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Future Health

Standing up against bullying

September 28, 2020 


Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. There are 3 different types of bulling:

  • Verbal  
  • Social
  • Physical

Anyone can experience bulling. Depending on the environment, some groups—such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) youth, youth with disabilities, and socially isolated youth—may be at an increased risk of being bullied. Those who bully others do not need to be stronger or bigger than those they bully. The power imbalance can come from several sources—popularity, strength, cognitive ability—and children who bully may have more than one of these characteristics.

When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior, they send the message that it is not acceptable. A safe and supportive school climate can help prevent bullying.

Here are some simple step to help stop bulling:

  • Intervene immediately. It is ok to get another adult to help.
  • Separate the kids involved.
  • Make sure everyone is safe.
  • Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
  • Stay calm. Reassure the kids involved, including bystanders.
  • Model respectful behavior when you intervene.
  • Call the police if there are threats such as a weapon

Bullying can affect everyone—those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. It is important to talk to determine whether bullying—or something else—is a concern. People who are bullied can experience negative physical, social, emotional, academic, substance abuse issues, and mental health issues and even result in suicide.

There are resources available for those who feel they are being bullied – but most of all, please be kind to one another.