The Basis of Bullying

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Are socially withdrawn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.

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About the Author

Nikki

Nikki is the Director of Student Services for North Coast Education Services. She coordinates the tutoring for all private students, assists with in-school programs, and is responsible for the NCES blog. Nikki is also the Assistant Camp Director of the Academic Fun & Fitness Camp, a summer program for students with learning disabilities in Kirtland, OH.