Bullying is not always easy to detect.  The behavior is often covert and perpetrated in situations where adults aren’t present.  Bullying behaviors can be subtle and difficult to recognize.  It’s also important to note that not every peer confrontation is bullying: social tiffs, arguments, teasing, and conflicts are inevitable among youth, and are normal.” - The 6Rs of Bullying Prevention – Michele Borba, Ed.D.

Bullying occurs when a victim is exposed to serious ‘negative experiences’ created by, or due to, another individual (or group), the bully or bullies. These negative experiences often involve physical discomfort or pain, but can also be social or emotional in nature and involve psychological pain. 

In bullying, negative experiences occur over a period of time.  There is always an imbalance of power between the victim and the bully, and this power imbalance can also be physical, psychological, or social.” – Dan Olweus

There are four key elements of bullying:

  • aggression
  • repetition
  • power imbalance
  • intentional cruelty

No single factor puts a child at risk of being bullied or bullying others. Bullying can happen anywhere—cities, suburbs, or rural towns. Depending on the environment, some groups—such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgendered (LGBT) youth, youth with disabilities, and socially isolated youth—may be at an increased risk of being bullied. ​

  • Talk to that person.
  • Let them know you care.
  • Include the person into your group.
  • Stick up for him or her (do not put yourself in danger).
  • Speak to a caring, trusting adult.
  • REPORT it!
  • If someone is in crisis call 911 or use the Crisis Text Line at 741-741. Text Hello to get started!​


  • Well-connected to their peers, have social power, are overly concerned about their popularity, and like to dominate or be in charge of others.
  • Others are more isolated from their peers and may be depressed or anxious, have low self-esteem, be less involved in school, be easily pressured by peers, or not identify with the emotions or feelings of others.
  • Are aggressive or easily frustrated
  • Have less parental involvement or having issues at home
  • Think badly of others
  • Have difficulty following rules
  • View violence in a positive way
  • Have friends who bully others
  • Lack empathy for others

Remember, those who bully others do not need to be stronger or bigger than those they bully. The power imbalance can come from a number of sources—popularity, strength, cognitive ability—and children who bully may have more than one of these characteristics.

There are three types of bullying:

  • verbal
  • physical
  • relational aggression (social or emotional)


"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.  Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose."  - stopbullying.gov

Align with KIND today!

Generally, children who are bullied have one or more of the following risk factors:

  • Are perceived as different from their peers, such as being overweight or underweight, wearing glasses or different clothing, being new to a school, or being unable to afford what kids consider “cool”
  • Are perceived as weak or unable to defend themselves
  • Are depressed, anxious, or have low self esteem
  • Are less popular than others and have few friends
  • Do not get along well with others, seen as annoying or provoking, or antagonize others for attention

However, even if a child has these risk factors, it doesn’t mean that they will be bullied.​