Bullying is any act intended to hurt or embarrass another person; or a way in which someone gains attention at the expense of others.
Cyber-bullying is a form of bullying in which online, cell phone, or other electronic communications are used to post messages or images intended to hurt or embarrass another person.
- name calling or put downs
- gossiping/spreading rumors
- direct/indirect attacks (physical and/or verbal)
- social isolation – purposely not interacting with someone
- forcing someone to participate in activities against their will
- and others
People can experience bullying in one of three ways–as a victim, a witness, and/or an offender.
- Victim: Someone who does not provoke or respond to the bullying
- Witness: Someone who is present and is in a position to help in some way
- Offender: The person responsible for the bullying. This also includes the followers or onlookers who do nothing to stop the bullying behavior or further promote the behavior by laughing, egging on the bully, etc.
The most important response that victims and witnesses to bullying can do, is report it!
As long as a bullying incident goes unreported, very little can be done to help victims. Report the incident as soon as possible. Do not wait. The quicker it is reported, the sooner the behaviors can be addressed
Unfortunately, when it comes to bullying those involved sometimes minimize the problem, ignore the problem, or put blame on the victim. People can minimize bullying behaviors by having the following outlooks:
- “It’s all just a part of growing up”
- “It was just a joke”
- “It’s all just a big misunderstanding”
- “Suck it up and deal with it”
- “Kids will be kids”
This type of behavior only promotes further bullying. When confronted with minimizing responses, victims may react in a negative way by:
- Avoiding social interactions
- Hurting oneself
- Seeking revenge on the bully
- Bullying others
All complaints of bullying should be taken seriously and promptly addressed!
- Within your group circles, raise awareness by holding discussion forums, post messages of bullying prevention on school websites and social media pages, distribute brochures/flyers about bullying awareness
- Teach both youth and adults how to solve problems without fighting
- For parents, accept that your child may have a more vested role in an incident than originally presented and accept the information about your child at face value
- Know when to ask for outside help and teach children how to reach out for help
- Monitor children and teens internet and cellular activity
- Encourage children to:
- Refuse to participate in bullying activities
- Stand up to friends that participate in bullying
- Report all forms of bullying to a trusted adult
- Aggravated Assault
- Aggravated Battery
- Mob Action
- Hate Crime
- Harassment through Electronic Communication
- Disorderly Conduct
- Criminal Damage to property
- Criminal Damage to State Supported Property
- Criminal Defacement