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Bullying 101

What is Bullying?

Bullying is an act of aggression with three specific characteristics:

  • Unwarranted and intentional act to do harm to an individual.
  • Repetitive (or likely to be repeated) action involving the same or a different targeted person.
  • Involves an imbalance of power, where the person engaging in bullying behavior perceives her/himself to be superior to the person targeted.

All three characteristics must be present in order for an aggressive behavior to be bullying.

CDC Bullying Definitions

Common Types of Bullying

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Physical Bullying

Physical bullying involves hitting, shoving, pushing, tripping, and other kinds of force.

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Social Bullying

Social bullying involves using relationships to hurt someone, including embarrassing someone in public, excluding someone from participation, and spreading rumors.

Verbal Bullying

Verbal bullying involves hurtful comments, name-calling, teasing, and making threats. 

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Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Electronic technology includes devices and equipment such as cell phones, computers, and tablets as well as communication tools including social media sites, text messages, chat, and websites.

Bullying Statistics and Facts

1 in 5 high school students reported being bullied at school

Bullying is common

  • About 1 in 5 high school students reported being bullied on school property.  
  • More than 1 in 6 high school students reported being bullied electronically in the last year.
30% of female high school students experienced bullying at school or electronically in the last year

Some youth experience bullying more than others

  • Nearly 40% of high school students who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual report being bullied or cyberbullied in the last year.
  • More female high school students (30%) than male students (19%) report being bullied or cyberbullied in the last year.

Bullying is a frequent discipline problem

  • Nearly 14% of public schools report that bullying is a discipline problem occurring daily or at least once a week.
  • Bullying and cyberbullying occur more frequently in middle schools (28%, 33%), followed by high schools (16%, 30%) and elementary schools (9%, 5%).


Contact Us

Please contact Julie McDaniel-Muldoon, PhD, ACTP for additional bullying prevention information, resources and services.

Julie McDaniel-Muldoon

Safety And Well-being Consultant

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