Name-calling or Teasing
Who ever came up with the phrase “Sticks and stones can hurt my bones but words can never hurt me” must never have had someone call them names or make fun of them. Name-calling and teasing are forms of verbal bullying.
When someone kicks or punches us it hurts us on the outside, while when someone teases us or calls us names, it hurts us on the inside. In many classrooms teasing and name-calling are the most common forms of bullying. Unfortunately, because they don’t leave scratches or bruises and often happen when there are no adults around, they can go unnoticed by parents or teachers.
Exclusion, or leaving someone out, is another form of bullying. This is when a person or group of people won’t let someone play with them, join a group activity or will invite everyone to come to a party or take part in a game except for one person on purpose.
All children (and adults!) like to fit in, have friends and feel accepted. When we exclude someone we make them feel unlikable and very alone. As you go through school, it’s understandable that you won’t be great friends with everybody in your class and there are some kids you just won’t have things in common with or will have trouble getting along with. However, this is no excuse, for purposefully excluding someone.
Some kids not only tease others or exclude others; they can also be physically abusive. Kicking, punching, pinching, pushing are all forms of physical bullying. It is never okay to hurt someone physically even if they have hurt you. While it can be very tempting to hit someone if they have hurt you in some way, this is not going to make you feel better or solve the problem.
Being physically bullied is incredibly scary for a victim and puts them at great risk. Many children have been seriously injured by physical bullying. Often, the kids doing this end up hurting victims more than they meant to. In some cases, victims have been killed accidentally!
Threatening is another form of verbal bullying. When someone threatens someone else, they say we are going to do something hurtful, even though they may never do it. They may threaten that they are going to hurt someone physically, take their belongings or spread personal information or rumours about them.
Being threatened is very scary and hurtful. The victims are always afraid the person is going to carry out their threats, but they often don’t know when or where this may happen. They start each day worrying they are going to come to school and find everyone talking about them or they are going to get beat up.
Cyber-bullying is bullying that takes place on the internet or with cell phones. It can take the form of many of the above forms of bullying: name-calling or teasing, exclusion or threatening. The only difference is instead of happening face-to-face, it takes place on-line via websites, chat-rooms or text-messaging. The cyber-bully may send the victim threatening emails, take pictures or video of them and post them on-line (Facebook or Myspace) or say mean things about the victim in a chat-room.
While all forms of bullying are very hurtful and embarrassing for the victim, cyber-bullying can be especially painful because of how many people may see the photos, videos, name-calling or teasing. Once something is put on a website or in a chat-room it becomes public. This means that anyone can see it anywhere in the world!
Kids who bully on-line will often be much meaner than they would be face-to-face because they can’t see the victim. Unfortunately this ability to “hide” from the victim has meant that many people who would never bully someone in person, have started bullying on-line.