Bullying is often described as aggressive behavior among children in school that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. Bullying can be teasing, hitting, name-calling, and it can also be online abuse.
This kind of intimidating behavior is one of the most commonly reported discipline problems among students of all ages. About 12% of public schools report that bullying happens at least once a week. In general, bullying appears to be most frequent in middle schools, followed by high schools, and primary schools.
About a third of young people admit to bullying others. One of the most frequently downloaded templates on the PACER’s National Bullying Prevention Center’s site is the one about possible signs a child may be bullying others, according to Julie Hertzog, the organization’s director.
Talking to a child who may be using bullying behavior is important in preventing them from engaging in it again, Hertzog said. “We avoid calling someone a bully, and prefer the term “a child who bullies.” It’s not about who they are, it’s about what they did, she added.
Awareness has improved significantly over the last few years, but there is no universal way to stop bullying. The solution often lies in finding out why a child is bullying. “You can get to the root of the child’s behavior by seeing a therapist and teaching them behavior modification,” according to Ross Ellis, founder and chief executive officer of STOMP Out Bullying.
As with bullying, there is no single, universal indication that a child may be a victim of bullying. But there are at least 20 warning behaviors that can reveal someone is bullying your child.
To identify 16 warning signs a child may be bullying others, 24/7 Tempo consulted several experts specializing in bullying prevention and reviewed information from both government and non-profit anti-bullying and cyberbullying organizations, such as StopBullying.gov and StompOutBullying.org.