Bullying is intentional harmful behavior initiated by one or more students and directed toward another student. Bullying exists when a student with more social and/or physical power deliberately dominates and harasses another who has less power. Bullying is unjustified and typically repeated.
• Bullying differs from conflict. Two or more students can have a disagreement or a conflict. Bullying involves a power imbalance element where a bully targets a student who has difficulty defending him or herself.
• Bullies often feel justified in inflicting hurtful behavior because they think their victims deserve the mistreatment.
• Students who are repeatedly victimized experience more physical and psychological problems than non-bullied peers.
• Bullying occurs both with and without a teacher or another adult present.
• Bullies appear to be concerned with their own wants, pleasures, and needs.
• Bullies are more likely than non-bullies to be involved in vandalism, fighting, theft, substance abuse, truancy, or to have an arrest by young adulthood.
• Victims can withdraw and become depressed if bullying continues over time. Some victims could take extreme measures and seek violent revenge or consider suicide.
What are the Forms of Bullying?
Physical: Physical bullying involves harmful actions against another person’s body. Examples include: biting, kicking, pushing, pinching, hitting, tripping, pulling hair, any form of violence or intimidation. Physical bullying also involves the interference with another person’s property. Examples include: damaging or stealing.
Verbal: Verbal bullying involves speaking to a person or about a person in an unkind or hurtful way. Examples include: sarcasm, teasing, put-downs, name calling, phone calls, spreading rumors or hurtful gossip.
Emotional: Emotional bullying involves behaviors that upset, exclude, or embarrass a person.