What is bullying?
According to www.stopbullying.gov, bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived imbalance of power. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must include:
Bullying vs. Conflict
The word "bullying" gets used quite frequently at school. Sometimes a situation truly is bullying, but more often than not, it is actually a conflict. The difference between bullying and conflict mostly comes down to whether the victim/target of the bullying behavior has said or done anything to the "bully" when they were being "bullied." As stated above, a key part of the description of bullying is that the situation is one-sided. This means that the victim/target of the bullying never does anything to retaliate against the bully. Once the victim/target says or does something back to the bully, it can no longer be considered bullying and is considered a conflict. This is because a conflict is two-sided, meaning both people play a part in mean/rude words/behaviors. Even if a student's parent gives that student "permission" to retaliate against another student who is "bullying" him or her, that does not excuse the victim/target's behavior and that student may also receive a consequence for their behavior.
Types of Bullying
Verbal: This involves saying or writing mean things. It could include:
Social or Relational: This involves hurting someone's reputation or relationships. It could include:
Physical: This involves hurting a person's body or possessions. It could include:
Cyber: Bullying that takes place using electronic communication. It could include:
When someone says or does something unintentionally hurtful and they do it once, that's RUDE.
When someone says or does something intentionally hurtful and they do it once, that's MEAN.
When someone says or does something intentionally hurtful and they keep doing it even when you tell them to stop or show them that you're upset--that's BULLYING.