Bullying Prevention


Tab/Accordion Items

Boy being bulliedLegally, bullying is defined as:

Acts or written or spoken words intended to intimidate or harass a person or to cause physical harm to a person or his or her property.

  1. Graphic depicting the aspects of bullying.Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:
    • Teasing
    • Name-calling
    • Inappropriate sexual comments
    • Taunting
    • Threatening to cause harm
  2. Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:
    • Leaving someone out on purpose
    • Telling other children not to be friends with someone
    • Spreading rumors about someone
    • Embarrassing someone in public
  3. Physical bullying involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Physical bullying includes:
    • Hitting/kicking/pinching
    • Spitting
    • Tripping/pushing
    • Taking or breaking someone’s things
    • Making mean or rude hand gestures

Bullying is 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. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems (definition by stopbullying.gov).

In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive 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.

Graphic of the word bullying being crossed out.These resources provide information on bullying that is useful for

  • Parents
  • Teachers
  • Students
  • Community

There are several sources for good information on bullying prevention and intervention. For audio files on parent or teacher information, Be Strong is a non-profit organization focusing on stopping bullying. 

Another informative site is the National School Climate Center (NSCC). This NSCC was begun at Columbia University and seeks to promote a positive and sustained school climate; a safe, supportive environment that nurtures social and emotional, ethical, and academic skills. Visit the NSCC site and click on their bullying prevention tab to learn more.

Likely the site with the broadest coverage of bullying and the issues surrounding the topic is StopBullying.gov, which is a federal government website managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This site has a wealth of information on all aspects of the topic.

Bullying Prevention in Positive Behavior Support (PBS) is a primary prevention curriculum with a 52-page workbook focusing on giving students the tools to reduce bullying behavior through the blending of school-wide positive behavior support, explicit instruction, and a redefinition of the bullying construct. The intended audiences are Administrators, District Contacts, PBS Coaches, PBS Teams, Specialists, and Teachers. This is offered by the Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is established by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to define, develop, implement, and evaluate a multi-tiered approach to Technical Assistance that improves the capacity of states, districts and schools to establish, scale-up and sustain the PBIS framework. Emphasis is given to the impact of implementing PBIS on the social, emotional and academic outcomes for students with disabilities.

Founded in 2006, PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center actively leads social change, so that bullying is no longer considered an accepted childhood rite of passage. PACER provides innovative resources for students, parents, educators, and others, and recognizes bullying as a serious community issue that impacts education, physical and emotional health, and the safety and well-being of students. There are several sites under their bullying home site that are also important resources. These three sites are:

STOMP Out Bullying™ focuses on reducing and preventing bullying, cyberbullying, sexting and other digital abuse, educating against homophobia, racism and hatred, decreasing school absenteeism, and deterring violence in schools, online and in communities across the country. It teaches effective solutions on how to respond to all forms of bullying; as well as educating kids and teens in school and online, providing help for those in need and at risk of suicide, raising awareness, peer mentoring programs in schools, public service announcements by noted celebrities, and social media campaigns. An additional focus educates parents on how to keep their children safe and responsible online. 

Nobullying.com is an online forum aimed at educating, advising, counseling and all importantly, helping to stop bullying, in particular, cyberbullying. This website started as a social responsibility project, but through the support of a community of parents, educators and teenagers – it has grown into one of the biggest anti bullying and online safety websites in the world. Information for teachers, students and parents along with videos can be found at NoBullying.com/.

Bystander Revolution is a website offering practical, crowdsourced advice about simple things individuals can do to defuse bullying and help shift the culture. No matter who you are or what you’re facing, you can find personal stories, suggestions, and encouragement from someone who has dealt with a similar issue. Search by problem or solution to find tips from people who have been targets, people who have been bystanders, and even people who have been bullied. Several discussion topics are listed here.

The American Society for the Positive Care of Children (American SPCC) focuses on educational and awareness programs for child abuse. This site has many videos on all topics of bullying such as this one on cyberbullying. Visit their bullying pages here.

Reaching In…Reaching Out promotes resilience in adults and young children. Research has shown that resiliency is the most important quality you can instill in your children. Resilience is the ability to "bounce back" from life's inevitable pressures and hard times. It helps us handle stress, overcome childhood disadvantages, recover from trauma and reach out to others so we can grow and learn.