Bullying is defined as a form of unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-age children of similar age that involves a real or perceived power imbalance and that is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.
What does power imbalance and repetition mean?
- Imbalance of power: An imbalance of power involves the use of physical strength, popularity, or access to embarrassing information to hurt or control another person.
- Repetition: Bullying is typically a repeated action - occurring more than once or having the potential to occur more than once.
What does bullying look like?
There are three broad forms of bullying, including physical, verbal, and social bullying.
- Physical bullying is a form of intentional aggression that involves injuring someone or damaging their property. Examples of physical bullying include hitting, kicking or punching, spitting, tripping, pushing, taking or breaking someone’s belongings, or making mean or rude gestures.
- Verbal bullying is a form of intentional aggression that involves saying or writing things that are mean or hurtful to others. Examples of verbal bullying include teasing, name-calling, taunting, inappropriate sexual comments, or threatening to cause harm to another person.
- Social bullying is a form of intentional aggression that is used to damage someone’s reputation or relationships. Examples of social bullying include leaving someone out on purpose, telling other children not to be friends with someone, spreading rumors about someone, or embarrassing someone in public.
What is Cyberbullying?
The term cyberbullying refers to bullying using electronic devices, such as cell phones, computers, and tablets, or other communication tools, including social media sites, text messages, chat rooms, and websites.
Prior to the Columbine school shootings in 1999, no state had legislation addressing bullying in schools. As of April 2020, there are 26 states without enumerated anti-bullying and harassment legislation.