Dan Olweus, creator of the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, provides us with this commonly accepted definition for bullying in his book, Bullying at School: What We Know and What We Can Do:
"A person is bullied when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other persons, and he or she has difficulty defending himself or herself."
This definition includes three important components:
1. Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions. 2. Bullying involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time. 3. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.
Types of Bullying
Bullying can take on many forms. As part of the Olweus Bullying Questionnaire, students are asked if they have been bullied in any of these nine ways:
1. Verbal bullying including derogatory comments and bad names 2. Bullying through social exclusion or isolation 3. Physical bullying such as hitting, kicking, shoving, and spitting 4. Bullying through lies and false rumors 5. Having money or other things taken or damaged by students who bully 6. Being threatened or being forced to do things by students who bully 7. Racial bullying 8. Sexual bullying 9. Cyber bullying (via cell phone or Internet)