Illinois defines "bullying" as acts that frighten, threaten or harm others. Bullying behavior can include harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking, physical violence, sexual harassment, sexual violence, theft and public humiliation.
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or thought-to-be power imbalance. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying is linked to many negative outcomes including impacts on mental health, substance abuse and suicide. It is important to talk to kids to determine whether bullying or something else is a concern.
There are three types of bullying:
- Verbal: saying or writing mean (negative) things
- Social: hurting someone’s reputations or relationships
- Physical: hurting (assaulting) someone’s body or possessions
Bullying can occur during or after school hours. While most reported bullying happens in school buildings, a large amount of bullying also happens in places such as the playground or the bus. It can also happen travelling to and/or from school, in the targeted youth’s neighborhood, or on the Internet.