Learning Center


What is bullying?

Bullying is any behavior in which the aggressor(s) utilizes a real or perceived imbalance of power with the intent to cause harm to his/her victim(s).

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What are the types of bullying?

  • Physical – Causing bodily or material harm.
    • Hitting, punching, kicking, spitting, property damage, and theft
  • Verbal – Using words to emotionally hurt someone
    • Teasing, name-calling, mocking, threats, intimidation, coercion, and taunting
    • Can be sexist, racist, or homophobic in nature
  • Social – Involving a collective group to cause the intended harm
    • Gossip, rumor spreading, embarrassment, alienation
  • Cyber or Electronic – Using technology such as the internet and cell phones to emotionally harm someone
    • Harassing over instant message / email / social media, spreading rumors, creating cruel websites.

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What are some characteristics of a bully?

Although these characteristics are typical, they do not necessarily decide if a child is a bully. He or she could have these characteristics and also be harmless.

However, some common signs that a child may be a bully include:

  • Above average self-esteem
  • Impulsive personalities
  • Lack of empathy
  • Tendency to break rules
  • Positive attitude towards violence
  • Considered “popular”

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How prevalent is bullying now?

Statistics show that, generally, one out of three children are bullied at school, in the neighborhood, or online. One out of three children bully others.

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What is HIB?

HIB stands for Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying. 

  • Harassment: The act of intensely bothering another person through torment.
  • Intimidation: Forcing discouragement or deterrence through fear.
  • Bullying: The act of intentionally hurting another person, whether it be physically or emotionally.

HIB is where the name of this community, HIBHUB, comes from. We pronounce it as “hib” (rhymes with “rib”) instead of sounding out the letters H, I and B.
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Does bullying differ between boys and girls?

Yes, there are several differences. Boys tend to be physically aggressive while girls tend to attack emotionally. Boys will typically get into fights while girls usually bully each other indirectly through social groups by spreading rumors and hurtful information about their victim.

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What are the warning signs that a child is being bullied?

Children who are suffering the emotional effects of bullying tend to seem:

  • Depressed
  • Anxious
  • Concerned about safety
  • Aggressive
  • Insecurity / Low self-esteem
  • Less social than normal

Some other warnings include:

  • Substance abuse
  • Missing personal things
  • Spending time with younger friends
  • Frequent injuries and damage to clothing / property
  • Avoiding recess
  • Arriving to school late
  • Feeling disconnected from school
  • Appearing to be alone at school
  • Having lower academic outcomes, including lower attendance and completion rates
  • Lacking quality friendships at school
  • Losing sleep
  • Health complaints (headaches, stomach aches, etc.)
  • Displaying high levels of emotion that indicate vulnerability and low levels of resilience
  • Being less accepted by peers, avoiding conflict, and being socially withdrawn
  • Having nightmares
  • Feeling suspicious of others

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How can bullying be stopped?

It will be difficult. Bullies do not change easily. They care too much about their reputation in their peer group. They want to remain well-liked, and they believe that bullying maintains their popularity. It is their “reward”, so to speak. Bullies also feel rewarded when they get that sense of power. This power brings about dominance and esteem in their social group, which is fulfilling for them.

But stopping it is possible. To bring about change, the factors that make bullying such a consistent problem must be taken into account. The rewards of bullying must be thwarted, and bullies must be forced to see themselves differently. They must be aware of their aggression and its consequences to their peers.

There are hidden forces within peer groups that make bullies stay bullies and victims stay victims. Intervention must overcome these forces but will not work unless the rest of the group is involved.

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What is the relationship between bullying and suicide?

  • Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people.
  • There are about 4,400 deaths per year related to suicide.
  • For every suicide committed, there are about 100 attempts.
  • Close to 14% of high school students have considered suicide, while around 7% have actually attempted.
  • Bully victims are two to nine times more likely to consider suicide than non-victims
  • Ten to fourteen year old girls stand at a higher risk of suicide
  • Those who are not supported by family, peers or schools are more likely to consider suicide, such as the LGBT community, American Indians and Asian Americans

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What are some signs of a suicidal person?

  • Signs of depression, like ongoing sadness, withdrawal from others, losing interest in favorite activities, trouble eating or sleeping
  • Talking about or showing interest in death or dying
  • Engaging in dangerous or harmful activities, including reckless behavior, substance abuse or self-harm
  • Giving away favorite possessions and saying goodbye to people
  • Saying or expressing that they cannot handle things anymore
  • Making comments that things would be better without them

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What are some side effects of observers of bullying?

  • Fearful
  • Powerless to act
  • Guilty for not acting
  • Tempted to participate

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What are some issues for schools with bullying?

  • School develops an environment of fear and disrespect
  • Students have difficulty learning
  • Students feel insecure
  • Students dislike school
  • Students perceive teachers and staff have little control and don’t care about them

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What isn’t considered bullying?

A mutual conflict, disagreement, or argument.

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