A big, tough kid stops a smaller kid on his way to school and threatens to hurt him unless he hands over his homework. The popular girls at school won’t let anyone sit at their lunch table except their friends. These two bullying scenarios and others happen more often than most adults realize. Seventy-four percentof eight to 11-year-olds say teasing and bullying happen at their school. But what exactly is bullying?
- Fighting, threatening, name-calling, teasing, or excluding someone repeatedly and over time
- An imbalance of power, such as size or popularity
- Physical, social, and emotional harm
- Hurting another person to get something
Many parents don’t think that bullying is as big a problem as bringing a weapon to school or drug use but its effects can be severe and long lasting. Every day, nearly 160,000 children miss school because they are scared of bullying, according to the National Education Association. Bullying doesn’t only negatively affect its victims, but also the bullies themselves.
Kids who are bullied are more likely to
- Do poorly in school
- Have low self-esteem
- Be depressed
- Turn to violent behavior to protect themselves or get revenge on their bullies.
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