Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school-age children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
- 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.
- Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
("What is Bullying" Stopbullying.gov.)
A group of federal agencies and philanthropic partners asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to appoint a committee of experts to review the wealth of research on bullying that is now available and identify what else must be done to better understand and reduce bullying and its consequences. The committee presented its findings, conclusions, and recommendations in the report Preventing Bullying Through Science, Policy, and Practice (May 2016).
Whether you are new to this topic or a veteran of bullying prevention, the best place to start is to get a clear picture of just how comprehensive your approach is. The Bullying Prevention Program Assessment Tool will walk a school team through the nine components that are necessary to implement an effective bullying prevention initiative.
Once you have identified your needs the Comprehensive Bullying Prevention Resource Map will provide you with links to examples, tools, forms, and training resources to address your school’s gaps in programming. This resource map is structured just like the assessment tool, making it easy to locate resources that correspond to your areas of need.
Bullying Prevention within a Multi-Level System of Support is a tool that explains bullying prevention in a three-tiered system of support. This tool shows strategies at the Universal, Tier 2, and Tier 3 levels.
Curriculum, Grades 9-12
Bullying Prevention Curriculum: Rethink, Units for Grades 9-12 aims to expand students’ understanding of the dynamics of bullying behavior in the school and broader community. The seven lessons included help students critically examine influences in the school, community, and peer groups that contribute to or support bullying. This publication can be accessed here or purchased from DPI Pubsales.
My child has been bullied. What can I do?
Each school board must adopt a policy prohibiting bullying by pupils. The school board may adopt this policy, and is required to distribute the policy annually to all pupils enrolled in the school district and to their parents or guardians. The school board is to provide a copy of the policy to any person who requests it. For a webcast on this topic see: Safe and Respectful Schools: Policy on Bullying
Students perceived as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender are at much higher risk than peers for bullying and harassment at school and elsewhere. This resource includes recommended strategies to create safe schools for these students and their peers. For a webcast on this topic see Safe Schools: Preventing and Addressing Anti-Gay Bullying and Harassment
- Bullying Prevention Continuing Education Course
- Cyberbullying Research Center
- GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network)
- GSAFE (Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools)
- National Education Association's Bully Free: It Starts with Me Campaign
- School Mental Health
- Suicide Prevention
- Teaching Tolerance-Southern Poverty Law Center
- US Department of Education Dear Colleague Letter on Anti-Muslim Bullying