What Is The Definition of Bullying?
A lot of young people have a good idea of what bullying is because they see it every day! Bullying happens when someone hurts or scares another person on purpose and the person being bullied has a hard time defending himself or herself. Usually, bullying happens over and over.
- Punching, shoving, and other acts that hurt people physically
- Spreading bad rumors about people
- Keeping certain people out of a “group”
- Teasing people in a mean way
- Getting certain people to “gang up” on others
Bullying also can happen online or electronically. Cyberbullying is when children or teens bully each other using the Internet, mobile phones or other cyber technology. This can include:
- Sending mean text, email, or instant messages
- Posting nasty pictures or messages about others in blogs or on Web sites
- Using someone else’s user name to spread rumors or lies about someone
There are many ways that young people bully each other, even if they don’t realize it at the time.
Unfortunately, not everyone takes bullying seriously, including adults. This is one of the main reasons that the Youth Expert Panel has worked alongside the representatives of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) to develop the Take A Stand. Lend A Hand. Stop Bullying Now! Campaign.
Why Do Kids Bully?
There are all kinds of reasons why young people bully others, either occasionally or often. Do any of these sound familiar to you?
- Because I see others doing it
- Because it’s what you do if you want to hang out with the right crowd
- Because it makes me feel, stronger, smarter, or better than the person I’m bullying
- Because it’s one of the best ways to keep others from bullying me
Whatever the reason, bullying is something we all need to think about. Whether we’ve done it ourselves … or whether friends or other people we know are doing it … we all need to recognize that bullying has a terrible effect on the lives of young people. It may not be happening to you today, but it could tomorrow. Working together, we can make the lives of young people better.
Signs That You Bully
Okay, time for the truth. Or at least time to consider if you have a confession to make! Review this checklist to find out if you’ve ever bullied someone. Have you done any of these things before?
- There’s a boy or a girl (or maybe more than one) whom you’ve repeatedly shoved, or punched or physically pushed around in a mean way just because you felt like it.
- You had someone else hurt someone you don’t like.
- You’ve spread a nasty rumor about someone, in conversation, in a note, or through email or instant messaging.
- You and your friends have regularly kept one or more kids from hanging out or playing with you. Examples: at your lunch table at school, during sports or other activities, or activities that are a part of a club or other kind of group activity.
- You’ve teased people in a mean way, calling them names, making fun of their appearance, or the way they talk or dress or act.
- You’ve been part of a group that did any of these things – even if you only wanted to be part of the crowd.
If you checked any of these boxes, you’re not alone. All over the country, in all types of neighborhoods and schools, there are all types of young people who bully others. Bullying is serious business. It causes young people a lot of pain, and it can affect their ability to do well in school and their general happiness.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. By visiting this site – and taking a look at our Webisodes – you can learn about better ways to treat your friends and acquaintances, as well as become part of the solution to this serious problem!
Effects Of Bullying
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.
- It happens a lot more than some people think. Studies show that between 15-25% of U.S. students are bullied with some frequency, while 15-20% report they bully others with some frequency (Melton et al, 1988; Nansel et al, 2001).
- It can mess up a kid’s future. 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 (Nansel et al, 2003; Olweus, 1993).
- It scares some people so much that they skip school. As many as 160,000 students may stay home on any given day because they’re afraid of being bullied (Pollack, 1998).
- It 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).
For More Information Visit: StopBullying.gov