According to the National Center for Education Statistics, one out of every five students (20.2%) has experienced bullying at school. With children back in the classroom across the country after a challenging year of online and hybrid learning, it’s more important than ever to be aware of the forms bullying may take. There are many kinds of bullying, all of which can have a significant negative impact on the physical and mental well-being of a child. In this article, our school bullying attorneys will describe some of the most common forms of bullying.
- Physical Bullying: A physical bully may attempt to kick, hit, push, pinch, or otherwise injure another student. They may also attempt to damage another student’s property, such as a textbook or cellphone. There is oftentimes a power disparity between the attacker and their victim. The bully may be stronger or be supported by other children, which leaves the victim unable to defend themselves against attack. Physical bullying can cause lasting physical and emotional harm to the victim. The victim is at risk not only of serious injury, but may also suffer from negative thoughts and feelings, despair, and worsening academic performance.
- Verbal Bullying: A bully that uses verbal attacks may resort to insults, name calling, verbal abuse, intimidation, or teasing. Oftentimes, their remarks are racist or homophobic in nature. At times, it can be challenging to differentiate verbal bullying from lighthearted joking amongst friends. However, while verbal bullying may start off as harmless teasing or joking, it can escalate to a extent that it impacts the emotional well-being of the chosen target.
- Social Bullying: It can be incredibly challenging to determine whether your child is the victim of social bullying. This form of bullying is usually carried out behind the victim’s back, which is why it may sometimes be referred to as covert bullying. In this situation, the aggressor attempts to humiliate the victim or damage their social reputation. The bully may spread lies or rumors, play nasty jokes, encourage others to exclude the victim from events and gatherings, mimic the victim unkindly, or otherwise cause damage to someone’s social acceptance.
- Cyberbullying: Stopbullying.gov defines cyberbullying as “sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else.” In some cases, the bully may intentionally share private or personal information about their victim. This can put the victim in great danger and may constitute unlawful or criminal behavior. Cyberbullying can occur over text, through messaging apps, in online forums, over email, or on social media platforms. With a rise in online learning due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, even professional platforms like Zoom have been used for nefarious purposes.
Detecting & Reacting to Bullying
Although it can be difficult to know for certain if your child is being bullied, particularly if they refuse to talk about any behavior you find concerning, there are warning signs to be aware of. You should seek help immediately if your child:
- Has unexplainable injuries
- Loses or comes home with damaged books, clothing, or electronics
- Suffers frequent headaches or illness
- Can’t sleep or experiences nightmares
- Has declining grades
- Losses friends unexpectedly
- Changes their eating habits drastically
- Demonstrates self-destructive behaviors
By getting other adults, school staff, medical personnel, and the police involved in the situation as needed, you protect your child from further harm and ensure that the bullying ends. If your child has been a victim of bullying that you feel was not adequately addressed by the school, contact the attorneys at Rodriguez & Associates today.