What is Bullying?

What is Bullying?

Bullying is the intentional action by an individual or group of individuals to inflict physical, emotional or mental suffering on another individual or group of individuals. Bullying occurs when a student communicates with another by any means including telephone, writing, cyberbullying or via electronic communications, with the intent to intimidate, or inflict physical, emotional, or mental harm without legitimate purpose, or physically contacts another person with the intent to intimidate or to inflict physical, emotional, or mental harm without legitimate purpose. Physical contact does not require physical touching, although touching may be included.

What is cyber-bullying?

Cyber-bullying is when a child, preteen or teen is tormented, threatened, harassed, humiliated, embarrassed or otherwise targeted by another child, preteen or teen using the Internet, interactive and digital technologies or mobile phones. It has to have a minor on both sides, or at least have been instigated by a minor against another minor. Once adults become involved, it is plain and simple cyber-harassment or cyber-stalking. Adult cyber-harassment or cyber-stalking is NEVER called cyber-bullying.

Signs of bullying

A child may indicate by their behavior that he or she is being bullied. If your child shows some of the following signs, bullying may be responsible and you might want to ask if someone is bullying or threatening them. Children may:

  • Be frightened of walking to and from school
  • Change their usual route
  • Not want you to go on the school bus
  • Beg you to drive them to school
  • Be unwilling to go to school (or be 'school phobic')
  • Feel ill in the mornings
  • Begin truanting
  • Begin doing poorly in their school work
  • Come home regularly with clothes or books destroyed
  • Come home starving (bully taking dinner money)
  • Become withdrawn, start stammering, lack confidence
  • Become distressed and anxious, stop eating
  • Attempt or threaten suicide
  • Cry themselves to sleep, have nightmares
  • Have their possessions go missing
  • Ask for money or start stealing (to pay the bully)
  • Continually 'lose' their pocket money
  • Refuse to talk about what's wrong
  • Have unexplained bruises, cuts, scratches
  • Become aggressive and unreasonable
  • Begin to bully other children, siblings

How do you deal with bullying at school?

  • Tell your parents or other trusted adults; they can help stop the bullying
  • If you are bullied at school tell your teacher, school counselor or principal. Telling is not tattling.
  • Do not fight back. Do not try to bully those who bully you.
  • Try not to show anger or fear. Students who bully like to see that they can upset you.
  • Calmly tell the student to stop or say nothing and walk away.
  • Use humor, if this is easy for you to do. (For example, if a student makes fun of your clothing, laugh and say, “Yeah I think this shirt is kind of funny-looking too.”)
  • Try to avoid situations in which bullying is likely to occur. You might want to:
  • Avoid areas of the school where there are not many students or teachers around.
  • Make sure you are not alone in the restroom or locker room.
  • Sit near the front of the bus.
  • Do not bring expensive items or lots of money to school.
  • Sit with a group of friends at lunch and on the school bus.
  • Take a different route through hallways or walk with friends or a teacher to your classes.
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