What is bullying?

Bullying is commonly defined as unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.

In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive (not accidental) and include:

  • An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
  • Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.

From https://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/index.html.

Bullying can include physical aggression, like hitting, kicking, or tripping someone.

Bullying can also be verbal. It can include calling a person names or saying mean things to them. It can also include saying things to other students about someone – spreading rumors, gossiping, or posting things online.