Definitions

The following is a list of terms that repeatedly occur in any written or oral conversation about bullying.

Bullying—Aggressive, hurtful behavior that is intentional, repeated over time, and involves an imbalance of power, real or perceived.

Aggressor-A person who engages in bullying of any kind.

Target-A person against whom bullying is directed.

Bystander-A person who witnesses a bullying occurrence and is faced with the decision of whether or not to respond or report it.

Hostile Environment-A school that is permeated with intimidation, ridicule. or insult that is sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the students’ education.

Retaliation-Any form of intimidation, reprisal. or harassment directed against a student who reports bullying, provides information during an investigation of bullying, or witnesses or has reliable information about bullying.

Direct Bullying- A relatively open attack on a target. It can be physical or verbal.

Physical Bullying-Involves hurting a person’s body or possessions. Includes hitting, punching, spitting, kicking, biting, tripping, pushing, taking someone’s things, or making mean hand gestures.

Verbal Bullying- Can include name-calling, verbal harassment, insults, mocking, and taunting.

Emotional Bullying- Playing with someone’s emotions through confusing them, manipulating them or hurting their feelings.

Relational Aggression-Involves hurting someone through their reputation or relationships.  Subtle and more difficult to detect than direct bullying.  It includes social isolation, intentional exclusion, making faces, obscene gestures, and manipulating relationships. Particularly common among girls.

Sexual Bullying-Involves unwanted touching, obscene gestures or comments made about a person’s body, body type or physical features.

Racial Bullying-Involves aggressive behavior directed toward a person or people based on their race. May involve name-calling, mean comments, or threats.

Cyberbullying-The use of computers, smartphones or other electronic devices to bully someone.  Can include spreading rumors, texting mean or threatening messages, posting intimate or private photos, making lewd comments, name-calling.  Can be done anonymously.

Teen Dating Violence-Intimate partner violence that occurs between two young people who are or once were in a relationship.

Hazing-The use of embarrassing and often dangerous or illegal activities by a group to initiate new members.

Harassment-Although bullying and harassment sometimes overlap, not all bullying is harassment and not all harassment is bullying. Under federal civil rights laws, harassment is unwelcome conduct based on a protected call (race, national origin, color, sex, age, disability, religion or sexual orientation) that is severe, pervasive, or persistent and creates a hostile environment.

Stalking-repeated harassing or threatening behavior such as following a person or making repeated harassing phone calls.