The North Pocono School District has a district-wide Anti-Bullying policy and associated programs to help make school a safe and welcoming place. As part of these programs, the middle school counselors visit all sixth grade classes to address the topic of bullying.
What does bullying mean?
In simple terms bullying happens when someone hurts - can be verbal or non-verbal - or scares another person on purpose and the person being bullied has a hard time defending himself or herself. Usually bullying happens over and over.
Bullying differs from fighting in that there is an imbalance of power between the participants. As an example, the person being bullied may be physically smaller or not as "popular" as the person doing the bullying.
Bullying also differs from fighting because it is repeated behavior not a single fight.
Bullying differs from rough housing because the participants are not friends and the victim does not enjoy the interaction.
What are some types of bullying?
- Punching, shoving and other acts that hurt people physically
- Spreading bad rumors about people
- Keeping certain people out of the "group"
- Teasing people in a mean way
- Getting certain people to "gang up" on others.
There are many ways that young people bully each other, even if they don’t realize it at the time. The above list mentions some of the ways.
Why do kids bully?
- Because they see other kids doing it
- Because it makes them "feel" stronger, smarter, or better than the person they are bullying
- Because they feel if they do the bullying they won’t be bullied
- Because it gets them attention
Whatever the reason, and there are certainly additional reasons other than the ones listed, we all need to recognize that bullying has a terrible effect on the lives of young people.