Bullying is deliberate, aggressive and repeated behavior that’s intended to cause physical or emotional harm. The four general types of bullying are:
- Physical bullying is the easiest type to identify, and includes pushing, shoving, tripping, kicking, hitting, slapping, and taking possessions like books or money from the target.
- Verbal bullying includes name calling, teasing, put-downs, threats, and making bigoted or sexist remarks.
- Relational bullying occurs when a bully tries to harm a target by manipulating and damaging the target’s social standing. Behaviors include exclusion, spreading rumors and gossip, and threatening to damage or change the target’s friendships or relationships with others.
- Cyberbullying is the use of technology like cell phones, computers, web sites and emerging technologies to bully others by embarrassing, humiliating or making fun of the target. Cyberbullying is different from other types of bullying because it can happen 24 hours a day; be sent anonymously; and be shared with a wide audience.
Bullying has a devastating effect on the target. But, did you know that bullying also damages everyone who witnesses it, and even hurts the bullies themselves?
- People who are bullied (targets) are at greater risk for depression, anxiety and other health complaints. Targets tend to have lower grades, participate less in class, and skip or drop out of school. In extreme cases, targets may become violent—in 12 out of 15 school shootings researched by the Secret Service, the shooters had been bullied.
- People who bully others are more likely to engage in other dangerous behaviors like vandalism, shoplifting, skipping and dropping out of school, fighting, and using drugs and alcohol.
- People who witness bullying regularly are more likely to use drugs and alcohol; are at greater risk for depression and anxiety, and are more likely to miss or skip school.
Every member of our community—adults, teens and children—shares the responsibility to ensure that people treat each other with respect and that bullying behaviors will not be condoned or tolerated.