Facts About School Bullies and Bullying Behaviors

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School bullying refers to all types of bullying done on school property, whether it is peer-to-peer bullying, bullying of younger children by older children, or bullying in which a teacher is either a victim or a culprit. Keep reading for facts about school bullies and bullying behavior.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly a third of all students aged 12 – 18 reported having been bullied at school in 2007, some almost daily. This article gives a general background on school bullying.

Types of School Bullying

There are different categories of school bullying, and some of the categories overlap. Here are some of the most important categories that are frequently discussed:

Facts About Pack Bullying vs Individual Bullies

  • Pack bullying is bullying undertaken by a group. The 2009 Wesley Report on bullying prepared by an Australia-based group, found that pack bullying was more prominent in high schools and characteristically lasted longer than bullying undertaken by individuals. Pack bullying may be physical bullying or emotional bullying and be perpetrated in person or in cyberspace. In person, it can take place in schoolyards, school hallways, sports fields and gymnasiums, classrooms, and on the school bus.
  • Individual bullying is one-on-one bullying that may take place either in person or online, as well as being physical bullying or emotional bullying.  The Wesley Report found it to be more prevalent in elementary schools. It can take place everywhere that pack bullying can, and also in smaller areas into which a pack can’t fit, such as bathrooms.

Facts about School Bullies and Types of Bullying Behavior

  • Physical bullying is bullying that takes the form of physical abuse, such as pushing, shoving, hitting, fighting, spitting, and tripping. Threats of physical harm and attempts to force people to act in ways they would prefer not to are also included.
  • Emotional bullying is bullying that involves factors other than physical interaction, such as insults, derogatory remarks, name calling, and teasing. Also included are attempts to ostracize the victim, such as being left out or ignored, which is sometimes referred to as social bullying, as distinguished from verbal bullying. Emotional bullying could also take the form of purposely misplacing or hiding someone’s belongings. Emotional bullying can be done in person or through cyberbullying.

Medium of School Bullying

  • Face-to-face bullying is bullying in which students confront each other in person.
  • Cyber bullying is bullying that takes place online, through either email, chat rooms, social networking services, text messages, instant messages, website postings, blogs, or a combination of means. Cyberbullies may conceal their identity so that their victim experiences an anonymous attack. The content of cyberbullying can consist of all of the types of content mentioned in emotional bullying above, including posting insulting and derogatory comments about someone or sending such comments to someone; sending mean or threatening messages; gossiping about someone online including posting sensitive or private information; impersonating someone in order to cast that person in a bad light; and excluding someone from an online page or group. Unwanted contact, also known as harassment, is another form of cyberbullying.

Specific Targets of School Bullies

  • Homophobic bullying is sometimes distinguished because it has a particular target population.
  • Bullying of students with disabilities is another type of bullying with a focused target population.
  • Racist bullying is a third type of focused bullying that targets people of a specific race or cultural.
  • Religious bullying targets people who have specific religious beliefs.

Facts About School Bullying

The NCES (National Center for Education Statistics) report reveals that:

  • There is noticeably more bullying in middle school (grades 6, 7, and 8) than in senior high school
  • Emotional bullying is the most prevalent type of bullying, with pushing/shoving/tripping/spitting on someone being second
  • Cyberbullying is – for the middle grade levels – the least prominent type of bullying, but it is greater in the last three years of high school than in grades 6 – 9
  • Most school bullying occurs inside the school, a lesser amount on school property, and even less on the school bus. The least occurs in other areas
  • Middle school students, and particularly 6th graders, were most likely to be bullied on the bus
  • Sixth graders were the most likely students to sustain an injury from bullying, with middle schoolers more likely to be injured than high school students and the percentage going down every grade from 6 to 12
  • Victims of bullying display a range of responses, even many years later, such as:
  1. Low self-esteem
  2. Difficulty in trusting others
  3. Lack of assertiveness
  4. Aggression
  5. Difficulty controlling anger
  6. Isolation