Bullying Prevention 101
Educate your students about what bullying is what it isn’t; and the different types of bullying.
Although bullying has been identified as an important public health issue, inconsistencies in identifying and categorizing these behaviors remain. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention established a uniform definition in order to address the inconsistency and clearly distinguish bullying behaviors from conflict, harassment and other forms of aggression among youth. Specifically, bullying is defined as: “any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another youth or group of youths who are not siblings or current dating partners that involves an observed or perceived power imbalance and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated. Bullying may inflict harm or distress on the targeted youth including physical, psychological, social, or educational harm.8”
Cyberbullying is a specific form of bullying that involves technology. According to Hinduja and Patchin,9 cyberbullying is “willful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, cell phones and other electronic devices.”
While the definition of cyberbullying aligns with the traditional definition of bullying, the likelihood of repeated harm from one cyberbullying incident is quite high. This is because instances of cyberbullying can be accessed by multiple parties, forwarded to or shared with others, saved copied, and archived, or linked to other sites/apps and revisited by targets of the aggression – resulting in never-ending exposure and repeated harm.
Bullying that affects a child’s social standing or status is a form of relational aggression.10,11 It can take many forms, including shunning, hazing, spreading rumors, excluding others or teasing. Contrary to popular opinion, both boys and girls engage in relational aggression.