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What is Bullying?

Bullying among children is repeated, aggressive behavior that is intentional and that involves an imbalance of power or strength.  Bullying can be perpetrated by individuals or groups, and can take many forms, such as:
  • Physical Bullying (hitting or stealing possessions)

  • Verbal Bullying (teasing, name-calling, spreading rumors)

  • Emotional Bullying (intimidation through gestures or social exclusion)

  • Cyber Bullying (sending insulting messages by phone or email)

Dynamics of Bully-Victim Situations

  • A power differential exists between the bully and the victim.

  • Bullies tend to be confident, aggressive, and lack empathy for the victim.

  • Victims tend to be quiet, passive children with few friends.

  • Victims do not respond effectively to aggressive actions.

  • Bullying is often done so that adults are not aware of it.

  • Victims are ashamed, and often don't tell an adult.

Facts on Bullying

  • Bullying is one of the most underrated and serious problems in schools today.

  • Bullying can be decreased by effective and consistent school-wide bullying awareness and prevention programs.

  • Most bullying is verbal rather than physical.

  • Verbal peer abuse, what is so benignly called teasing, is so common that even many adults consider it to be a natural part of growing up.  Yet this form of emotional abuse is a major contributor to school violence.

  • Studies have established that approximately 15 percent of students are bullied regularly.

  • More than 10 percent of children say they sometimes bullied others, and 9 percent admitted they bullied other students at least once a week or more.

  • The National Association of School Psychologists and the U.S. Department of Justice estimate that 160,000 students miss school every day.

  • Children who were identified as bullies by age eight, were often bullies throughout their lives.

  • Direct bullying seems to increase through the elementary school years, peak in the middle school/junior high school years, and decline during the high school years.  Although direct physical assault seems to decrease with age, verbal abuse appears to remain constant.

  • By age 24, 60% of children who bully will have had a criminal conviction.

  • Twenty-two percent of fourth through eighth graders report academic problems due to bullying.

  • School size, racial composition, and school setting (rural, suburban, or urban) do not seem to be distinguishing factors in predicting the occurrence of bullying.

  • Boys bully both boys and girls.  Girls tend to bully other girls.

  • While boys are more often the perpetrators and victims of direct bullying, girls tend to bully in more indirect ways.  They might manipulate friendships, ostracize classmates from a group, or spread malicious rumors.

  • Boys who are chronically victimized tend to be more passive and physically weaker than their tormentors.

  • Both bullies and onlookers tend to blame the victims for the treatment they receive.

  • Although most victims don’t look very different from their classmates, they are taunted most often because of their physical appearance.

  • Fourteen percent of students experience severe reactions to bullying that may have lifelong psychiatric consequences.

  • Both bullies and victims of bullies were more likely than other children to be involved in fights and more often reported poor academic achievement.

  • Bullies reported higher rates of tobacco and alcohol use and were more likely to have negative attitudes about school.  The victims, on the other hand, were more likely to report being lonely and having difficulty forming friendships.

  • Children and youth who are bullied are more likely than other children to be depressed, lonely, anxious; have low self-esteem, feel unwell, and think about suicide.

  • Adults are often unaware of bullying problems. An estimated 70% of teachers believed they intervene "almost always" in bullying situations; only 25% of students agree with this assessment.



USD 320
510 E. Highway 24
Wamego, KS 66547

Phone: 785-456-7643
Fax: 785-456-8125

Schools: Central Elementary, West Elementary, Wamego Middle School, Wamego High School

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