Bullying

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Bullying Definition
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. Kids who are bullied and those who bully others can endure serious, long-lasting consequences of this type of behavior.
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.

Types of Bullying
There are three types of bullying:
Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:
Teasing
Name-calling
Inappropriate comments
Taunting
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
Embarrassing someone in public
Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
Hitting/kicking/pinching
Spitting
Tripping/pushing
Taking or breaking someone’s things

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 traveling to or from school, in the child’s neighborhood, or on the internet.

The Roles Kids Play
Kids can bully others, they can be bullied, or they may witness bullying. Sometimes kids may both be bullied or they may witness other kids being bullied. It is important to understand the multiple roles kids play in order to prevent and respond to bullying behaviors.
Importance of Not Labeling Kids
When referring to a bullying situation, it is easy to call the kids who bully others “bullies” and those who are targeted “victims,” but this may have unintended consequences.

When children are labeled as “bullies” or “victims” it may:
Send the message that the child’s behavior cannot change
Fail to recognize the multiple roles children can play in different bullying situations
Neglect other factors contributing to the behavior

Instead of labeling the children involved, focus on the behavior. For instance:
Instead of calling a child a “bully,” refer to them as “the child who bullied”
Instead of calling a child a “victim,” refer to them as “the child who was bullied”

Roles kids play:
Kids who Assist: These children may not start the bullying behavior, but serve as a “supporter” to children who are bullying. These children may encourage the bullying behavior or occasionally join in.
Kids who Reinforce: These children are not directly involved in the bullying behavior but they give the bullying an audience. They may laugh or provide indirect support for the children who are bullying, which can encourage the bullying to continue.
Outsiders: These children remain separate from the bullying situation. They neither reinforce nor defend the bullying behavior. These kids often want to help, but don’t know how.
Kids who Defend: These children actively comfort the child being bullied and may come to the his/her defense when bullying occurs.

What Students Can Do:
Treat Everyone with Respect
Stop and think before you say or do something that could hurt others.
If you feel like being mean to someone, find something else to do. Play a game or talk to a friend.
Talk to an adult you trust.
Keep in mind that everyone is different. Not better or worse. Just different.
If you think you have bullied someone in the past, apologize. Everyone will feel better.
What to Do If You’re Bullied
There are things you can do if you are being bullied:
Tell the kid bullying to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off. This works best if joking is easy for you.
If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away. Don’t fight back. Find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot.
There are things you can do to stay safe in the future, too.
Talk to an adult you trust. Don’t keep your feelings inside. Telling someone can help you feel less alone and they can help you make a plan to stop the bullying.
Stay near adults and other kids. Most bullying happens when adults aren’t around.

Protect Yourself from Cyberbullying
Bullying does not always happen in person. Cyberbullying is a type of bullying that happens online or through text messages or emails. There are things you can do to protect yourself.
Always think about what you post-be kind to others. You never know what someone will forward to other kids. Do not share anything that could hurt or embarrass anyone.
Keep your password a secret. Even kids that seem like friends could give your password away or use it in ways you don’t want. Let your parents have your passwords.
Think about who sees what you post online. Friends? Complete strangers? Privacy settings let you control who sees what.
Keep your parents in the loop. Tell them what you’re doing online and who you’re doing it with. Let them friend or follow you. Listen to what they have to say about what is and isn’t okay to do. They care about you and want you to be safe.
Talk to an adult you trust about any messages you get or things you see online that make you sad or scared. If it is cyberbullying, report it.

Stand Up for Others
When you see bullying, there are safe things you can do to make it stop.
Talk to a parent, teacher, or another adult you trust. Adults need to know when bad things happen so they can help.
Be kind to the kid being bullied. Show them that you care by trying to include them. Sit with them at lunch or on the bus, talk to them at school, or invite them to do something. Just hanging out with them will help them know they aren’t alone.
Source (Adapted from): http://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/index.html

For more information on bullying behavior and what can be done to prevent and stop it, check out the following websites:
http://www.stopbullyingnow.com/index.htm
http://www.stopbullyingnow.com/index.htm
http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/promos/stopbullying/index.html
https://www.facebook.com/stopbullyingspeakup
http://www.raiseagiant.com
https://twitter.com/StopBullying
http://www.pacer.org/bullying

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