Note: This post was written by a guest author.
Everyone is talking about it: from parents across America to Anderson Cooper and Justin Beiber, from Neil Patrick Harris, and Tim McGraw, to Ellen DeGeneres. They are all talking about bullying. But it is with a sad heart that this is what I’m blogging about. Here in Northeast Ohio, bullying is killing kids. Angered and saddened at what bullying has pushed kids to, I spoke with Jackie Summers, a Bullying Prevention Specialist who works for the Office of Drug and Violence Prevention in the Akron Public School system. So, as this is our reality, here is the first in our blog series on bullying.
What is bullying defined as?
First and foremost, it is an imbalance of power. Bullying is typically repetitive or repeated over time. It causes mental and/or physical harm, and is NOT the fault of the person being bullied.
What are different types of bullying?
Bullying can take on many different forms. From direct (physical acts) to indirect (exclusion, gossip, negative body language, destroying relationships, etc.) and cyber-bullying.
Students who are bullied often are students who…
Sit alone on the playground
Are socially withdrawn
Relate better to adults than children
Wonder why others don’t like them
Are picked last for teams
Are called hurtful names
Are treated as though they don’t exist
Are largely ignored or rejected
Children are often bullied because…
They are overweight or underweight, overly tall or short, etc.
They may be physically weak or disabled
They may be less attractive
They don’t have “acceptable” clothes
They are overly emotional or cry more easily than other children
They may have gender identity issues
Their grades are too high or too low
They have more or less money than others
Are members of a minority
They are not seen as popular
They are friends with another student who is bullied
They have a physical, emotional or learning disability that can be manifested in inappropriate social behaviors. They may have conditions such as ADHD, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (Autism, Asperger’s) or Sensory Integration Disorder.
I realize that the information above is just the tip of the iceberg and may seem quite basic. But take Jackie’s responses and really mull them over because though it may seem quite basic, it really is the basis for bullying.