According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, bullying is defined as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance.”
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include two things:
- 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.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
There are three types of bullying:
Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:
- Inappropriate sexual comments
- 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 about someone
- Embarrassing someone in public
Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
- Taking or breaking someone’s things
- Making mean or rude hand gestures
October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. For more information, visit the website www.stopbullying.gov. I don’t consider myself to be the victim of really serious bullying, but I do know what it’s like to be bullied by others, even a little bit. I have also seen other kids who were victims of bullying. We all have to be responsible for our own words and actions and pay attention to how we treat each other. We must be kind, and considerate, and treat each other the way that we want to be treated. If everybody did that then we could put an end to bullying forever.