October 2020 - Bullying Prevention Month
What is Bullying?
Bullying is when someone hurts or scares another person repeatedly. The behavior is never appropriate and is intentional.
- Calling someone hurtful and derogatory names
- Spreading lies and bad rumors about someone
- Being mean and teasing someone
- Hitting, punching, shoving, spitting and physically hurting someone
- Being threatened or being forced to do things
Different Types of Bullying
Physical Bullying is the most obvious form of intimidation and can consist of kicking, hitting, biting, pinching, hair pulling, and making threats.
Verbal Bullying This can include name calling, spreading rumors, and persistent teasing.
Emotional Intimidation A bully may deliberately exclude you from a group activity such as a party or school outing.
Racist Bullying can take many forms: making racial slurs, spray painting graffiti, mocking the victim's cultural customs, and making offensive gestures.
Sexual Bullying is unwanted physical contact or abusive comments.
Cyberbullying is one or a group of kids or teens using electronic means via computers and mobile phones to torment, threaten, harass, humiliate, embarrass or target another kid or teen.
Facts & Stats
The PA Youth Survey for Bucks County in 2019 reported:
- 24.4% of students in Bucks County indicated experiencing bullying in the past 12 months.--Out of those students, 15.6% were bullied because of social standing.
- 30.8% of students who reported being bullied in the past 12 months indicated it was because of their size (height, weight, etc.)
- 60% of students who reported being hurt or abused by someone in the past 12 months indicated that it was emotional abuse, insults, and name calling.
- 66% of students skipped school due to bullying fears in the past year.
Signs of Bullying
Signs a Child is Being Bullied
- Unexplainable injuries
- Lost or destroyed clothes, books, electronics, or jewelry
- Frequent headaches or stomach aches; or faking an illness
- Difficulty sleeping or having frequent nightmares
- A decline in grades
- A sudden loss of friends or avoiding social situations
- Decrease in self-esteem
- Self-destructive behavior- running away from home, harming themselves, talking about suicide
Bullying vs. Conflict
What exactly is the difference between bullying and conflict? Children face conflicts daily teaching them how to come to an understanding or agreement while learning problem solving skills. In conflict, those involved take responsibility of their actions and make compromises to resolve the problem. Whereas in bullying one student makes the decision to intentionally harm another, there is no compromising when bulling occurs.
Everyone has equal power
Upset feelings by everyone involved
No one is afraid of the other
Usually not emotionally damaging
It never makes a student feel bad about themselves
Imbalance of power - one student (or group) has control
The bully wants the other student to be afraid
A bully has no remorse for their actions
The issues are ongoing
The student being bullied feels bad about themselves
Serious emotional or physical threat occurs
How To Help
Parents, school staff, and other caring adults have a role to play in preventing bullying. They can:
- Help kids understand bullying. Talk about what bullying is and how to stand up to it safely. Make sure kids know how to get help.
- Keep the lines of communication open. Check in with kids often. Listen to them. Know their friends, ask about school, and understand their concerns.
- Encourage kids to do what they love. Special activities, interests, and hobbies can boost confidence, help kids make friends, and protect them from bullying behavior.
- Model how to treat others with kindness and respect.
STOMP Out Bullying HelpChat Line
This HelpChat Line is a free and confidential online chat that helps youths ages 13-24 with issues around bullying and cyberbullying; as well as providing support to youths who may be at risk of suicide.
Click here to learn more about the HelpChat line: https://www.stompoutbullying.org/helpchat
Distance Learning & Cyberbullying
PA Consultation Line: 1-866-716-0424
The Pennsylvania Bullying Prevention Consultation Line is a toll free number available to school staff, students, and parents across the commonwealth. This line offers discussion of effective strategies and resources available to deal with school-based bullying. Messages can be left 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and will be returned Monday through Friday during normal business hours.