Friday, October 28, 2011

Myths About Bullying

Knowledge is power, and following up on our very successful Anti Bullying Forum, we wanted to share this important information to dispel some notions you might have regarding abuse or harassment at school.

What is Bullying?
The repeated exposure over time to negative actions or acts of intimidation on the part of one or more students.  The definition includes three important components:
  1.    Aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions
  2.    A pattern of behavior repeated over time
  3.    An imbalance of power or strength

Some common myths about bullies:
•    Bullies are loners:  Research shows that bullies are not socially isolated; have an easy time making friends; they have a small group of friends who support the bullying behaviors.

•    Bullies have low self esteem:  Bullies have average or above average self-esteem; interventions that focus on building self esteem in bullies are not effective

•    Bullies are looking for attention:  Bullies are looking for control, and the behavior will not stop even if they are ignored.

•    Most bullying happens off school grounds:  Most bullying actually occurs in classrooms, hallways, and playgrounds

•    Bullying affects only a small number of students:  Research shows that 25% of students are victims of bullying and 20% are engaged in bullying; bullying affects everyone involved, even bystanders. 

Source:  Equity Alliance - Addressing Bullying & Harassment Matters 2011

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