42%. Finally, 2.94% reported never having seen bullying in this particularmanner, leaving 11.77% which did not respond to the question. In reviewing the essay questions and supporting comments, the numbers of frequency forthese incidents were high for all questions within Category Three. The Young Scholars reportedfeeling safe within their inclusive classrooms and environment, as well as the extent of supportof their Young Scholars teachers, but found that others within the general population had it evenworse at the will and hands of the bullies. Within their statements, they reported witnessing thisabuse on a daily basis and found themselves powerless to help, mostly afraid of retaliation fromthe bully and the chance of becoming their next target.
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 83Table 20Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory Three: What You Have Seen Or HeardQuestion 2: How often have you seen another student bully others by saying mean things tothem, things which hurt their feelings? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a every day 35.30 64.72 35.30 58.84 58.84 52.96 b once or twice a week 29.42 23.54 29.42 29.42 35.30 11.76 c once or twice a month 17.65 05.88 05.88 05.88 00.00 11.76 d once or twice a year 00.00 00.00 05.88 05.88 00.00 00.00 e never 00.00 00.00 00.00 00.00 00.00 05.88 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65 Within this question, 77.43% of the student participants reported that they have seenanother student bully others by saying mean things to them, things which hurt their feelings on afrequent basis, either daily or several times per week. Those that reported the bullying incidentswere infrequent, perhaps once or twice per month, or even per year, averaged at 9.80%. Finally,1.00% reported never having seen bullying in this particular manner, leaving 11.77% which didnot respond to the question. In reviewing the essay questions and supporting comments, the participants once againcommented feeling safe within their inclusive classrooms and environment, as well as the extentof support of their Young Scholars teachers, but found that others within the general populationhad it even worse at the will and hands of the bullies. They reported witnessing this abuse on adaily basis and found themselves powerless to help, stating again that they were mostly afraid ofretaliation from the bully and the chance of becoming their next target.Table 21Results: Bullying Questionnaire
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 84Category Three: What You Have Seen Or HeardQuestion 3: How often have you seen another student bully others by spreading mean rumorsabout them? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a every day 11.76 11.76 17.65 35.30 17.65 17.65 b once or twice a week 29.42 23.54 29.42 29.42 35.30 11.76 c once or twice a month 17.65 47.07 17.65 23.54 29.42 47.07 d once or twice a year 05.88 05.88 05.88 11.76 11.76 00.00 e never 17.65 05.88 05.88 00.00 00.00 05.88 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65 When responding to this question, 45.09% of the student participants reported that theyhave seen another student bully others by spreading rumors about them on a frequent basis,either daily or several times per week. Those that reported the bullying was infrequent, perhapsonce or twice per month, or even per year, averaged at 37.26%. Finally, 5.88% reported neverhaving seen bullying in this particular manner, leaving 11.77% which did not respond to thequestion. The comments of the participants once again reinforced that although they witnessedthis abuse on a daily basis and found themselves powerless to help, they were mostly afraid ofretaliation from the bully and the chance of becoming their next target.Table 22Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory Three: What You Have Seen Or HeardQuestion 4: How often have you seen another student bully others by leaving them out of theiractivities? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a every day 23.54 11.76 17.65 58.84 35.30 23.54 b once or twice a week 35.30 29.42 29.42 11.76 29.42 17.65 c once or twice a month 00.00 35.30 00.00 05.88 05.88 17.65
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 85 d once or twice a year 05.88 11.76 05.88 05.88 17.65 23.54 e never 17.65 05.88 23.54 17.65 05.88 00.00 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65 In answering this question, 53.91% of the student participants reported that they haveseen another student bully others by leaving them out of their activities on a frequent basis, eitherdaily or several times per week. Those that reported the bullying incidents were infrequent,perhaps once or twice per month, or even per year, averaged at 22.55%. Finally, 11.77%reported never having seen bullying in this particular manner, leaving 11.77% which did notrespond to the question. The participants stated within their comments that this behavior was what kept them frommaking friends outside of their Young Scholars program. In essence, the bullies use peer andsocial relationships as the weapon to harm someone, meaning that the bully threatens to destroy avictim’s relationship with the few peers and friends they presently have, thus destroying theirsocial life. Examples of this type of bullying include spreading rumors, ignoring the victimcompletely, telling others to specifically ignore the victim, and intentional exclusion fromactivities. Additionally, the participants reported very high levels of profanity being thrown in theirdirection, and cursing being done by these bullies on a regular basis. Referring to specific bodyparts or commenting on sexual activity is commonplace for these bullies, and they continue topersist until they reach shock value from these participants within the study. Within the essayquestion, participants noted that there are no serious consequences for using profanity in theirschool, and although it is listed in the student code of conduct as an offense, no one elseconsiders it an offense. They noted that particularly in the hallways and cafeteria profanity isscreamed at them, and bystanders mostly laugh and encourage the bullies even more; and
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 86unfortunately, administrators and teachers appear to just ignore it, often citing that they pretendnot to have heard it in the first place, or they are unwilling to take the time or effort to write-up aformal offense form. Category Four questions pertained to how they reacted, such as what have they donewhen they have seen a student being hit, kicked, pushed, punched or otherwise physically hurt inschool or on the school bus; and if they helped a student in a bully situation, what was theoutcome, and whether it was positive or negative.Table 23Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory Four: How You ReactedQuestion 1: What have you done when you have seen a student being hit, kicked, pushed,punched or otherwise physically hurt in school or on the school bus? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a never seen another 00.00 05.88 05.88 05.88 00.00 00.00 student being bullied b walked away and 17.65 58.84 35.30 11.76 41.19 23.54 ignored it c stood and watched 35.30 11.76 11.76 35.30 23.54 35.30 d helped the person 23.54 17.65 17.65 35.30 29.42 17.65 being bullied e laughed 05.88 00.00 05.88 11.76 00.00 05.88 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 87 Within this question, 2.94% reported to never having seen another student being bulliedsuch as being hit, kicked, pushed, punched, or otherwise physically hurt in school or on theschool bus. However, 31.38% reported to walking away and ignoring incidents of this bullyingbehavior upon others, while 25.49% reported to standing and watching these incidents ofbullying on another student passively. When asked if they ever helped a person being bullied,23.53% responded that they did, while 4.90% admitted to having laughed, leaving 11.76% whichdid not respond to the question.Table 24Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory Four: How You ReactedQuestion 2: What have you done when you heard a student being teased or called names inschool or on the school bus? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girlsa never seen another 00.00 05.88 00.00 00.00 00.00 05.88 student being bulliedb walked away and 41.19 41.19 23.54 11.76 35.30 23.54 ignored itc stood and watched 23.54 00.00 11.76 17.65 17.65 29.42d helped the person 05.88 41.19 41.19 58.84 17.65 17.65 being bulliede laughed 11.76 05.88 00.00 11.76 23.54 05.88 No Response 11.76 05.88 00.00 11.76 23.54 05.88
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 88 Within this question, 1.96% reported to never having seen another student being bullied suchas being teased or called names in school or on the school bus. However, 27.47% reported towalking away and ignoring incidents of this bullying behavior upon others, while 16.67%reported to standing and watching these incidents of bullying on another student passively. Whenasked if they ever helped a person being bullied, 30.40% responded that they did, while 11.75%admitted to having laughed, leaving 11.75% which did not respond to the question. In reviewing their comments, many of the participants once again stated that they did notreport these experiences to teachers or school personnel because they were afraid of retaliationon the part of the bully. Furthermore, they did not want to draw further attention to themselves,which could make them the next target. They admitted to empathizing and sympathizing with thevictims, but the risk in getting involved was too big for them; therefore, they also understoodwhen others did not come to their aid when being bullied themselves. The participants also notedthat their advanced academic performance and inclusion in the Young Scholars program madethem a target to their bullies, often being told they ‘asked for it.’ When it came to verbal attacks, the participants most often helped the student beingteased or called names in school or on the school bus. In reviewing the comments on thequestionnaires, the participants did not offer direct assistance, but were readily and willinglyavailable to offer comfort and understanding to the victim after the incident. Category Five pertained specifically to gangs due to the demographics of the participantsof this study, such as did they know of students in their school who were members of a gang, orwere wanna-be’s of a gang. Additionally, the participants were asked exactly how much of aproblem did they think gangs were in their school.
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 89Table 25Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory Five: GangsQuestion 1: Do you know of students in your school who are members of a gang, or arewanna-be’s? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girlsa Yes 00.00 05.88 17.65 52.96 52.96 29.42b No 41.19 11.76 17.65 05.88 41.19 11.76c wanna-bes, not 23.54 23.54 29.42 29.42 00.00 35.30 membersd no gangs, just 17.65 23.54 11.76 11.76 00.00 05.88 cliques No Response 17.65 35.30 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65 Within this question, 26.48% of the participants found gangs to be a major problemwithin their school and community, with 23.54% worried not particularly about gangs, butwanna-be’s wanting to be gang members. Additionally, 21.57% did not believe that gangs were aproblem, and 11.77% stating that there supposed ‘gangs’ were actually cliques of bulliespretending to be an actual gang or trying to form a gang within the school, leaving 16.64% whichdid not respond to the question. The participants commented that most gang members that they see in and aroundtheir school are actively involved in criminal activity within the community, and this ofteninvolves violence, the possession of weapons, and the sale of drugs, particularly marijuana andcrack cocaine. Also noted within their comments was the issue that they were often related tothese gang members, such as being siblings, step-siblings, or cousins.Table 26
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 90Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory Five: GangsQuestion 2: How much of a problem do you think gangs are in your school? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girlsa a huge problem 05.88 00.00 05.88 23.54 05.88 11.76b a big problem 11.76 17.65 00.00 23.54 29.42 05.88 somewhat of ac 41.19 35.30 29.42 35.30 41.19 58.84 problemd no problem at all 23.54 11.76 41.19 17.65 17.65 05.88 No Response 17.65 35.30 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65 When responding to this question, 8.82% of the participants found gangs to be a ‘huge’problem within their school and community, with 14.71% finding them to be a ‘big’ problem,and 40.21% of them reporting that they found gangs to be ‘somewhat’ of a problem. However,19.62% reported that they felt gangs were not a problem within their school or community,leaving 16.64% which did not respond to the question. Category Six completed the questionnaire with an essay question asking how much of aproblem did they think bullying was in their school. Participants were asked to give someexamples and specific situations, and no names were included. These results were includedwithin the presentation of data per category and question to which they pertained.Summary The presentation of data reviewed within this study indicated how safe and unsafe thesestudents felt within their school culture and how they were treated by other students. It alsoprovided data on what these participants had seen and heard, and how they reacted to thesituations of bullying. Furthermore, the study provided insight pertaining to gangs within theschool climate, and specific causes and situations of bullying among gifted and talented students.
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 91 The basis of this presentation of data is to support the rationale that “gifted kids arebullied based on their superior school performance, which makes the child’s strength into aweakness” (Peterson, 2003, p. 65). Inevitably, their giftedness and talents turns into a source ofshame for the child and many are unable to cope with this shame, and being bullied has alreadybeen recognized as a major health problem for gifted children because of their already presentassociation with adjustment problems, as reviewed in Chapter II. Due to the fact that bullyingbehaviors arouse a sense of fear and can lead to major physical altercations that disrupt thelearning cycle, “educators are urged to address actively the impact of bullies on their schoolculture and on the academic success of all students” (Bosworth, et al. 2009, p. 362). Bullying prevention programs are often created based on studies such as this one, and theresults are analyzed in an attempt to create strategies to modify school climate by changingstudents’ attitudes that promote bullying and foster these behaviors towards the joining of gangs.Furthermore, these studies and prevention programs encourage administrators and teachers torecognize bullying as a serious problem, and “attempt to increase student willingness to seekhelp for themselves and other victims” (Bandyopadhyay, et al. 2009, p. 42). Chapter V CONCLUSION
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 92 Chapter V "The best indicator of a sociopathic serial bully is not a clinical diagnosis but the trail of devastation and destruction of lives and livelihoods surrounding this individual throughout their life” (p. 18). J.S. Peterson(2002)Introduction
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 93 Historically, bullying among school children and youth has not been a topic of greatpublic concern; mostly due to the fact that “many adults viewed the experience of being bulliedas a rite of passage for many children” (Caruana, 2002, p. 54). All children are vulnerable to theeffects of bullying, but gifted children differ from other children in several significant ways.Most gifted children are already very intense and anxious, as well as highly sensitive due to theirown and others’ high expectations of them. Gifted children consider social justice issues veryimportant to them, and “with their own hyper-sensitivity to self-criticism and perfectionalism,they struggle to make sense of this cruelty and aggression; many times blaming themselves andwithdrawing socially in order to hide from bullies” (Clark, 2008, p. 151). These gifted andtalented children are “more susceptible to the severe emotional damage that bullying can inflict”(Bosworth, 2009, p. 342). Take into consideration also that gifted students “tend to strivetowards perfectionalism and consider their lives less fulfilling without the pursuit of high goals,some impossibly high” (Lumsden, 2002, p. 346). The significance of this study was not to review bullying in gifted and talented childrenversus common classroom children; however, it was to study the prevalence and impact thatbullying has on gifted and talented children specifically. The most common type of bullyingduring the middle school years is “name-calling, teasing about appearance, pushing and shoving,and insults regarding their intelligence and grades” (Smith, et al. 2008, p. 3). Regular childrenget bullied too but gifted children are most often bullied based on their school performance,which “turns their strength into a weakness and a source of shame” (Smith, et al. 2008, p. 7).Certain challenges due to emotional immaturity come automatically with exceptional intellectualabilities, therefore, gifted and talented children are extremely sensitive to bullying.Summary of Findings
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 94 The setting for this study was a public middle school in the city of Norfolk in the state ofVirginia, and the school contains sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students. More than 85% of thefamilies are economically disadvantaged and approximately 80% of students are eligible for freeor reduced lunch. The student demographics are approximately 84% African-American, 9%White, 4% Hispanic, and 3% Asian. The middle school has an enrollment of approximately1,440 students and continues to grow at a rate of 3-4% a year for the past ten years. This schoolprovides a self-contained classroom academy program called Young Scholars for gifted andtalented students with approximately 98 students totaling from the sixth, seventh, and eighthgrade levels. These children range in ages from ten to sixteen, and cover all the economical andethnic demographics. For the purpose of this study, students were selected from the YoungScholars program only. A comparative research study was conducted in order to examine theimpact of bullying on gifted and talented children within the middle school climate, and aquestionnaire was administered and completed by the participants. Category One questions within the questionnaire pertained to how safe they felt, andthese questions delved into how safe they felt in their general and elective classrooms, asopposed to their gifted classrooms, as well as areas such as the gymnasium and athletic fields,cafeteria, and hallways. These questions extended the safety issue out to walking to and fromschool, as well as taking the school bus with all the other students of the school not within theYoung Scholars Program. The study showed that 19.81% of the participants self unsafe in everyaspect of their school climate, and similarly, 89.08% of the participants did not report suchbehaviors to school personnel because they were scared and lacked the confidence, or felt theydid not have the parental support to make the report. Bullying sets a tense environment in aschool and as addressed earlier, can lead to violence towards others or even suicide by the
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 95victims. A student that has bullied can have far-reaching effects in a school and “create a climateof fear and intimidation not only in his or her victims, but in fellow students” as well; therefore,students who bully, their victims, and bystanders are all affected (Branson, et al. 2009, p. 8).When asked the number one reason for not returning to school, “10% of high school dropoutsreported fear of being harassed, teased, or attacked” (Walker, 2009, p. 7). Category Two allowed them to discuss how others treated them with questions such ashow often did other students bully them by laying their hands on them, including incidents ofhitting, kicking, pushing, or hurting their body otherwise. The questions also addressed howoften did other students bully them by saying mean things to them, things which hurt theirfeelings, how often did other students bully them by spreading mean rumors about them, andhow often did other students bully them by leaving them out of their activities. From exclusionfrom activities and cliques, to mean remarks and the spreading of gossip, and evencyberbullying, 51% of the participants reported that this type of bullying happened most often tothem, and not always within the school environment either. Many times it rolled over into theweekends and holiday and summer breaks when they encountered these bullies within theirneighborhoods and community, even in church and the shopping mall. Some students stated theywere just grateful when the bullies ignored them outside of the school environment, but werequick to add that the bullying just started up again when school resumed. This added anxietyduring non-school time which reaches over into neighborhood and community time goesunreported, but “eventually leads to poor grades, increased truancy, and increased violenceamong students” (Holmes, 2010, p. 4). Category Three asked questions about what they have seen or heard, such as how oftenthey have seen another student bully others by laying their hands on them or by saying mean
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 96things to them, things which hurt their feelings. Also, how often have they seen another studentbully others by spreading mean rumors about them, and how often have they seen anotherstudent bully others by leaving them out of their activities. Within this category, 81.03% of theparticipants reported having seen another student bully others by spreading mean rumors aboutthem. Since many gifted children are perfectionistic, they feel that telling an adult what ishappening is “a reflection on their ability to control their lives” (Schuler, 2002, p. 3). To theirdetriment, however, many adults tell these participants that this is a form of tattling, snitching, orstory-telling, therefore, leading them to distrust all adults and withdraw into themselves, oftencausing them to suffer silently as situations escalate from their tormentors. Most studies about bullying focus on boys as aggressors but girls can be bullies too, andwhen girls bully, it is most often done in the form of rumors and gossip. Within their essays, theparticipants reported that most of the boy bullies leaned towards violence and outward taunting,but girl bullies and their tactics were often quiet and covert. The female participants noted thatwhen teachers are standing around, they don’t notice the group of girls who are bullying andsaying mean things apart from a group of girls who are innocently standing around and talking.Girls socialize differently than boys, and as girls enter middle school their peer interactionsbecome less physical and more social and “they engage in verbal bonding by sharing stories,hopes, and dreams” (Clark, 2008, p. 104). Since girls bond differently than boys, it makes sensethat when they bully it would be different too, but when girls bully they aren’t so obvious. Themost common tactic is rumors and gossip, and “playing the popularity game in a way that causesfear or inadequacy in others is a form of bullying and it is a common tactic used by girls” (Clark,2008, p. 105).
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 97 Research has shown us that bullies often come from homes in which physical punishmentis used, “where striking out physically is a way to handle problems, and where parentalinvolvement and warmth are frequently lacking” (Peterson, et al. 2007, p. 154). These studentswho engage in bullying behaviors have a need to feel powerful and in control, and very oftenappear to “derive satisfaction from inflicting injury and suffering on others and seem to havelittle empathy for their victims,” and often they defend their actions by saying that their victimsprovoked them in some way (Peterson, et al. 2007, p. 158). Category Four questions pertained to how they reacted, such as what have they donewhen they have seen a student being hit, kicked, pushed, punched or otherwise physically hurt inschool or on the school bus; and if they helped a student in a bully situation, what was theoutcome, and whether it was positive or negative. Nearly 95% of the participants reported havingseen another student bully others by saying mean things to them, things which hurt their feelings.Bullying is a common experience for many children and teenagers as per the research, but theincidents evolve as well do the means. “Direct bullying seems to increase through the elementaryschool years, peak in middle school, and decline during the high school years” (Van Tassel,2007, p. 144). Although this direct bullying seems to decrease with the increase of age in thevictim, “verbal abuse appears to stay constant, often escalating within the high school years”(Van Tassel, 2007, p. 145). This verbal abuse, as stated by the participants, often comes in the form of intenseprofanity. There is a rise in profanity in our schools today primarily due to music, movies, andtelevision; and “our kids are routinely exposed to a variety of language that can only beconsidered inappropriate” (Morrison, et al. 2006, p. 216). Profanity has gradually become a moreaccepted part of pop culture with our children as is evidenced by the sitcoms they watch and the
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 98music they listen to, and familiarity breeds acceptance. Profanity is now a common occurrencewithin the halls of our high schools, middle schools, and even elementary schools; and schoolofficials, parents and the media need to share in the responsibility to curtail this growingepidemic. There are many statistics and reports regarding bullying, and the prevalence of thisprofanity speaks volumes regarding the impact that bullying has on our schools and the children. It has been determined that “a high percentage of children, over 89% have experiencedvictimization at some point throughout their school experience” (Burrill, 2005, p. 84). Thesechildren are more likely to experience “attention deficit disorder, oppositional defiant disorder,conduct disorder, and depression” (Burrill, 2005, p. 86). Suicidal thoughts are more prevalent invictims of bullying, particularly the gifted, and “these victims reported experiencing feelings ofvengefulness, anger, and self-pity” (Olweus, 1996, p. 17). Olweus has extensively researched theeffects of bullying on gifted and talented children, and found that victimization is “highlycorrelated with low self-esteem, depression, isolation, suicidal ideation, and violent retaliation”(Olweus, 1996, p. 18). Category Five pertained specifically to gangs due to the demographics of the participantsof this study, such as did they know of students in their school who were members of a gang, orwere wanna-be’s of a gang. Additionally, the participants were asked exactly how much of aproblem did they think gangs were in their school. All of the participants found gangs a problemat some level, as referenced in Question 1 in this category. Bullies are often surrounded byothers, not through popularity but through fear. It is this dynamic which has caused thedevelopment and rise of gangs in schools and neighborhoods. A bully is rarely able to sustain afriendship because it is “based on trust, dependability, loyalty, and mutual respect” (Parker,2008, p. 101). Therefore, the bully forms alliances with others which is part of his or her strategy
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 99for power and control. Looking at the bully and their cohorts, a clique and then eventually a gangmentality is formed where true friendship is absent. Many of the cohorts side with the bully andjoin these gangs “for fear of otherwise becoming a target” (Parker, 2008, p. 101). Many joingangs, as noted earlier in the comments of the participants, because they were often related tothese gang members, such as being siblings, step-siblings, or cousins.Implications Victims experience real suffering that can interfere with their social and emotionaldevelopment, as well as their actual school performance. Some victims of bullying have“attempted suicide rather than continue to endure harassment and abuse” (Marr, et al. 2001, p.32). Bullycide is the word coined by researchers to describe when “bullied children are driven tosuicide rather than face another day of unrelenting bullying, harassment, and abuse” (Marr, et al.2001, p. 11). Many victims haven taken out their anger and frustration by using violence, which“normally manifests itself in high school” (Whiting, 2009, p. 227). Many of the “young peoplewho have caused school-related violence and even deaths have been bullied themselves,” andexamples such as the Columbine high school tragedy shows how bullying can lead to violenceand suicide (Whiting, 2009, p. 232). Being bullied has also been recognized as a major health problem for gifted childrenbecause of their already present association with adjustment problems. This usually manifestsitself into “poor mental health with thoughts of suicide, and more extreme violent behavior suchas homicide perceived as justifiable retaliation” (Juvonen, et al. 2003, p. 1235). Juvonen (2002)found in her research that the bullies themselves were actually psychologically stronger than thevictims, and had a higher social standing. These bullies are often popular within their groups, andtheir groups possess other bullies; therefore making them a “higher population in respect to the
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 100groups of non-bullies” (Juvonen, et al. 2003, p. 1235). To be able to intervene with bullying,Juvonen stresses that it is important to recognize the unique problems of these gifted childrenand address them directly with the assistance of parents, teachers, and school personnel. In addition to recognizing these problems, school-wide antibullying approaches that aimto change peer dynamics that support and maintain bullying should be developed andimplemented. In order to meet the social and emotional needs of these gifted children, a goodschool environment should set “explicit standards or codes of appropriate student behavior”(Juvonen, et al. 2003, p. 1237). Administrators should also lay out clear expectations for theirteachers and staff in adhering to these standards, and recruit their assistance in gathering andreviewing feedback and meeting set goals. Juvoven admits that a code of conduct may not beenough to eliminate bullying, but “well-established policies with methods to investigate issuesand resolve problems as they arise provide all with a better opportunity to intervene on the behalfof students most affected by bullying” (Juvonen, et al. 2003, p. 1237).Recommendations for Future Studies Bullying thrives in schools because teachers and school officials are often unaware that itis taking place, and normally only learn about it when it is finally reported due to the escalationof situations to the point of violence. One of the goals for bullying prevention programs is topromote student willingness to seek help when they directly experience or witness seriouscircumstances of bullying. Students who regard this aggressive behavior as acceptable or evennormal within their school climate are more likely to become bullies themselves, thereforeescalating the problem even more. In order to prevent this escalation, it must first be ascertainedto what extend bullying is taking place by measuring these participants perceptions of thesebehaviors, and the frequency of the incidents.
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 101 Bullying prevention programs are designed through such studies, and they attempt tomodify school climate by changing student attitudes that promote bullying and foster thesebehaviors. More specifically, these programs “aim to reduce aggressive attitudes among studentsand encourage them to be more accepting of classmates from diverse backgrounds” (Webb, et al.2005, p. 87). With this, these programs encourage administrators and teachers to recognize howserious of a problem bullying is within their school climate, and to assist in student willingnessto seek help for themselves or report incidents in order to assist others. The prevalence ofbullying within a school ultimately impacts student learning and achievement not only for thevictims, but for bystanders as well, and contributes again to truancy, and even increases thedropout rate. School districts struggle to reduce violence and dealing with bullying behaviors has cometo the forefront recently. In order for effective programs to be developed through schoolimprovement plans, “researchers must first be able to identify the students most at risk forengaging in bullying behavior and provide data regarding the behavioral and psychosocialcharacteristics associated with the different types and levels of these behaviors.” (Cavanaugh,2009, p. 9) Researchers have used an array of definitions, such as those referenced in Chapter 2,to focus on the identification of bullies and their victims and have used “various measures tomeasure the prevalence and effects of bullying” on not only individuals but the school climate asa whole. (Peterson, 2003, p. 71) School professionals are charged with teaching and modeling good social and emotionalbehavior so that students will act appropriately and thrive in school, academically and socially.Therefore, they should always be on alert for bullying behaviors among children and act pro-actively. In order to end this negative behavior, “the behavior of the bullying child needs to
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 102change, as well as helping the child who is being bullied respond appropriately.” (Peterson,2002, p. 18)Reflections Bullying creates a sense of fear that disrupts the learning environment, and we need toactively address the impact of bullies on school climate and the social pressures of studentsvictimized by this bullying. Bullying sets a tense environment in a school and as addressedearlier, can lead to violence towards others or suicide by the victims. Although freedom from thefear and shame of bullying does not necessarily ensure academic success for all students, “it isindeed a necessary condition to promote effective learning in a positive classroom culture”(Schuler, 2002, p. 4). As educators struggle to reduce violence, dealing with all of these bullying behaviors hastruly come to the forefront. In order for effective programs to be developed and implemented, thesocial and emotional needs of those bullied, as well as the bullies themselves, must beunderstood and met. Combating bullying is a mission that requires cooperation betweeneveryone involved including parents and the community, as well as the school administration andstaff. Future studies and comprehensive intervention plans can help ensure that all students learnin a safe and fear-free environment. ReferencesBandyopadhyay, S., Cornell, D. G., & Konold, T. R. (2009). Validity of Three School Climate Scales to Assess Bullying, Aggressive Attitudes, and Help Seeking. School Psychology Review, 38(3), 42-59.Beane, Ph.D., A. L. (1999). The Bully Free Classroom: Over 100 Tips and Strategies for
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    • Gifted Children and Bullying 104 November 18, 2009, from http://www.pearsonassessments.com/haiweb/cultures/en- us/productiondetail.htmCaruana, V. (2002). Educating Your Gifted Child. Wheaton IL: Crossway Books (A Division of Good News Publishers).Cavanaugh, S. (2009). Challenging Programs Cater to the Profoundly Gifted. Education Week, 28(33), 9.Clark, B. (2008). Growing Up Gifted (Seventh Edition ed.). Upper Saddle River NJ Columbus OH: Pearson Publishing Merrill Prentice Hall.Cukierkorn, J. R. (2008). Talented Young Artists: Understanding Their Abilities and Needs. Gifted Children Today, 31(4), 24-33.Delisle, J., & Galbraith, J. (2002). When Gifted Children Dont Have All The Answers. Minneapolis MN: Free Spirit Publishing, Inc.Evans, M. (2008). Gifted and Talented: A Special Approach? Gifted Education International, 24(1), 82-87.Firestone, H. (2001). Teaching By Lesson Planning. New York: Hart Publishers.Gagne, F., Colangelo, N., & Davis, G. (2003). Transforming Gifts into Talents: The DMGT as a Developmental Theory. Handbook of Gifted Education (3rd ed., pp. 60-74). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Gardner, H. (1995). Reflections on multiple intelligences myths and messages. Phi Delta Kappan, 77, 200-209.Holmes, A. (2010). Law enforcement encouraging an end to bullying. jdnews.com, 66(347), 1-4. Retrieved July 10, 2010, from http://jdnews.com/articles/school-66347-bullying- encouraging.html
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    • Gifted Children and Bullying 109Spriggs, A., Halpern, C., & Martin, S. (2008). Continuity of adolescent and early adult partner violence victimization: association with witnessing violent crime in adolescence. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 4, 741-748.Spriggs, A., Lannotti, R., Nansel, T., & Haynie, D. (2009). Adolescent bullying involvement and perceived family, peer, and school relations: Commonalities and differences across race/ ethnicity. Journal of Adolescent Health, 41, 283-293.Strip, C. A., & Hirsch, G. (2000). Helping Gifted Children Soar: A Practical Guide for Parents and Teachers. Scottsdale: Great Potential Press, Inc. (Gifted Psychology Press, Inc.).Tomlinson, S. (2008). Gifted, talented and high ability: Selection for education in a one- dimensional world. Oxford Review of Education, 34(1), 59-74.VanTassel-Baska, J. (2007). Alternative Assessments with Gifted and Talented Students. Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.VanTassel-Baska, J., Cross, T., & Olenchak, R. (2008). Social and Emotional Curriculum with Gifted and Talented Students. Waco: Prufrock Press.Walker, D. (2009). Effectiveness of State Anti-Bullying Laws Questioned. Education Week, 29(4), 7-8.Webb, J., Amend, E., Goerss, J., Beljan, P., & Olenchak, F. (2005). Misdiagnosis and dual diagnosis of gifted children and adults: ADHD, bipolar, OCD, Aspergers, depression, and other disorders. Scottsdale: Great Potential Press, Inc. (Gifted Psychology Press, Inc.).Whiting, G. (2009). Gifted Black Males: Understanding and Decreasing Barriers to Achievement and Identity. Roeper Review, 31(4), 224-233.Whitmore, J. R. (1980). Vulnerability of Gifted Children. Giftedness, Conflict, and
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 110 Underachievement (p. 143). Boston: Allyn & Bacon.Young, R., & Sweeting, H. (2004). Adolescent Bullying, Relationships, Psychological Well- Being and Gender-Atypical Behavior: A Gender Diagnosticity Approach. Prufrock Gifted and Advanced Learners, 50(4), 525-537. APPENDIXAPPENDIX A: Human Participant Approval Generic Consent
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 111
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 112
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 113APPENDIX B: Bullying Questionnaire
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 114 Bullying Questionnaire(Circle One) I am in: (a) 6th grade (b) 7th grade (c) 8th grade(Circle One) I am a: (a) boy (b) girl My age is: _________Category One: How Safe Do You Feel? 1. How safe do you feel in your general and elective classrooms, as opposed to your Young Scholar classrooms? a. very unsafe and scared b. kind of unsafe c. kind of safe d. very safe 2. How safe do you feel in the gymnasium or on the fields? a. very unsafe and scared b. kind of unsafe c. kind of safe d. very safe 3. How safe do you feel in the cafeteria? a. very unsafe and scared b. kind of unsafe c. kind of safe d. very safe 4. How safe do you feel in the hallways? a. very unsafe and scared b. kind of unsafe c. kind of safe
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 115 d. very safe 5. How safe do you feel going to and from school, walking or taking the bus? a. very unsafe and scared b. kind of unsafe c. kind of safe d. very safeCategory Two: How Others Treat You 1. How often do other students bully you by laying their hands on you (hit, kick, or push you or hurt your body otherwise)? a. every day b. once or twice per week c. once or twice per month d. once or twice per year e. never 2. How often do other students bully you by saying mean things to you, things which hurt your feelings? a. every day b. once or twice per week c. once or twice per month d. once or twice per year e. never 3. How often do other students bully you by spreading mean rumors about you? a. every day b. once or twice per week c. once or twice per month d. once or twice per year e. never
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 116 4. How often do other students bully you by leaving you out of their activities? a. every day b. once or twice per week c. once or twice per month d. once or twice per year e. never In what grade is the student or students which bully you? __________________________________________ Who have you told or asked for help when being bullied? __________________________________________Category Three: What You Have Seen Or Heard 1. How often have your seen another student bully others by laying their hands on them (hit, kick, or push you or hurt your body otherwise)? a. everyday b. once or twice per week c. once or twice per month d. once or twice per year e. never 2. How often have your seen another student bully others by saying mean things to them, things which hurt their feelings? a. everyday b. once or twice per week c. once or twice per month d. once or twice per year e. never
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 117 3. How often have your seen another student bully others by spreading mean rumors about them? a. everyday b. once or twice per week c. once or twice per month d. once or twice per year e. never 4. How often have your seen another student bully others by leaving them out of their activities? a. everyday b. once or twice per week c. once or twice per month d. once or twice per year e. neverCategory Four: How You Reacted 1. What have you done when you have seen a student being hit, kicked, pushed, punched or otherwise physically hurt in school or on the school bus? a. I have never seen another student being bullied b. I walked away and ignored it c. I stood and watched d. I helped the person who was being bullied e. I laughed 2. What have you done when you heard a student being teased or called names in school or on the school bus? a. I have never seen another student being bullied b. I walked away and ignored it
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 118 c. I stood and watched d. I helped the person who was being bullied e. I laughed 3. If you helped a student in a bully situation, how did you help? a. I have never seen another student being bullied b. I walked away and ignored it c. I stood and watched d. I helped the person who was being bullied e. I laughedCategory Five: Gangs 1. Do you know of students in your school who are members of a gang, or are wanna-be’s? a. Yes b. No c. wanna-be’s, but not actual members d. we don’t have gangs, just “cliques” who control others 2. How much of a problem do you think gangs are in your school? a. a huge problem b. a big problem c. somewhat of a problem d. no problem at allCategory Six: Essay Question How much of a problem do you think bullying is in your school? Give some examples and specific situations, no names included.____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 119__________________________________________________________________________________ Please use back if needed. Thank You.APPENDIX C: Bullying Questionnaire Grade 6 Comprehensive Results
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 120 PTS Boy 1 Boy 2 Boy 3 Boy 4BULLYING QUESTIONNAIRE: Grade 6 Category One: How Safe Do You Feel?1 How safe do you feel in your general and elective classrooms, as opposed to your Young Scholar classrooms? a very unsafe and scared 4 b kind of unsafe 3 3 3 c kind of safe 2 2 d very safe 1 12 How safe do you feel in the gymnasium or on the fields? a very unsafe and scared 4 b kind of unsafe 3 3 c kind of safe 2 2 2 d very safe 1 13 How safe do you feel in the cafeteria? a very unsafe and scared 4 b kind of unsafe 3 c kind of safe 2 2 2 d very safe 1 1 14 How safe do you feel in the hallways? a very unsafe and scared 4 b kind of unsafe 3 3 c kind of safe 2 2 2 d very safe 1 15 How safe do you feel going to and from school, walking or taking the bus? a very unsafe and scared 4 b kind of unsafe 3 c kind of safe 2 d very safe 1 1 1 1 1 Category Two: How Others Treat You1 How often do other students bully you by laying their hands on you (hit, kick, push or hurt your body otherwise)? a every day 5 b once or twice per week 4 c once or twice per month 3 3 d once or twice per year 2 2 e never 1 1 12 How often do other students bully you by saying mean things to you, things which hurt your feelings? a every day 5 5 5 b once or twice per week 4 c once or twice per month 3 3 d once or twice per year 2 e never 1 13 How often do other students bully you by spreading mean rumors about you? a every day 5 b once or twice per week 4 c once or twice per month 3 d once or twice per year 2 2 2 2 e never 1 14 How often do other students bully you by leaving you out of their activities? a every day 5 b once or twice per week 4 4 c once or twice per month 3 3 d once or twice per year 2 e never 1 1 1
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 121 In what grade is the student or students which bully you? 6 6 6 Who have you told or asked for help when being bullied? mom, dad, mom no grandparents, teachers Category Three: What You Have Seen or Heard1 How often have your seen another student bully others by laying their hands on them (hit, kick, push or hurt their body otherwise)? a every day 5 b once or twice per week 4 4 4 4 c once or twice per month 3 3 d once or twice per year 2 e never 12 How often have your seen another student bully others by saying mean things to them, things which hurt their feelings? a every day 5 5 5 b once or twice per week 4 4 c once or twice per month 3 3 d once or twice per year 2 e never 13 How often have your seen another student bully others by spreading mean rumors about them? a every day 5 b once or twice per week 4 4 c once or twice per month 3 3 3 d once or twice per year 2 2 e never 14 How often have your seen another student bully others by leaving them out of their activities? a every day 5 b once or twice per week 4 4 4 4 c once or twice per month 3 d once or twice per year 2 2 e never 1 Category Four: How You Reacted What have you done when you have seen a student being hit, kicked, pushed, punched or otherwise physically hurt in school or on1 the school bus? a I have never seen another student being bullied 1 b I walked away and ignored it 2 2 c I stood and watched 3 3 3 d I helped the person who was being bullied 4 4 e I laughed 52 What have you done when you heard a student being teased or called names in school or on the school bus? a I have never seen another student being bullied 1 b I walked away and ignored it 2 2 2 2 c I stood and watched 3 3 d I helped the person who was being bullied 4 e I laughed 5 told the If you helped a student in a bully situation, never bully how did you help? helped to stop Category Five: Gangs1 Do you know of students in your school who are members of a gang, or are wanna-be’s? a Yes 4 b No 1 1 c wanna-be’s, but not actual members 2 2 2 d we don’t have gangs, just “cliques” who control others 3 32 How much of a problem do you think gangs are in your school? a a huge problem 4 b a big problem 3 c somewhat of a problem 2 2 2 d no problem at all 1 1 1
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 122 POINTS TOTAL 48 41 41 35Category Six: Essay QuestionHow much of a problem do you think bullying is in your school?Give some examples and specific situations, no names included. BIG ! No Big People get teased groups of wanna-be made fun everywhere bullies gangs of a lot for skin No one color gang up on really hits (white) one person told I act tripped funny everyday hallways are really bad
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 123Boy 5 Boy 6 Boy 7 Boy 8 Boy 9 Boy 10 Boy 11 Boy 12 Boy 13 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 3 3 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 5 4 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 5 5 5 4 4 4 2 1 1 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 1 1 4 4 4 3 2 1 1 1 1 6 6 6 6 6-7-8 6-8 6-8 6Young no no no no no mom no no
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 124Scholarteachers 5 5 5 5 4 4 3 3 3 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 4 3 5 5 4 4 4 4 1 x 1 5 5 5 5 4 4 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 3 4 4 4 5 2 2 2 3 3 3 4 5 5 I get support never by ending it yell loud to helped get told the annoyed them back them I tell them helped get them to them away bully to up from the to stop back off stop bully 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 51 52 40 45 30 58 43 29 52
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 125 25% BIG Big Big Just some SERIOUS Big lots of Large problem punks arguments especially Especiallysome kids get bullied I have to I get very and yelling especially in on the help some come to about my the bus depressed in the cafeteria of school weight but my friends not a lot of cafeteria afraid told I have not by the a lot Afraid fist-fights a other been flat chest someone Young pantsed Scholars and butt could kill someone left out in that I must elsegym games be gay some of these call be an bullies are albino going to be cause in jail when Im mixed they grow up
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 126Boy 14 BOY Girl 15 Girl 16 Girl 17 Girl 18 Girl 19 Girl 20 Girl 21 TOTALS 5 3 3 2 6 2 2 2 3 1 1 3 3 3 3 2 7 2 2 2 4 1 4 3 3 3 3 3 5 2 2 6 1 3 3 3 3 3 3 8 2 3 1 1 3 3 2 4 2 2 2 10 1 1 1 1 4 4 4 1 2 6 2 2 5 1 1 5 5 5 3 1 3 1 2 2 2 1 4 1 1 4 4 2 3 3 5 1 6 1 1 1 4 2 3 3 2 2 6 1 1 1 1 1 6 6 6 6 6-7 6 dean no no mainly mother teacher friends counselor
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 127 4 5 5 5 5 43 5 3 3 3 6 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 43 3 2 5 5 4 43 3 3 3 1 2 3 1 4 54 6 4 4 4 3 3 1 2 3 1 3 2 2 2 2 23 6 4 4 12 7 2 2 2 2 4 1 4 4 4 2 broke up told the stood up stood up I ignore it I dont want the bully to leave fight for them for them to be a part them alone of it 41 7 1 1 4 2 2 3 3 3 1 2 3 32 7 2 2 2 2 4 139 238 61 42 44 60 29 37 45
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 128 Everyday I lots of Big Big MAJOR HUGE HUGE HUGE see fights at least 4 or throw in the things cafeteria really easy I heard at eachespecially 5 students Big in my Young to someone other getting just set throwing in the school and threaten to Scholars picked some foodcafeteria kill on bullies off will never get bullied food thrown and someone the else if they a lot rubbed in be resolvedhallways did because face bullies not give fights just we are throw them food on because We dont money different girls get others and someone bully each slapped bumped Ive seen make them other in They call into drugs and cry them Young us nerds use really weapons Scholars foul get tripped Things get they hate us language because grabbed and they stolen in the think we are curse at the hallways better teachers really bad they dont in even electives know us safe in its not Young right Scholars
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 129Girl 22 Girl 23 Girl 24 Girl 25 Girl 26 Girl 27 Girl 28 Girl 29 Girl 30 GIRL TOTALS 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 9 1 1 4 4 1 3 2 2 2 6 1 1 1 1 1 6 4 2 3 3 3 3 7 2 2 2 5 1 2 4 1 3 5 2 2 2 2 2 2 7 1 3 4 1 2 2 2 5 1 1 1 1 1 1 8 4 4 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 10 5 5 4 3 3 3 4 3 1 1 1 1 5 5 1 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 9 4 1 3 3 4 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 9 6 6 6 6-7-8 6 6 no no no no no no counselor no PE teachers
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 130 5 5 5 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 7 2 1 5 5 5 5 5 5 11 4 4 4 3 1 5 2 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 8 1 1 5 2 4 4 5 3 3 3 3 6 2 2 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 10 3 3 2 4 4 3 1 1 2 2 2 7 4 4 4 4 7 5 1 get a moved try to help stood up told the helped never never teacher them bullies verballywrite a away from for them teacher helped helped dont but listen to notstatement bully me physically 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 4 3 3 3 4 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 6 1 2 29 41 41 43 37 40 66 40 40 262
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 131 saw a call us lots of I get lots of lots of verbal BIG bunch of nerds fights kicked fights fights in the and called in the in the girls throw and geeks hallway names hallway cafeteria bullies oranges at teased and have a girl and I was told throwingreally bad harassed would that food not stop I couldntattitudes even ever kids are talk in the only 1 though she made school dean cause Im and 1 to cry was crying white guard in the cafeteria punched spoke up in for myself the face once and the girl this is threatened DAILY to cut my throat I feel left out a lot
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 132APPENDIX D: Bullying Questionnaire Grade 7 Comprehensive Results
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 133BULLYING QUESTIONNAIRE: Grade 7 PTS Boy 1 Boy 2 Boy 3 Boy 4 Category One: How Safe Do You Feel? How safe do you feel in your general and elective classrooms, as opposed to your Young Scholar1 classrooms? a very unsafe and scared 4 b kind of unsafe 3 c kind of safe 2 d very safe 1 1 1 1 12 How safe do you feel in the gymnasium or on the fields? a very unsafe and scared 4 b kind of unsafe 3 c kind of safe 2 2 d very safe 1 1 1 13 How safe do you feel in the cafeteria? a very unsafe and scared 4 b kind of unsafe 3 c kind of safe 2 2 2 d very safe 1 1 14 How safe do you feel in the hallways? a very unsafe and scared 4 b kind of unsafe 3 3 c kind of safe 2 2 d very safe 1 1 15 How safe do you feel going to and from school, walking or taking the bus? a very unsafe and scared 4 b kind of unsafe 3 c kind of safe 2 d very safe 1 1 1 1 1 Category Two: How Others Treat You1 How often do other students bully you by laying their hands on you (hit, kick, push or hurt your body otherwise)? a every day 5 b once or twice per week 4 c once or twice per month 3 3 d once or twice per year 2 e never 1 1 1 12 How often do other students bully you by saying mean things to you, things which hurt your feelings? a every day 5 b once or twice per week 4 c once or twice per month 3 3 d once or twice per year 2 2 2 e never 1 13 How often do other students bully you by spreading mean rumors about you? a every day 5 b once or twice per week 4 c once or twice per month 3 3 d once or twice per year 2 2 e never 1 1 14 How often do other students bully you by leaving you out of their activities? a every day 5 b once or twice per week 4 c once or twice per month 3
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 134 d once or twice per year 2 e never 1 1 1 1 1 In what grade is the student or students which bully you? 7 7 7-8 Who have you told or asked for help when being bullied? mother no friends friends Category Three: What You Have Seen or Heard How often have your seen another student bully others by laying their hands on them (hit, kick, push or hurt their body1 otherwise)? a every day 5 b once or twice per week 4 4 c once or twice per month 3 3 3 d once or twice per year 2 e never 1 12 How often have your seen another student bully others by saying mean things to them, things which hurt their feelings? a every day 5 5 b once or twice per week 4 4 4 c once or twice per month 3 3 d once or twice per year 2 e never 13 How often have your seen another student bully others by spreading mean rumors about them? a every day 5 5 b once or twice per week 4 4 c once or twice per month 3 3 d once or twice per year 2 2 e never 14 How often have your seen another student bully others by leaving them out of their activities? a every day 5 5 b once or twice per week 4 c once or twice per month 3 d once or twice per year 2 2 e never 1 1 1 Category Four: How You Reacted What have you done when you have seen a student being hit, kicked, pushed, punched or otherwise physically hurt in1 school or on the school bus? a I have never seen another student being bullied 1 1 b I walked away and ignored it 2 2 2 2 c I stood and watched 3 d I helped the person who was being bullied 4 e I laughed 52 What have you done when you heard a student being teased or called names in school or on the school bus? a I have never seen another student being bullied 1 b I walked away and ignored it 2 2 c I stood and watched 3 d I helped the person who was being bullied 4 4 4 4 e I laughed 5 If you helped a student in a bully situation, not tried to I drag stood up how did you help? helped talk the them away for them Category Five: Gangs bully away1 Do you know of students in your school who are members of a gang, or are wanna-be’s? a Yes 4 4 4
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 135 b No 1 1 c wanna-be’s, but not actual members 2 2 d we don’t have gangs, just “cliques” who control others 32 How much of a problem do you think gangs are in your school? a a huge problem 4 b a big problem 3 c somewhat of a problem 2 1 d no problem at all 1 1 1 1 POINTS TOTAL 29 38 35 35 racist bullied pushed fights over Category Six: Essay Question remarks How much of a problem do you think bullying is in your school? a lot down the nothing cause Im stairs Give some examples and specific situations, no names included. mixed because say mean Im an lots of they get things athlete gossip even more mad and lies if you try to ignore fights just them for bumping into one another
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 136Boy 5 Boy 6 Boy 7 Boy 8 Boy 9 Boy 10 Boy 11 Boy 12 Boy 13 BOY TOTALS 3 3 2 2 2 2 3 1 1 1 1 8 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 7 1 1 1 6 3 3 2 2 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 8 3 2 2 2 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 8 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 11 5 1 4 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 1 1 6 5 5 2 4 1 3 2 2 2 2 5 1 1 3 5 1 4 1 3 2 2 2 3 1 1 1 1 6
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 137 4 4 4 3 3 3 2 2 1 1 1 1 7 7 7 7 7 7-8 7 friends parents no friends parents teacher friends 5 5 5 3 4 4 4 4 5 3 3 4 1 5 5 5 5 5 6 4 4 4 5 1 2 1 5 5 3 4 4 4 4 5 3 3 3 1 1 1 5 5 3 4 4 4 4 4 5 1 1 1 4 1 2 2 2 6 3 3 2 4 4 4 3 5 1 2 2 2 4 3 3 2 4 4 4 4 7 told the tell them tell them helped nothing Inothing I tell them to told them never bully to to them cancan do to to be quiet ignore the back off lay off out to stop helped do to help walked help bully away 4 3 1 1 3 2 2 2 2 5 3 3 2 4 1
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 138 2 2 2 2 5 1 1 1 1 7 36 36 53 56 53 33 41 36 55 221 I get White I getbullies are pushed disrespectful we dont people are Big bullied kids teased socializestrong and regularly always get it the a lot but I in a lot of ourpowerful yelled at getting worst stay with Everyday gossip elective get because only I get and drama classes revenge insulted they Young called because because people are after are so few Scholars gay and they we dont like rude get cursed at are afraid school where it is faggot my personality they are safe Young Young I stay late told they with the dont Scholars Scholars they laugh other belong back up is safe if I cry Young in the each other Scholars school and we take the 4 pm bus with just us or get picked up by our parents in front of the school we avoid the bullies the best we can
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 139Girl 14 Girl 15 Girl 16 Girl 17 Girl 18 Girl 19 Girl 20 Girl 21 Girl 22 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 4 3 3 3 3 3 2 2 1 4 3 3 3 3 3 3 2 1 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 5 5 4 3 3 2 2 2 1 5 4 4 4 4 3 2 2 2 4 4 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 4 3 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 7 7 7 7 7-8 7 7-8 7-8 7-8
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 140 no no mother teachers teachers no no mother Young (not helpful) friends parents Scholars Teachers friends 5 5 5 5 3 3 2 2 1 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 3 2 5 5 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 5 5 5 5 5 4 3 2 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 4 4 2 2 3 4 4 4 4 5 5 told the told the call overtold bully to I do not help victim get a teacher I bring a I cant really bully bully other once the Young help - Ileave them help right away to stop to go away teacher over bully Scholars comfort alone goes away to help afterwards 4 4 4 4 3 2 2 2 2 4 4 3 3 2 2 2 2 1
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 141 42 53 51 40 57 42 56 61 56 name only the they bully I get Big Huge I hate the Big name calling calling Young me screamed in the Scholars get hallways at on the bus cafeteria bullied teasing some of us bullying is bullies come every day spread really because struggle we are mostly done getting to our they call me bad rumors through smart to bullied Young and that Young that are notcalled a slut school is a daily big and fat Scholar makes Scholars true and a classrooms and dont everyday us different activity stripper and ever they wont this disrupts table in the go away let I always we are told the bullies cafeteriahad buttons our learning you ignore have we are even ripped off are all gay like when they they make to be careful them my and animals, are lies we only shirt what I say bisexual and they are not told NOT to the truth have each other even sleep with and civilized each other our Young cause no they are Scholar one very else wants teachers racist to us white, mixed, we are told Asians, and we are spoiled, Mexicans selfish brats they hate us
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 142APPENDIX E: Bullying Questionnaire Grade 8 Comprehensive Results
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 143BULLYING QUESTIONNAIRE: Grade 8 PTS Boy 1 Boy 2 Boy 3 Boy 4 Category One: How Safe Do You Feel?1 How safe do you feel in your general and elective classrooms, as opposed to your Young Scholar classrooms? a very unsafe and scared 4 b kind of unsafe 3 c kind of safe 2 2 2 d very safe 1 1 12 How safe do you feel in the gymnasium or on the fields? a very unsafe and scared 4 b kind of unsafe 3 c kind of safe 2 2 d very safe 1 1 1 13 How safe do you feel in the cafeteria? a very unsafe and scared 4 b kind of unsafe 3
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 144 c kind of safe 2 2 2 d very safe 1 1 14 How safe do you feel in the hallways? a very unsafe and scared 4 b kind of unsafe 3 c kind of safe 2 2 2 d very safe 1 1 15 How safe do you feel going to and from school, walking or taking the bus? a very unsafe and scared 4 b kind of unsafe 3 c kind of safe 2 d very safe 1 1 1 1 1 Category Two: How Others Treat You1 How often do other students bully you by laying their hands on you (hit, kick, push or hurt your body otherwise)? a every day 5 b once or twice per week 4 c once or twice per month 3 d once or twice per year 2 2 2 2 2 e never 12 How often do other students bully you by saying mean things to you, things which hurt your feelings? a every day 5 b once or twice per week 4 4 c once or twice per month 3 3 d once or twice per year 2 2 2 e never 13 How often do other students bully you by spreading mean rumors about you? a every day 5 b once or twice per week 4 c once or twice per month 3 d once or twice per year 2 2 2 e never 1 1 14 How often do other students bully you by leaving you out of their activities? a every day 5 b once or twice per week 4 c once or twice per month 3 d once or twice per year 2 2 2 e never 1 1 1 In what grade is the student or students which bully you? 8 8 8 Who have you told or asked for help when being bullied? no friends parents Category Three: What You Have Seen or Heard1 How often have your seen another student bully others by laying their hands on them (hit, kick, push or hurt their body otherwise)? a every day 5 b once or twice per week 4 4 4 4 c once or twice per month 3 3 d once or twice per year 2 e never 12 How often have your seen another student bully others by saying mean things to them, things which hurt their feelings? a every day 5 5 b once or twice per week 4 4 4 4 c once or twice per month 3 d once or twice per year 2 e never 13 How often have your seen another student bully others by spreading mean rumors about them? a every day 5
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 145 b once or twice per week 4 4 c once or twice per month 3 3 3 d once or twice per year 2 2 e never 14 How often have your seen another student bully others by leaving them out of their activities? a every day 5 b once or twice per week 4 4 4 c once or twice per month 3 3 d once or twice per year 2 e never 1 1 Category Four: How You Reacted What have you done when you have seen a student being hit, kicked, pushed, punched or otherwise physically hurt in school or on1 the school bus? a I have never seen another student being bullied 1 b I walked away and ignored it 2 2 2 c I stood and watched 3 3 3 d I helped the person who was being bullied 4 e I laughed 52 What have you done when you heard a student being teased or called names in school or on the school bus? a I have never seen another student being bullied 1 b I walked away and ignored it 2 2 c I stood and watched 3 3 3 d I helped the person who was being bullied 4 4 e I laughed 5 tell the If you helped a student in a bully situation, I dont like told the I walk bully how did you help? to go away to get bully to away Category Five: Gangs involved calm down Do you know of students in your school who are members of a gang, or1 are wanna-be’s? a Yes 4 4 b No 1 c wanna-be’s, but not actual members 2 1 1 1 d we don’t have gangs, just “cliques” who control others 32 How much of a problem do you think gangs are in your school? a a huge problem 4 b a big problem 3 c somewhat of a problem 2 2 2 2 d no problem at all 1 1 POINTS TOTAL 37 43 33 37 Category Six: Essay Question bullies How much of a problem do you think bullying is in your school? I get people get lots of want Give some examples and specific situations, no names included. teased seriously you to fist fights mainly in everyday hurt respect and PE bow down keep to them lots of getting teased cursing about the same they never things over stop verbal and over attacks they dont care
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 146 no one can stop themBoy 5 Boy 6 Boy 7 Boy 8 Boy 9 Boy 10 Boy 11 Boy 12 Boy 13 3 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 3 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 147 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 4 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8 6 8 8 8 8friends counselor parents no no no no teachers 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 3 5 5 5 5 5 5 4 4 4 5 4 4 4 4 3 3 3
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 148 2 5 5 5 4 4 4 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 4 4 4 2 2 2 2 2 3 4 4 5 I comfort I tell the I walk away it is not I defend I help I tell themafterwards bully to I cannot safe to get them when I can to just physically stop involved stop help 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 1 1 1 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 45 33 35 51 41 43 41 43 44 Being in I cant talk I get kicked I hate the bullying is they hate and Young to anyone hallways normal in athletes punched Scholars outside of every time my school keeps me Young I am in the Im always safe from Scholars or hallways punched people call me the bullies it is taken names wrong they think everydayBullies cant its funny and hurtget to us in my feelings ourclassrooms orafterschool activities
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 149Boy 14 Boy 15 Boy 16 BOY Girl 17 Girl 18 Girl 19 Girl 20 Girl 21 TOTALS 1 3 6 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 9 1 3 3 4 2 2 1 1 1 11 1 6 2 2 2 1 1 1 10 1 1 1 3 3 3 2 2 2 11 2
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 150 4 1 3 2 5 2 2 21 1 11 12 2 10 2 2 2 2 1 6 1 13 2 4 3 3 3 8 2 1 3 13 2 2 4 2 2 1 10 1 1 1 1 4 4 4 1 3 2 21 1 1 128 8 8 8 8 8 8 no mom no no no parents cried to Myself5 5 7 5 4 7 4 4 4 4 25 5 5 10 5 5 5 5 6 45 5 3 5 5 4 6 5 3 3 3 25 5 5 6 5 5 5 5
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 151 5 4 1 3 1 7 2 3 4 3 4 4 5 4 4 4 1 6 3 3 3 4 4 4 5 5 5 4 I really I tell them I comfort I told them I backed I comfort I try to getcant help to just afterwards to shut up them up afterwards them away from the stop bully 4 9 4 4 4 4 7 2 2 2 1 4 2 5 3 7 2 2 2 1 1 3 47 43 45 272 51 52 46 51 49 peoplenon-Young when Im in Health there are no made fun of always make fun of bullied, I manners Scholars Ive been every day me feel with and make attackedignore me lonely, bullies sure with confused, Im not things being rumors and they dont included broken thrown at they dontinvolve me me like care about people are they turnin anything teachers pencils, their peers jealous of their friends think that waterbottles, Young against me bullying is paper balls, they act like Scholars normal anything the school is they make theirs … me feel bad some of they steal and it is about these
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 152 small stuff bullies just my books snap and workGirl 22 Girl 23 Girl 24 Girl 25 Girl 26 Girl 27 Girl 28 Girl 29 Girl 30 GIRL TOTALS 3 3 3 2 2 6 1 1 1 1 1 5 3 3 4 2 2 4 1 1 1 1 1 6 2 2 2 2 2 8 1 1 1 1 6 3 4 2 2 2 2 2 6 1 1 1 4
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 153 1 2 2 51 1 1 1 1 1 1 8 3 3 2 2 2 21 1 1 1 1 2 4 1 3 3 3 3 7 2 2 2 41 22 2 2 2 2 7 1 1 1 1 7 4 4 1 2 2 2 2 5 1 1 1 1 4 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8no friends no no parents friends no friends friends Young sister Scholar teachers 5 5 3 4 4 6 3 3 2 2 3 21 1 5 5 5 5 5 9 4 2 3 3 21 1 5 3 4 4 2 3 3 3 3 3 81 1 4 4 4 3 3 3 3 32 2 2 2 4
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 154 2 2 2 4 3 3 3 3 3 6 3 5 1 1 3 2 2 2 4 3 3 3 3 5 3 5 1 there I really I comfort I just stand I help Im scared I tell them I stand up really next tocant help afterwards isnt much afterwards to shut up for them them to help I can do 4 5 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 6 3 1 4 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 10 1 1 32 34 40 39 40 35 45 43 41 230 they call we are every pushing white and I get called Bullies are I get called it is best in us called school stuck-up sneakyaggressive mixed kids fat and gay nerds and fat white jas bullies Young and and know-it- are bullied they will show-offs girl Scholars alls the the most always get I hate hatebleachers away with they we areare very its much hate gym it spread safe even more rumors fromdangerous safer in the if about bullies Young you are in us, all lies there is no in our Scholar classrooms Young point in classrooms Scholars making a report, our Young nothing we are happens Scholars picked on teachers all day, keep every day us safe
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 155 bullies are ignorantAPPENDIX F: Bullying Questionnaire Category 1 Calculated Results
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 156Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory One: How Safe Do You Feel?Question 1: How safe do you feel in your general and elective classrooms, as opposed to yourYoung Scholars classrooms? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girlsa very unsafe, scared 00.00 00.00 00.00 00.00 00.00 00.00b kind of unsafe 29.42 17.65 11.76 41.19 05.88 17.65c kind of safe 35.30 52.96 17.65 41.19 35.30 35.30d very safe 17.65 23.54 47.07 17.65 52.96 29.42 No Response 17.65 5.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65Question 2: How safe do you feel in the gymnasium or on the fields?
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 157 Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girlsa very unsafe, scared 00.00 05.88 00.00 05.88 00.00 00.00b kind of unsafe 17.65 17.65 00.00 29.42 11.76 23.54c kind of safe 41.19 35.30 41.19 53.30 23.54 23.54d very safe 23.54 35.30 35.30 29.42 64.72 35.30 No Response 17.65 05.88 00.00 00.00 00.00 17.65Question 3: How safe do you feel in the cafeteria? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girlsa very unsafe, scared 00.00 11.76 00.00 05.88 00.00 00.00b kind of unsafe 17.65 41.19 11.76 58.84 00.00 00.00c kind of safe 29.42 29.42 17.65 11.76 35.30 47.07d very safe 35.30 11.76 47.07 23.54 58.84 35.30 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65Question 4: How safe do you feel in the hallways? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a very unsafe, scared 00.00 05.88 00.00 29.42 00.00 00.00 b kind of unsafe 17.65 29.42 11.76 35.30 05.88 23.54 c kind of safe 47.07 41.19 17.65 29.42 64.72 35.30 d very safe 17.65 17.65 47.07 05.88 23.54 23.54 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65Question 5: How safe do you feel going to and from school, walking or taking the bus? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girlsa very unsafe, scared 00.00 05.88 00.00 00.00 00.00 00.00b kind of unsafe 00.00 11.76 00.00 23.54 00.00 05.88c kind of safe 23.54 29.42 11.76 35.30 29.42 29.42d very safe 58.84 47.07 64.72 41.19 64.72 47.07 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 158APPENDIX G: Bullying Questionnaire Category 2 Calculated Results
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 159Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory Two: How Others Treat YouQuestion 1: How often do other students bully you by laying their hands on you (hit, kick, orpush you or hurt your body otherwise)? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a every day 05.88 00.00 05.88 23.54 00.00 00.00 b once or twice a week 05.88 23.54 17.65 05.88 00.00 00.00 c once or twice a month 05.88 00.00 11.76 11.76 00.00 11.76 d once or twice a year 35.30 11.76 05.88 23.54 58.84 11.76 e never 29.42 58.84 35.30 35.30 35.30 11.76 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 64.72Question 2: How often do other students bully you by saying mean things to you, things which
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 160hurt your feelings? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a every day 29.42 17.65 11.76 17.65 00.00 00.00 b once or twice a week 17.65 00.00 05.88 41.19 05.88 05.88 c once or twice a month 05.88 17.65 11.76 05.88 23.54 41.19 d once or twice a year 05.88 11.76 29.42 35.30 47.07 23.54 e never 23.54 52.96 17.65 00.00 17.65 11.76 No Response 17.65 00.00 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65Question 3: How often do other students bully you by spreading mean rumors about you? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a every day 00.00 05.88 05.88 11.76 00.00 00.00 b once or twice a week 05.88 11.76 05.88 17.65 00.00 00.00 c once or twice a month 11.76 11.76 11.76 17.65 11.76 00.00 d once or twice a year 29.42 11.76 17.65 35.30 23.54 41.19 e never 35.30 52.96 35.30 17.65 58.84 41.19 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65Question 4: How often do other students bully you by leaving you out of their activities? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a every day 00.00 00.00 00.00 00.00 00.00 00.00 b once or twice a week 23.54 05.88 17.65 11.76 05.88 23.54 c once or twice a month 11.76 23.54 11.76 17.65 05.88 05.88 d once or twice a year 11.76 11.76 05.88 11.76 11.76 29.42 e never 35.30 52.96 41.19 58.84 70.61 23.54 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 161APPENDIX H: Bullying Questionnaire Category 3 Calculated Results
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 162Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory Three: What You Have Seen Or HeardQuestion 1: How often have your seen another student bully others by laying their hands on them(hit, kick, or push you or hurt your body otherwise)? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a every day 23.54 29.42 17.65 47.07 41.19 17.65 b once or twice a week 29.42 17.65 29.42 05.88 41.19 35.30 c once or twice a month 29.42 41.19 23.54 29.42 11.76 11.76 d once or twice a year 00.00 05.88 00.00 11.76 00.00 11.76 e never 00.00 00.00 05.88 05.88 00.00 05.88 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65Question 2: How often have your seen another student bully others by saying mean things to
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 163them, things which hurt their feelings? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a every day 35.30 64.72 35.30 58.84 58.84 52.96 b once or twice a week 29.42 23.54 29.42 29.42 35.30 11.76 c once or twice a month 17.65 05.88 05.88 05.88 00.00 11.76 d once or twice a year 00.00 00.00 05.88 05.88 00.00 00.00 e never 00.00 00.00 00.00 00.00 00.00 05.88 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65Question 3: How often have your seen another student bully others by spreading mean rumorsabout them? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a every day 11.76 11.76 17.65 35.30 17.65 17.65 b once or twice a week 29.42 23.54 29.42 29.42 35.30 11.76 c once or twice a month 17.65 47.07 17.65 23.54 29.42 47.07 d once or twice a year 05.88 05.88 05.88 11.76 11.76 00.00 e never 17.65 05.88 05.88 00.00 00.00 05.88 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65Question 4: How often have your seen another student bully others by leaving them out of theiractivities? Grade Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a every day 23.54 11.76 17.65 58.84 35.30 23.54 b once or twice a week 35.30 29.42 29.42 11.76 29.42 17.65 c once or twice a month 00.00 35.30 00.00 05.88 05.88 17.65 d once or twice a year 05.88 11.76 05.88 05.88 17.65 23.54 e never 17.65 05.88 23.54 17.65 05.88 00.00 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 164APPENDIX I: Bullying Questionnaire Category 4 Calculated Results
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 165Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory Four: How You ReactedQuestion 1: What have you done when you have seen a student being hit, kicked, pushed,punched or otherwise physically hurt in school or on the school bus? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girlsa never seen another 00.00 05.88 05.88 05.88 00.00 00.00 student being bulliedb walked away and 17.65 58.84 35.30 11.76 41.19 23.54 ignored itc stood and watched 35.30 11.76 11.76 35.30 23.54 35.30d helped the person being 23.54 17.65 17.65 35.30 29.42 17.65 bullied
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 166e laughed 05.88 00.00 05.88 11.76 00.00 05.88 No Response 17.65 05.88 23.54 00.00 05.88 17.65Question 2: What have you done when you heard a student being teased or called names inschool or on the school bus? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girlsa never seen another 00.00 05.88 00.00 00.00 00.00 05.88 student being bulliedb walked away and 41.19 41.19 23.54 11.76 35.30 23.54 ignored itc stood and watched 23.54 00.00 11.76 17.65 17.65 29.42d helped the person 05.88 41.19 41.19 58.84 17.65 17.65 being bulliede laughed 11.76 05.88 00.00 11.76 23.54 05.88 No Response 11.76 05.88 00.00 11.76 23.54 05.88APPENDIX J: Bullying Questionnaire Category 5 Calculated Results
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 167Results: Bullying QuestionnaireCategory Five: GangsQuestion 1: Do you know of students in your school who are members of a gang, or arewanna-be’s? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girls a Yes 00.00 05.88 17.65 52.96 52.96 29.42 b No 41.19 11.76 17.65 05.88 41.19 11.76 wanna-bes, not c 23.54 23.54 29.42 29.42 00.00 35.30 members d no gangs, just cliques 17.65 23.54 11.76 11.76 00.00 05.88 No Response 17.65 35.30 23.54 00.00 05.8817.65
    • Gifted Children and Bullying 168Question 2: How much of a problem do you think gangs are in your school? Grade 6 Grade 6 Grade 7 Grade 7 Grade 8 Grade 8 Boys Girls Boys Girls Boys Girlsa a huge problem 05.88 00.00 05.88 23.54 05.88 11.76b a big problem 11.76 17.65 00.00 23.54 29.42 05.88c somewhat of a problem 41.19 35.30 29.42 35.30 41.19 58.84d no problem at all 23.54 11.76 41.19 17.65 17.65 05.88 No Response 17.65 35.30 23.54 00.00 05.8817.65