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Prevention Corner




Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Kids who either are bullied or who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.


Bullying behaviors are usually aggressive in nature and usually include aspects of the following:


First, there is an imbalance of power. Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.


Second, bullying behaviors generally happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once. Bullying includes actions such as making threats; spreading rumors; attacking someone physically, verbally or through digital technologies; and/or purposefully excluding someone from a group.


It is important to talk to school-aged children about bullying.  9 out of 10 students say there is bullying in their schools and also report that 4 out of 5 bullying incidents occur at school.


Parents, school staff, and other adults in the community can help kids prevent bullying by talking about it, building a safe school environment, and creating a community-wide bullying prevention strategy.


Community-wide strategies can help identify and support children who are bullied, redirect the behavior of children who bully, and change the attitudes of adults and youth who tolerate bullying behaviors in peer groups, schools, and communities.


Two useful sources of federally collected data on youth bullying:

• 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System

• 2008–2009 School Crime Supplement