Bullying can be defined as being exposed, repeatedly and over time, to
negative actions on the part of one or more students (Olweus, 1993).
There are three key components to all bullying situations.
There is always a power differential between the bully and the
victim that is acquired through physical size, strength or status.
There is intent to harm; the child who is bullied is put in the position of oppression by the child who bullies.
Finally, bullying is a repeated rather than singular event.
Direct bullying involves an open attack to a person or property
such as pushing someone into a locker or destroying homework. Indirect
bullying is more subtle and covert such as social isolation or
exclusion. Types of Bullying Behavior:
Verbal bullying includes taunting, teasing, name-calling, extortion, and threats.
Physical bullying is harm to a person or property.
Relational aggression is harm to someone’s self esteem or group acceptance.
Sexual harassment is any inappropriate sexual comment, gesture, or
behavior including offensive jokes, pictures and rumors that offends
Cyberbullying is using the internet or other digital communication devices to send or post harmful or cruel text or images.
Research shows that without intervention, bullies are more likely to
develop a criminal record and engage in antisocial behaviors while
bullying victims suffer long lasting psychological harm (Olweus, 1993).
Those who bully have more cases of alcoholism and substance abuse, more
antisocial personality disorders and are more likely to drop out of
school. Children who are bullied have lower self esteem and higher
levels of stress, anxiety, depression, illness, and suicidal ideation.
Bullying is not a normal part of growing up! It is important to
distinguish between what is normal behavior and what is bullying.
Bullying and Conflict
Conflict is a normal part of life whereas bullying is a harmful form of
peer abuse. Conflict is generally not a repeated behavior and there is a
relatively equal balance of power between those involved.
Bullying and Teasing
Teasing is a normal part of growing up. Teasing is when everyone
involved is having fun. There is an equal balance of power. It becomes
bullying if one person is no longer having fun because the balance of
power has changed and someone is being physically or emotionally hurt.
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