Bullying

Bullying has become an all too common occurrence at schools across the nation. In 2015, just over 20 percent of high school students reported being bullied by their peers within the past year. The three types of bullying are physical, verbal and social. Physical bullying is what most people think of when they hear about bullying. This type of bullying involves physical contact or damaging another person’s property. Verbal bullying involves teasing, name-calling and making threats. Social bullying involves causing damage to another person’s reputation or relationships. Examples include spreading rumors, public embarrassment, and not including someone in activities or a group. This type of bullying is more common with girls, while physical and verbal bullying is more common with boys.

Bullying isn’t just limited to face-to-face contact. The majority of bullying that occurs now is through social media and text messaging. This is called cyberbullying. Examples include posting or texting mean or false comments and photos (trolling), making threats and telling someone to kill themselves.  In 2015, 16 percent of high school students reported being cyberbullied within the past year.

Although every state has laws that relate to “in-person bullying”, only a few have laws that relate to cyberbullying because it is more difficult to prove. However, it can lead to prosecution if it results in a criminal act. A common yet tragic effect of bullying is suicide. It is estimated that over 4,000 suicides are committed each year as a result of bullying. The number of attempted suicides can safely be estimated to be a lot higher.

A lesser known form of bullying is negative peer pressure. This is probably the most common type of bullying. But, because it is not as obvious as the other types, it isn’t considered bullying. Peer pressure is similar to other forms of bullying because those who chose not to give in to the demands of their peers are often verbally and sometimes physically attacked. They also face rejection and social isolation from their peers.

If you are being bullied, tell an adult you can trust! For cyberbullying, take screenshots so you have proof. If the bully is a so-called friend of yours, you need to evaluate who your friends are, because true friends would not disrespect you. You deserve to be treated with respect!


Sources:

StopBullying.gov:

Effects of Bullying:

https://www.stopbullying.gov/at-risk/effects/index.html

What is Bullying?

https://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/index.html