What is Bullying?
Bullying has been defined as unwanted and repeated written, verbal, or physical behavior, including any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, by an adult or student, that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment; cause discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the individual’s school performance or participation.
Bullying may involve:
- Physical violence
- Sexual, religious, or racial harassment
- Public humiliation
Some of the signs that this is bullying and not an isolated instance of rudeness or insensitivity include:
- This is systematic, frequent behavior
- Bullying involves repeated acts of aggression
- There is an unequal distribution of power between bully and victim
- The behavior is unfair and one-sided
- There is an intent by the bully to dominate, humiliate, or intimidate
Bullies use behaviors that they think will give them status or that gives them a feeling of control. They usually seek out victims they can successfully bully. Victims are not responsible for being bullied but there are some victims who are not socially successful, and may annoy others, perhaps in an attempt to gain attention from their peers. Bullies use these behaviors to justify their own actions. To many bullies, their victims were “asking for it.” They believe that the other child antagonized them and therefore caused the problem. A part of educating students about bullying is to teach the lesson that we all have the right to be ourselves as long as we don’t harm others. We may be different from each other but we both have the right to pursue our lives free from the bullying behavior from others.
Boys and girls are equally likely to be victims and, while the methods may vary, the frequency of bullying behavior is the same for boys and girls. Bullies are not generally loners. Many times they are less socially isolated than their victims and can usually maintain a peer group, often one that supports their aggressions.
While students can do some things to help prevent bullying behavior, most bullying will not change unless there is adult intervention. If you believe you are being bullied, speak to an adult; either a teacher, a dean, or someone in the main office. We will deal with it in such a way that things are not made worse for you as a result of you reporting it. If you are not comfortable with that, send an email, put a note in the drop-box located in the main office, or fill out the form below. Help us help you have a wonderful middle school experience.