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The Unfortunate Rise of Bullying and How to Make It Stop

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the-unfortunate-rise-of-bullying-and-how-to-make-it-stop

What qualifies as bullying?

Bullying is unwanted attention that is often aggressive in nature. In many cases, the bully appears to have the social or physical advantage over their target. They may purposefully zero in on a student who is vulnerable because they are perceived to be different (in some way) from the rest of the population. It is also important to keep in mind that bullying often involves groups of people, not just single individuals.

Although such mistreatment still qualifies as bullying even if it only happens one time, the sad truth is that many bullies make a habit out of acting aggressively because it seems to get them what they want…at least temporarily. Unfortunately, repeated aggression–whether it be name calling or physically attacking someone–can be very damaging to a victim who may begin to live in fear of the next negative encounter.

A 2011 study by the United States Commission on Civil Rights, which studied violence and bullying data from across the country, reported that 40% of school staff believe bullying is a moderate or major problem in their schools while 32% of students between ages 12-18 report experiencing bullying.

In fact, bullying has become such a widespread problem that even the U.S. Department of Justice has involved itself in regulating this behavior. They indicate that “bullying behavior might include assault, tripping, intimidation, rumor spreading and isolation, demands for money, destruction of property, theft of valued possessions, destruction of another’s work, and name-calling. With the advent of the Internet, bullies are able to maintain a more persistent presence in the lives of their victims through cyber electronic devices.”

Types of Bullying

Many different kinds of actions fall under the bullying category. While physical bullying often receives the most attention, spoken words can be equally aggressive. Verbal bullying includes name calling, sexual harassment, and threats (whether they follow through on threats or not). Another type of bullying that doesn’t necessarily involve physical contact occurs when one party tries to harm another person’s social reputation or influence others to exclude them. Finally, in this technological age, it is especially important to educate one’s self about cyberbullying.

Bullying Can Happen Anywhere

Bullying between children often occurs inside the school building or on the bus, with most instances happening when adult supervision is low. Times when students might most be at risk include before and after school, while walking to or from school or while walking in the hallway, or on the playground. The internet has also become a hotbed of bullying. (Read about internet or cyber bullying here.)

Did you know that bullying is literally against the law? Find out more about bullying laws here. Also, you may want to read and print these bullying statistics, which can help stress the importance of taking bullying incidents seriously. Finally, learn how to report cyberbullying on websites or social media here.



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