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What is Bullying?
Identifying Bullies and Victims
How does the Bully/Victim Relationship Emerge?
Who Becomes a Bully? Who Becomes a Victim?
What can be Done?
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For Teachers

What is Bullying?

Bullying, Cassie, age 14


Bullying can include any behaviors initiated by one or more students against a victim that are deliberate and hurtful, and are repeated over time (Olweus, 1991). Children may be bullied physically, emotionally or verbally, or with a combination of these. Bullying may be seen as direct behaviors such as teasing, taunting, threatening, hitting or kicking, stealing or damaging things, calling names, picking on children, making them do things that they don't want to do, etc.

It can also include indirect behaviors that cause a child to feel socially isolated. Examples of this type of bullying could be leaving the student out of activities, spreading rumors, making him/her feel uncomfortable or scared, telling nasty stories, not allowing the person to speak to other children or be spoken to, etc. This is also called relational aggression, which is primarily, but not exclusively associated with girls' bullying strategies (Crick & Grotpeter, 1995).

The key components of bullying are that it is unprovoked, and that the physical or psychological intimidation occurs repeatedly over time and creates an ongoing pattern of harassment or abuse. The bully is often physically stronger than the victim, or is perceived as such, so that it is difficult for the victim to defend him or herself and there is often an imbalance of power.

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