Bullying Basics

Each year millions of children and youth experience the humiliation and devastating effects of bullying.

Over the past two decades, what we know about bullying - who is involved, where, when, and why it occurs, and the situations that allow it to spread - has increased tremendously. This knowledge has helped researchers develop new and useful strategies that both children and adults can use to intervene effectively and, better yet, prevent bullying before it ever occurs.

We now know that...

Bullying is NOT pre-wired, harmless, or inevitable

Bullying IS learned, harmful, and controllable

Bullying SPREADS if supported or left unchecked

Bullying INVOLVES everyone - bullies, victims, and bystanders

Bullying CAN BE effectively stopped or entirely prevented

In a U.S. national study...

with youth in grades 6 through 10, almost 30% - more than 5.7 million - were involved in moderate or frequent bullying during the current school term, as a bully, victim, or both.


Bullying is not Harmless

Bullying damages the physical, social, and emotional well-being of its victims. It also hurts the children who bully, as well as those who watch it happen. In fact, bullying creates a climate of fear, callousness, and disrespect for everyone involved.


Bullying starts Early

Bullying begins in the preschool years, peaks in early adolescence, and continues, but with less frequency, into the high school years. But bullying does NOT have to be a part of growing up.

Methodology and Approaches Utilized in this Curriculum

Discussion and Opinions


In several places, the Curriculum encourages children to discuss their thoughts about bullying and cyberbullying. The purpose of these discussions is not so much to convey specific points of knowledge as it is to reduce the secrecy surrounding abusive behaviors and to encourage children to recognize the similarity between their own experiences and those of their peers.

Learning From Older Peers


In addition to conventional adult-led lessons, this Curriculum takes advantage of children's developmentally appropriate interest in learning from slightly older peers. The purpose is to promote positive anti-bullying modeling by older students and positive social relationships between children of different ages (which in turn promotes a positive social climate).

The Emotional Impact of Bullying


Emphasis on the emotional impact of bullying and cyberbullying on targets, bystanders and eggers, the purpose of which is to make any justification and minimization of bullying and cyberbullying more difficult. Among older elementary students, there is an emphasis on student direction and student leadership in addressing bullying and cyberbullying among peers.

Role of the Bystanders


Emphasis on bystander undermining of bullying, rather than on active confrontation. In the abstract, children endorse the position that bystanders should take aggressive action by confronting bullies. However, research has found that in real situations, children who witness bullying very rarely feel able to directly take any action, such as confronting a bully or openly siding with a victim. Thus, urging children to take direct action may not only be futile but may actually reinforce children's perceptions that adults "don't get it." For this reason, this Curriculum teaches children to undermine the position of bullies by refusing to be an audience of bystanders and by alerting adults. Of paramount importance is that they become aware that their bystander behavior may inadvertently contribute to, and support, bullying by providing an audience.

Learning From Older Peers


In addition to conventional adult-led lessons, this Curriculum takes advantage of children's developmentally appropriate interest in learning from slightly older peers. The purpose is to promote positive anti-bullying modeling by older students and positive social relationships between children of different ages (which in turn promotes a positive social climate).

Discussion and Opinions.


Let us know your thoughts.