What is Bullying?
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.
Although definitions of bullying vary, most agree that bullying involves:
- Imbalance of Power: People who bully use their power to control or harm, and the people being bullied may have a hard time defending themselves
- Intent to Cause Harm: Actions done (committed) by accident are not bullying; the person bullying has a goal to cause harm
Repetition: Incidents of bullying happen to the same person over and over by the same person or group
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Where and When Does Bullying Happen?
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 traveling to or from school, in the neighborhood, or on the internet (social media).