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What is Bullying?
Most people have a good idea of what bullying is, because they see it every day! Usually, bullying happens repeatedly. An individual who is habitually cruel, insulting, or threatening to others who are weaker, smaller, or in some way vulnerable. It takes many forms — verbal, physical, relational, and cyber bullying. Including but not limited to:
• Acts of violence that hurt people physically
• Maligning, gossiping, insults, teasing and tormenting people
• Excluding, keeping certain people out of a “group”
• Manipulating other people to do the same “ganging up”
• Bullying at the work place, in the home and with family
Bullying also can happen on-line or electronically. Cyber bullying is when adults, teens and children or teens bully each other using the Internet, mobile phones or other cyber technology. This can include:
• Sending mean spirited text, e-mail, or instant messages;
• Posting inappropriate photos, images or messages about others in blogs or on websites
• Using someone else’s user name to spread gossip, rumors or lies about someone.
What are the effects of being bullied?
If you’ve ever heard an adult – or anyone else – say that bullying is “just a fact of life” or “no big deal,” you’re not alone! Too often, people just don’t take bullying seriously – or until the sad and sometimes scary stories are revealed.
• Bullying happens a lot more than some people think – Studies show that between 35-45% of U.S. students are bullied with some frequency, while 25-30% report they bully others with some frequency.
• Bullying can negatively affect a children’s future. Studies found that young people who bully are more likely than those who don’t bully to skip school and drop out of school. They are also more likely to smoke, drink alcohol and get into fights.
• Bullying scares some students so much that they skip school and others avoid attending school all together. As many as 260,000 students may stay home on any given day because they’re afraid of being bullied (Pollack, 1998).
• Bullying can lead to huge problems later in life. Children who bully are more likely to get into fights, vandalize property, and drop out of school. And 60% of boys who were bullies in middle school had at least one criminal conviction by the age of 24 (Olweus, 1993).