Bullying is a serious problem.  It can happen anywhere: face-to-face, on the Web or by text messages.  It is happening everywhere in America and right here in our own community.

Although definitions of bullying vary, most agree that bullying involves:

  • Imbalance of Power: people who bully use their power to control or harm and the people being bullied may have a hard time defending themselves
  • Intent to Cause Harm: actions done by accident are not bullying; the person bullying has a goal to cause harm
  • Repetition: incidents of bullying happen to the same the person over and over by the same person or group

Types of Bullying

Bullying can take many forms. Examples include:

  • Verbal: name-calling, teasing
  • Social:spreading rumors, leaving people out on purpose, breaking up friendships
  • Physical: hitting, punching, shoving
  • Cyberbullying: using the Internet, mobile phones or other digital technologies to harm others

An act of bullying may fit into more than one of these groups.

Recognize Warning Signs

Warning signs that you child may be experiencing bullying.

  • Drop in grades, increase in absenteeism
  • Avoidance of school and other social settings
  • Avoidance of discussing school or friends
  • Signs of stress when on the phone, texting, or using the computer
  • Bruises, scratches, etc.
  • Changes in mood
  • Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
  • Signs of general anxiety

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