What is Bullying?
Bullying is an imbalance of power, with the more powerful child or group attacking those who are less powerful. Bullying takes three forms:
(Verbal and Psychological are often accomplished in cyberspace with email, chat rooms or through texting messages.)
All three forms of bullying can include taunting, making threats, name calling, social exclusion, extortion and intimidation. Physical bullying can include hitting, spitting, the taking of personal belongings, or sexual aggression.
The most prevalent locations for acts of bullying are the lunchroom, the bathrooms, the play yard, on the bus or on a walk home.
Bullying begins in elementary school, peaks in grades sixth through eight and persist into high school. And, if youthful bullying is not curtailed, his/her bullying behaviors will continue in their adulthood.
Effects of Bullying
Researchers have estimated that 1.6 million children grades 6 through 10 in the United States are bullied at least once a week. The effects of bullying are many times devastating at worst, tolerated at best. Bullying has long-term effects on both those who bully and those who are bullied. Victims of bullying develop a real fear of going to school resulting not only in insecurity and loss of self-esteem, but in untold rises in absenteeism.
A study by The National Institute of Child Health found that both the bully and the bullied are at greater risk of loneliness, lack of success in school and becoming involved in drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Tragically, many victims of bullying form anti-social behaviors, and can then become the perpetrators of the same behaviors that were previously inflicted on them. The greater percentage of school shooters had long suffered being the target of bullies. In addition, the prevalence of youth committing suicide due to long-term bullying has created the term Bullycide.