Bullying

Definition

Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional and involves an imbalance of power or strength. It may include, but is not limited to acts of physical, verbal, and emotional violence.
There are three major components:

  1. Intent to Cause Harm
  2. An imbalance of power or strength
  3. Repeated incidents of bullying to the same person

Types of Bullying

Physical

  • Hitting or punching
  • Intimidation through gestures like posturing/hovering/stalking
  • Taking money and damaging property
  • Threatening or forcing a victim to engage in certain actions/behaviors

Verbal and Emotional

  • Teasing or name-calling
  • Intimidation through gestures
  • Social exclusion
  • Spreading lies/false rumors

Cyberbullying

  • Internet
  • Mobile phones
  • Other digital technologies to harm others

Warning Signs that your child is a victim of bullying

  • Comes home with damaged or missing clothing
  • Reports losing items such as books, etc
  • Has unexplained injuries
  • Complains frequently of headaches, stomachaches, etc
  • Has trouble sleeping
  • Has changes in eating habits
  • Hurts themselves
  • Is afraid of going to school
  • Acts differently than usual

What Can Parents Do?

  • Write a letter to school officials every time your child is bullied (www.pacer.org/bullying)
  • Teach your children about appropriate ways to interact and how to speak up for other children (www.safechild.org)

Impact of Bullying on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Youth

  • 9 out of 10 LGBT students experienced harassment at school in the past year.
  • LGBT students reported feeling unsafe at school three times more often than non-LGBT students

Consequences of Anti-LGBT Bullying and Harassment

  • Missed days of school and drop out
  • Health risk behaviors such as smoking, alcohol and drug use, and sexual risk
  • Depression
  • Thoughts of/attempt of suicide.

Warning Signs that your Child May be a Bully

  • Becomes violent with others
  • Gets into physical or verbal fights with others
  • Gets sent to the principal’s office a lot
  • Has extra money or new belongings that cannot be explained
  • Is quick to blame others
  • Will not accept responsibility for their actions
  • Has friends who bully others


If you think your child is the bully

  • Talk with your child
  • Do not blame the child
  • State that bullying is not acceptable in your family
  • Ask how you can help him with this
  • Specify the consequences if the bullying continues
  • Needs to win or be the best at everything

How to Improve School Climates on LGBT-Targeted Bullying

  • Forming a Gay-Straight Alliance
  • Presence of supportive staff/curriculum for teachers on bullying
  • Anti-Bullying School Policy