Updated: Oct 6, 2018
October is National Bullying Prevention Month. There are numerous types of bullying. We are focusing on school and workplace bullying. How they are defined and ways to stop bullying.
Studies show that 1 out of 5 children report being bullied at school. What determines school bullying? Stopbullying.org describes bullying as “unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power of imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.”
Yet, what determines an imbalance of power or repetition? Stopbullying.org defines them in the following way:
· An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power--- such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity, to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even when they involve the same people.
· Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
Bullying actions include but are not limited to:
· Purposely excluding someone from a group
· Spreading rumors in person or through social media
· Continual verbal attacks
· Physical attacks
· Making threats to someone
It is imperative in the school setting to bring a third-party adult into bullying situations. The adult can determine the necessary means to rectify the situation.
Yet, bullying doesn’t only happen in schools.
Workplace bullying, unlike schoolyard bullying does not only affect the person being bullied. Workplacebullying.org states, “the stakes for workplace bullying are more serious than in the school…. when a bully decides to capriciously untrack a person’s career, years of investment in terms of time and money, are at risk. Finally, the most important difference, the one the distinguishes our approach to solutions, is that a child must have the help and support of third-party adults to reverse the conflict. Whereas, bullied adults have the primary responsibility for righting the wrong, for engineering a solution.”
The reasoning behind this statement, is because research indicates “if or when others intervene on the behalf of the bullied party, the person being bullied usually suffers additional consequences from giving away their independence to another.”
Steps to prevent workplace bullying:
· Promote a positive workplace
· Investigate complaints immediately
· Train management in company policies and procedures
· Zero tolerance bullying policy in place
Dealing with bullying in our schools, in the workplace and even on social media is worth the effort because consistent repetitive bullying can have lasting and serious affects.
Reference: What is Bullying Definition. Accessed at:
https://www.stopbullying.gov/what-is-bullying/definition/index.html. Accessed on: October 4, 2017
Reference: The WBI Definition of Workplace Bullying. Accessed at:
http://www.workplacebullying.org/individuals/problem/definition/. Accessed on: October 4, 2017