Definition:Bullying is any repeated action intended to harm someone in a position of less power. Bullying has been classified into various categories, including but not limited to, physical bullying, verbal bullying, relational bullying, and cyber-bullying.Conflict versus BullyingIt is important to understand the difference between conflict and bullying. Here are some important distinctions:
- Conflict is a normal part of interpersonal relationships and an integral part of childhood and learning; bullying is not.
- At times, middle schoolers do engage in behaviors that can appear to be bullying (derogatory comments, gossip, note-writing, etc.); however, the presence of these behaviors alone does not automatically constitute a bully-target dynamic. Rather, the students involved determine the nature and intent of the behaviors, and ultimately, whether or not bullying is or is not occurring.
Imbalance of power
Repetitive negative actions
Equal emotional reaction
Strong emotional reaction from the target
Not seeking power/attention
Remorse – takes responsibility
No remorse – blames target
Effort to solve the problem
No effort to solve the problem* adapted from Phillips, D. (2011). Navo MS Bully Handbook, Forms, & Procedures and Harpool MS.