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National Bullying Prevention Month (October)

In order to recognize National Bullying Prevention Month this October, let's educate ourselves on bullying. Many guardians are unclear as to the definition of bullying. To many individuals, bullying is considered to be strictly physical. Although this is still a form of bullying, parents and guardians need to be informed that bullying behaviors include much more.

Bullying is unwanted aggressive behavior among individuals. In order for a behavior to be considered bullying, it must be aggressive and include an imbalance of power, as well as repetition. Some examples of bullying include, but are not limited to: spreading rumors, name calling, making threats, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.

Types of Bullying

There are three types of bullying: verbal, social and physical. Verbal bullying includes saying or writing mean things about an individual: teasing, name-calling, and taunting. Social bullying involves intentionally hurting someone's reputation or relationships. Some examples of social bullying include: leaving someone out on purpose, spreading rumors, or intentionally embarrassing someone in public. Physical bullying involves hurting a person's body or possessions: hitting someone or intentionally breaking someone's things.

Where Bullying Happens

There is no set time or place bullying happens. Unfortunately, bullying can occur during or after school hours. While most reported bullying occurs during school hours much also occurs after hours, on the bus and on the internet, often going unreported. With the increase of children's activity on the internet it is vital for parents to monitor cyber activity more closely in order to protect their children from cyber bullying.

There are many different definitions of bullying which can make it difficult for your child to differentiate what is and is not bullying. Make sure your child knows what bullying is by setting a basic guide line. For example, let the child know that if the behavior of another hurts or harms them, either emotionally or physically, it is bullying.

For more detailed information visit the National Bullying Prevention Center.

Article provided by Emery Shekiro, Intern from James Madison University working with Community Outreach.