What is Bullying
Aggressive behavior may be bullying depending on what happened, how often it happens and who it happens to. Find out what bullying is and what the different types are. You can also learn more about other topics related to bullying.
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Who is at Risk
Bullying can happen anywhere, but depending on the environment, some groups may be at an increased risk. Learn what factors increase the risk of children being bullied or children more likely to bully others and what warning signs can indicate that bullying may be happening. You can also find out how bullying can negatively impact kids.
No single factor puts a child at risk of being bullied or bulling others. Bullying can happen anywhere—cities, suburbs, or rural towns. Depending on the environment, some groups—such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender (LGBT) youth, youth with disabilities, and socially isolated youth—may be at an increased risk of being bullied.
There are many warning signs that may indicate that someone is affected by bullying—either being bullied or bullying others. Recognizing the warning signs is an important first step in taking action against bullying. Not all children who are bullied or are bullying others ask for help.
Bullying can affect everyone—those who are bullied, those who bully, and those who witness bullying. Bullying is linked to many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance use, and suicide. It is important to talk to kids to determine whether bullying—or something else—is a concern.
Schools and communities that respect diversity can help protect children against bullying behavior. However, when children perceived as different are not in supportive environments, they may be at a higher risk of being bullied. When working with kids from different groups—including LGBT youth and youth with disabilities or special health care needs—there are specific things you can do to prevent and address bullying
Parents, school staff, and other adults in the community can help kids prevent bullying by talking about it, building a safe school environment, and creating a community-wide bullying prevention strategy. Find out what you can do.
Parents, school staff, and other caring adults have a role to play in preventing bullying. They can help kids understand bullying, keep the lines of communication open, encourage kids to do what they love, and model how to treat others with kindness and respect.
Bullying can threaten students’ physical and emotional safety at school and can negatively impact their ability to learn. The best way to address bullying is to stop it before it starts. There are a number of things school staff can do to make schools safer and prevent bullying.
Bullying can be prevented, especially when the power of a community is brought together. Community-wide strategies can help identify and support children who are bullied, redirect the behavior of children who bully, and change the attitudes of adults and youth who tolerate bullying behaviors in peer groups, schools, and communities.
Across the country, local leaders are stepping up to address bullying. Our Bullying Prevention Training Modules are designed to provide individuals with research-based tools and resources to organize effective bullying prevention efforts in their communities.
Respond to Bullying
How you respond can make an impact on bullying over time. Find out what you can do to stop it on the spot and support the kids involved.
When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior, they send the message that it is not acceptable. Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time. There are simple steps adults can take to stop bullying on the spot and keep kids safe.
Whether you’ve just stopped bullying on the spot or a child has reached out to you for help, learn how to determine the best way to proceed.
All kids involved in bullying—whether they are bullied, bully others, or see bullying—can be affected. It is important to support all kids involved to make sure the bullying doesn’t continue and effects can be minimized.
Every day, kids see bullying. They want to help, but don’t know how. Here are a few simple and safe ways that your child can help someone who’s being bullied and be more than a bystander.
Get Help Now
When you, your child, or someone close to you is being bullied, there are many steps to take to help resolve the situation. Make sure you understand what bullying is and what it is not, the warning signs of bullying, and steps to take for preventing and responding to bullying, including how to talk to children about bullying, prevention in schools and communities, and how to support children involved.
After reviewing that information, if you feel you have done everything you can to resolve the situation and nothing has worked, or someone is in immediate danger, there are ways to get help.
|The problem||What you can do|
|There has been a crime or someone is at immediate risk of harm.||Call 911.|
|Someone is feeling hopeless, helpless, thinking of suicide.||1-800-273-TALK (8255).The toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in our national network. These centers provide 24-hour crisis counseling and mental health referrals.|
|Someone is acting differently than normal, such as always seeming sad or anxious, struggling to complete tasks, or not being able care for themselves.||Find a local counselor or other mental health services|
|A child is being bullied in school.||Contact the:
See more on working with the school.
|The school is not adequately addressing harassment based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, or religion.||Contact:|