What is a Bully or Bullying?

Many times students will come to me and tell me “someone” is bullying them.  Sometimes after visiting with the student about what the “bully” is doing, it is discovered that it is a friend they are in a fight with, or a person that said something to them once or twice, or the “bully” accidentally pushed them.  We take EVERY accusation seriously.  We are very serious at the Middle School when it comes to bullying.  It is something we despise.  For this post, I would like to “DEFINE” what a bully or bullying is:

Bullying is different from routine conflicts of adolescents.  Bullying is intentional behavior that is meant to hurt and dominate
another person.  Bullying is characterized by an imbalance of power between the child who bullies and the “target”.  Bullying can
be physical, verbal, emotional(social), or sexual.  It includes harassment via email, instant messaging, and online social sites.

Children and/or adults who bully come in a variety of packages- the waif-like 8th grader, the BIG 6th grader, the child with a
disability, the popular girl, the loner, the jock.  They come from any background, race, income level, family situation, gender or religion.

Talk to your child about Bullying or being Bullied.  It is very important that we stop bullying NOW.

Everyone deserves to be treated with RESPECT.  Respecting each other is one thing we can all do to help stop bullying.
If you or someone you know is being teased, bullied or hurt, tell an adult you trust right away.
Everyone deserves to be safe.

Some information taken from the Fall 2005 PACER Center Pacesetter.

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