Bullying is one type of violence that threatens people's well-being. Bullying can result in physical injuries, social and emotional difficulties, and decreased academic achievement. The harmful effects of bullying are felt by others, including friends and families, and can hurt the overall health and safety of schools and society.
Bullying is any unwanted aggressive behavior(s) by another person or group, who are not siblings or current dating partners, involving 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 person including physical, psychological, social, or educational harm. A person can be a perpetrator, a victim, or both (also known as a "bully/victim").
Bullying can occur in-person and through technology. Electronic aggression, or “cyber-bullying,” is bullying that happens through email, chat rooms, instant message, a website, text message, or social media.
Research is still developing and helps us to better understand and prevent bullying. Research suggests promising program elements that include the following:
- Improving supervision of students
- Using school rules and behavior management techniques in the classroom and throughout the school to detect, address, and provide consequences for bullying
- Having a whole school anti-bullying policy and enforcing that policy consistently
- Promoting cooperation among different professionals, and between school staff and parents