Bullying is when a person repeatedly intimidates or acts aggressively toward those with less power or ability to defend themselves.
for searching the Internet and other reference sources
Sam looked at the clock and saw that it was almost lunchtime. He dreaded going to his locker, and he was kicking himself for putting his lunch there this morning. Sam knew Craig and Pete would be waiting for him at the lockers again. His face got red with anger and embarrassment remembering how yesterday, and the day before, they had pushed him against the lockers and grabbed his lunch, tossing it to each other high over his head so he could not get it back, taunting him about being short. He wished he would grow a foot taller like it seemed some of the sixth graders had done over the summer. He wished he had a black belt in karate. He wished his eyes did not fill up with tears when they pushed him and laughed. He wished these bullies would just leave him alone. Sam felt in his pocket to see if he had enough money to buy lunch in the cafeteria. He could hurry to catch up with Jack and Marc as soon as the bell rang, go straight to the cafeteria, and avoid the lockers altogether. Then he would just have to figure out how to steer clear of them on the bus ride home.
What Is Bullying?
Bullying is more than normal childhood conflict or occasional unkind words or actions between children; it is an early form of violence. Bullying is when a person gets singled out to be intimidated or picked on over and over again by someone who has more power. Bullying can be physical, verbal, or psychological.
About 1 out of every 10 children is bullied. That means that in an average elementary school classroom at least 2 or 3 children are being bullied. In some schools, more than half the students worry about being bullied. Children may avoid bathrooms, the cafeteria, or the playground for fear of being hurt, picked on, or humiliated by other children. Some children miss school days because of bullying. Others go to school feeling worried or sick and may have trouble concentrating because of it.
Who Are the Bullies?
Bullies can be boys or girls. Boys tend to bully with physical aggression and pick on those who are smaller or weaker than themselves. Girls are more likely to use mean gossip, unkind notes, or social forms of intimidation when they bully. Bullies are children who lack compassion and a sense of how other people feel. Bullies like to dominate others to feel powerful themselves. Many bullies have parents who have modeled aggression as a way to get what they want. Some bullies feel hurt or powerless inside because they have been bullied themselves. However, bullying is not a remedy for feeling powerless. Bullying gives only a false sense of power and usually costs a bully popularity, friendships, and more. As many as 1 of 4 children who are bullies in elementary school have a criminal record by age 30.
Who Gets Bullied?
While anyone can have trouble with a bully now and then, bullies tend to seek out those who are easiest to intimidate. Children who have few friends, cry easily, are timid or insecure, or have trouble sticking up for themselves are easy targets for bullies. Children who pester others, get easily upset, or lose self control may get bullied because the bully can get a big reaction from them. No one deserves to be bullied, and all children have a right to feel safe at school. Even children who do not get bullied are still bothered when they witness bullying in school.
What Can Be Done About Bullying?
The most powerful tool to stop bullies is adult authority. Adults can help by knowing that bullying is not normal childhood behavior, by being on the lookout for it, and by taking steps to end it before it escalates. In many cases, the presence of an adult is enough to discourage bullying. Sometimes children do not let anyone know that they are being bullied because they are ashamed or because they do not think that adults will help. Adults need to let children know that they will listen and help if they are told about bullying. Many schools have started bully-proofing programs that make it clear that bullying is not tolerated. The goal of these programs is to take power away from bullies and to shift power to the larger group of caring, responsible children. Another goal is to teach children how to respond to bullying whether they are being bullied or are a bystander to bullying.
Garrity, Carla, Kathryn Jens, William Porter, Nancy Sager, and Cam Short-Camilli. Bully-Proofing Your School A Comprehensive Approach for Elementary Schools. Longmont, CO: Sopris West, 2000.
Kaufman, Gershen, Lev Raphael, and Pamela Espeland. Stick Up For Yourse#f Every Kid's Guide to Personal Power and Positive Self-Esteem. Minneapolis: Free Spirit Publishing, 1999. For ages 8-13.
Romain, Trevor. Bullies are a Pain in the Brain. Minneapolis: Free Spirit Publishing, 1997. A light-hearted but practical guide for ages 8-13.
from the Nemours Foundation posts information about bullying and what
to do about it.