Back to school – and bullying | Way of life


Back to school is a busy and exciting time of year for many families. For some students, however, returning to school also means bullying, and the feelings of anxiety, sadness, and loneliness that bullying can cause.

According to StopBullying.gov, up to 20% of students aged 12 to 18 are bullied in the United States each year, a resource managed by the Department of Health and Human Resources dedicated to providing information about bullying.

Bullying is a form of aggression, in which one or more children repeatedly and intentionally bully, harass or hurt a victim perceived to be less powerful. While bullying was once considered a rite of passage in childhood, it is now recognized as a serious problem that can affect a child’s physical health, emotional well-being, and academic performance.

Bullying can take many forms, including:

• Physical: This type of bullying includes hitting, tripping and kicking, as well as destroying a child’s property.

• Verbal: Verbal bullying includes teasing, name calling, taunting and inappropriate sexual comments.

• Psychological or social: This type of bullying involves spreading rumors about a child, embarrassing him in public or excluding him from a group.

• Electronic: Cyberbullying involves threatening or harming others through the use of emails, websites, social media platforms, text messages or videos and photos shared electronically.

Talking about bullying before it happens sets the stage for prevention and resolution. If your child is being bullied, he or she may remain silent out of fear, shame, or embarrassment. Warning signs can be vague and some can mimic mental health issues. If you suspect or know your child is being bullied, it’s important to be proactive.

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© 2021 Mayo Clinic News Network. Visit newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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