This section pulls together fundamental information about bullying.
Kids who know what bullying is can better identify it. They can talk about bullying if it happens to them or others. Kids need to know ways to safely stand up to bullying and how to get help.
The anti-bullying effort is part of a larger attempt by Instagram and its parent company, Facebook, to clean themselves up. Both platforms have struggled to contain a flood of toxic behavior, extreme content and misinformation on their services.
No type of bullying is acceptable, but cyberbullying can be harder for parents to spot because it takes place via cellphone, computer or tablet, often through social media. Cyberbullying can be a hateful text message or post of embarrassing pictures, videos and even...
Imagine a classmate posts a photo of themselves online. Someone else makes a mean, mocking comment about the photo. Soon, that photo has been shared, liked, reposted—even made into a meme. Thousands of people have seen it, even people the person being targeted doesn’t know. That’s why cyberbullying can be extra hurtful: it’s public, it spreads quickly, and it’s 24/7.
Someone who witnesses bullying, either in person or online, is a bystander. Friends, students, peers, teachers, school staff, parents, coaches, and other youth-serving adults can be bystanders. With cyberbullying, even strangers can be bystanders.
Children with disabilities—such as physical, developmental, intellectual, emotional, and sensory disabilities—are at an increased risk of being bullied. Any number of factors— physical vulnerability, social skill challenges, or intolerant environments—may increase the risk. Research suggests that some children with disabilities may bully others as well.
It is important to understand how children are cyberbullied so it can be easily recognized and action can be taken.
Digital media and apps allow children to communicate and express their creativity, connect with peers, and share their feelings. However, they can be an avenue through which cyberbullying occurs. There are many types of apps and sites available for free that give users the ability to search for people and share or post information about them anonymously.
Parents may not be aware of the apps that their children use regularly or may not be aware of the risks involved in using them. There are many ways that cyberbullying can be hidden in apps and sites, such as texts, videos, and web calls that disappear or do not appear on the device’s call or text message logs.
There are many other types of aggressive behavior that don’t fit the definition of bullying. This does not mean that they are any less serious or require less attention than bullying. Rather, these behaviors require different prevention and response strategies.
When cyberbullying happens, it is important to document and report the behavior so it can be addressed.
Bullying stops us from being who we want to be, and prevents us from expressing ourselves freely, and might even make us feel unsafe. If you are bullied, say something! If you are bullying, it’s not cool!
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.
No single factor puts a child at risk of being bullied or bullying others. Bullying can happen anywhere—cities, suburbs, or rural towns. Depending on the environment, some groups—such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ) youth, youth with disabilities, and socially isolated youth—may be at an increased risk of being bullied.
State and local lawmakers have taken action to prevent bullying and protect children.1 Each jurisdiction, including all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories (state), addresses bullying differently. Some have established laws, policies, and...
Adults have a major role in helping to prevent bullying. Find out what you can do.
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.
Whether you’ve just stopped bullying on the spot or a child has reached out to you for help, follow the steps below to determine the best way to proceed.
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.
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.