What Is Bullying?

bully1Bullying is a form of aggressive behavior that is intentional, hurtful, (physical and psychological), and/or threatening and persistent (repeated). There is an imbalance of strength (power and dominance).

The above definition includes the following criteria that will help you determine if a student is being bullied:

  • The mistreatment must be intentional.
  • The mistreatment must be hurtful (physical or psychological).
  • The mistreatment is threatening. The individual fears harms.  Fear their safety.
  • The mistreatment must occur more than once. However, some disagree with this. They say one very hurtful event is enough to label it bullying.
  • There must be a power imbalance.

What Does Bullying Look Like?

Direct Bullying Behaviors

Physical Bullying

  • Hitting, slapping, elbowing, shouldering (slamming someone with your shoulder)
  • Shoving in a hurtful or embarrassing way
  • Kicking
  • Taking, stealing, damaging or defacing belongings or other property
  • Restraining
  • Pinching
  • Flushing someone’s head in the toilet
  • Cramming someone into his or her locker
  • Attacking with spit wads or food

Verbal Bullying

  • Name-calling
  • Insulting remarks and put-downs
  • Repeated teasing
  • Racist remarks or other harassment
  • Threats and intimidation
  • Whispering behind someone’s back

Indirect Bullying Behaviors


  • Destroying and manipulating relationships (turning your best friend against you)
  • Destroying status within a peer group
  • Destroying reputations
  • Humiliation and embarrassment
  • Intimidation
  • Gossiping, spreading nasty and malicious rumors and lies about someone
  • Hurtful graffiti
  • Excluding someone from a group (social rejection or isolation)
  • Stealing boyfriends or girlfriends to hurt someone
  • Negative body language (facial expressions, turning your back to someone)
  • Threatening gestures, taunting, pestering, insulting remarks and gestures
  • Glares and dirty looks, nasty jokes, notes passed around, anonymous notes
  • Hate petitions (promising to hate someone)

Other Bullying Behaviors

  • Cyber bullying: negative text messages on cell phones, e-mail, or voice-mail messages, Web pages, and so on Direct and indirect forms of bullying often occur together. All of these behaviors can be interrelated.


More Links of some interesting Bullying Facts:

Definition Of Bully

Bullying Effects

Make Beats Not Beat Downs (facts & stats)

Buzzle Bullying Facts