“Bullying” is a buzz word that is flying around all over the place. It seems like every time someone looks at someone else funny, they cry “bullying”. I struggle with this. How do you know when it’s really “bullying”?
What is the definition of bullying?
StopBullying.gov gives this definition:
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. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
- An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
- Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
There are many forms of bullying. But the bottom line is that bullying is painful, hurtful, and degrading.