The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services defines bullying as, “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.”
If you look on the internet there are many different definitions. Some similarities in these definitions is agression, power and control, clear roles of the bully and the victim, and the repetitive nature of the aggressive behavior. These similarities will be helpful in explaining the types of bullying that students currently experience. There are typically four types of bullying that students commonly experience can be categorically labeled physical, verbal, indirect or relational, and cyberbullying. I will be posting on each of these this week.
In this section I will briefly define physical bullying and give examples of it.
Physical bullying “(also called direct bullying/aggression) includes biting, choking, hair pulling, hitting, kicking, locking in a room, pinching, punching, pushing, scratching, spitting, stalking or any other form of physical attack and intimidation. It also includes damaging a person’s property.”
Just about every week in our youth group a high school or adult volunteer staff give a testimony of what God is doing in their life. Recently, there was a girl in our group who shared about a physical bullying situation she went through in middle school. Another girl in her class would make fun of her, punch her, and break her glasses. She went home multiple times with bruises on her face or stomach. It wasn’t until the bully transferred schools that she was able to feel safe going to school.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website
Sullivan, Keith. “The Anti-Bullying Handbook.” Sage Publications. London. 2011.