Practical Tips for Safe Schools and Safe Communities
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. 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: Saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes teasing, name-calling, inappropriate sexual comments, taunting, or threatening to cause harm.
Physical Bullying: Involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes hitting, kicking, pushing, pinching, spitting, or tripping. It also includes taking or breaking of someone’s things as well as making mean or rude hand gestures.
Social Bullying: Sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes leaving someone out on purpose, telling others not to be friends with someone, spreading rumors about someone or embarrassing them in public.
WHERE AND WHEN BULLYING HAPPENS
Bullying can occur during or after school hours. While most reported bullying happens in the school, a significant percentage also happens in places like on the playground or the bus. It can also happen travelling to or from school, in the youth’s neighborhood, or on the Internet. Approximately one out of five teens is bullied.
It is important to talk with children who show signs of being bullied or bullying others. These warning signs can also point to other issues or problems, such as depression or substance abuse. Talking to the child can help identify the root of the problem.
Though not all children who are bullied exhibit warning signs, some signs that may point to a bullying problem are: ⊲ Unexplainable injuries ⊲ Lost or destroyed clothing, books, electronics, or jewelry ⊲ Frequent headaches or stomach aches, feeling sick or faking illness ⊲ Changes in eating habits, like suddenly skipping meals or binge eating. Kids may come home from school hungry because they did not eat lunch. ⊲ Difficulty sleeping or frequent nightmares ⊲ Declining grades, loss of interest in schoolwork, or not wanting to go to school ⊲ Sudden loss of friends or avoidance of social situations ⊲ Self-destructive behaviors such as running away from home, harming themselves, or talking about suicide.
WHAT IS CYBERBULLYING?
Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.
Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites, or fake profiles. Kids who are being cyberbullied are often bullied in person as well. Additionally, kids who are cyberbullied have a harder time getting away from the behavior. Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a kid even when he or she is alone. It can happen any time of the day or night. Cyberbullying messages and images can be posted anonymously and distributed quickly to a very wide audience. It can be difficult and sometimes impossible to trace the source. Deleting inappropriate or harassing messages, texts, and pictures is extremely difficult after they have been posted or sent. Whether done in person or through technology, the effects of bullying are similar. Kids who are bullied are more likely to: ⊲ Use alcohol and drugs ⊲ Skip school ⊲ Be unwilling to attend school ⊲ Receive poor grades ⊲ Have lower self-esteem ⊲ Have more health problems ⊲ Attempt/commit suicide
For more information Contact:
Deputy Alex Wesley