You hear a lot about bullying in media (especially social media) these days. Lebanon even has a Facebook group (Lebanon Stands Against Bullying) dedicated to surfacing and helping prevent bullying in our schools.
In order to prevent bullying and keep our students safe at school and in the community, it is important to understand the difference between mean behavior, rude behavior and bullying behavior. I was recently sent a great article that really defines the difference between the three behaviors. I took out an excerpt from the article below where the author defines bullying:
Bullying = Intentionally aggressive behavior, repeated over time, that involves an imbalance of power.
Experts agree that bullying entails three key elements: an intent to harm, a power imbalance and repeated acts or threats of aggressive behavior. Kids who bully say or do something intentionally hurtful to others and they keep doing it, with no sense of regret or remorse — even when targets of bullying show or express their hurt or tell the aggressors to stop.
When a student is rude, they inadvertently say or do something that hurts someone. A mean action is intentional and may be repeated. However, bullying is repeated over time, is intentionally aggressive, and involves a power imbalance.
Social media and smart phones make it easier than ever to be rude, mean, and bully other people. It is everyone’s job (parents, schools, community, and students themselves) to prevent bullying through education, exposure, and acts of kindness. Our kids deserve nothing less.
To read more about this article and learn ways to help, check out this link.
Together we can make a positive difference.