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Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Types of Bullying
There are three types of bullying:
Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:Teasing
Inappropriate sexual comments
Threatening to cause harm
Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:Leaving someone out on purpose
Telling other children not to be friends with someone
Spreading rumors about someone
Embarrassing someone in public
Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:Hitting/kicking/pinching
Taking or breaking someone’s things
Making mean or rude hand gestures
Where and When Bullying Happens
Bullying can occur during or after school hours. While most reported bullying happens in the school building, a significant percentage also happens in places like on the playground or the bus. It can also happen travelling to or from school, in the youth’s neighborhood, or on the Internet.
Frequency of Bullying
There are two sources of federally collected data on youth bullying:
The 2014–2015 School Crime Supplement (National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics) indicates that, nationwide, about 21% of students ages 12-18 experienced bullying.
The 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) indicates that, nationwide, 20% of students in grades 9–12 report being bullied on school property in the 12 months preceding the survey.
HOW TO STOP BULLYING AT SCHOOL
You can be someone who stops bullying before it even starts. How cool is that! Here are some ways to beat bullying at your school.
Stand up for people who are bullied. Bullies often want an audience and approval. Let bullies know that you do not think being mean is cool.
Take an anti-bullying pledge. Print out our pledge to stand up against bullying. Share it with your friends, and let people know what you believe. And share our anti-bullying image on Facebook too.
Take action. See if you can start an anti-bullying club or prevention program at your school.
Talk to other kids. Try to learn more about where bullying happens at your school. Talk about what might help. See if you and some friends can go together to talk to an adult at school.
Talk to your teachers or principal. Let adults at school know that you care about this topic. Ask the school to host an assembly on bullying. Ask for an anonymous survey to learn how many kids are being bullied.
Talk to your parents or guardians. Your parents or guardians can ask your school to focus more on bullying. We have information for adults on the bullying page in our section for parents and caregivers.
Speak (and write) up! Write a blog, school newspaper article, or tweets to tackle bullying.
Get creative. How about starting a poster-making or rap-writing contest? Check out more cool ideas, plustools for having a group discussion on bullying.
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