The legal definition of bullying in Kansas requires bullying to be severe, persistent, or pervasive. [K.S.A. 72-8256 (a)(1)(A)]
Bullying is aggressive behavior that involves unwanted, negative actions. It usually (but not always) involves a pattern of behavior repeated over time. Bullying involves an imbalance of power or strength.
There are many ways to bully someone. The four main kinds of bullying are:
Verbal Bullying: Verbal abuse is the most common form of bullying seen at school. It accounts for 70% of reported bullying and is often difficult to detect. Verbal bullying occurs when someone uses language to gain power over his/her peers.
- Examples include: name calling, teasing, taunting, threatening, cruel criticism, belittling, personal defamation, racist slurs, sexually suggestive and/or abusive remarks, and extortion (i.e demanding lunch money via threats).
Physical Bullying: Physical bullying is the most visible and therefore identifiable form of bullying incidents reported by children. Physical bullying occurs when a person uses overt bodily acts to gain power over peers. Unlike other types of bullying in schools, physical bullying is easy to identify because the acts are so obvious. Physical bullies tend to demonstrate high levels of aggression from a young age.
- Examples include: hitting, tripping, shoving, slapping, punching, kicking, damaging or destroying personal property, hazing, and/or biting.
Relational (Social) Bullying: Relational bullying is the systematic diminishment of a targeted child's sense of self that could lead to rejection and/or alienation. The behavior describes an individual, or a group of individuals, who try to hurt a peer, or sacrifice another's standing within their peer group.
- Examples include: ignoring, isolating, excluding, shunning (act of omission), and/or gossiping.
Cyber Bullying: "Cyber bullying" means bullying by use of any electronic communication device.
- Examples include (but not limited to): e-mail, instant messaging, text messages, blogs, mobile phones, pagers, online games, and websites.
"KSDE Bullying Prevention: 2010-2011 Fact Sheet." Topeka: Kansas State Department of Education. 2011.