What is Bullying?

Types of Bullying

Verbal: This involves saying or writing mean things. It could include:


  • teasing

  • name-calling

  • inappropriate sexual comments

  • taunting

  • threatening to cause harm.

Social or Relational: This involves hurting someone's reputation or relationships. It could include:

  • leaving someone out on purpose

  • telling other children not to be friends with someone

  • spreading rumors about someone

  • embarrassing someone in public

Physical: This involves hurting a person's body or possessions. It could include:

  • hitting

  • kicking

  • pinching

  • spitting

  • tripping

  • pushing

  • taking or breaking someone's things

  • making mean or rude hand gestures

Cyber: Bullying that takes place using electronic communication. It could include:

  • cell phones

  • computers/tablets

  • social media sites

  • text messages

  • chat features

  • websites










Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems. 


In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:

  • 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 if they involve the same people.

  • Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once. (Stopbullying.gov)