Understanding Different Types of Bullying

Bullying can occur in many different ways. Bullying can be direct (“face to face”) or indirect (“behind someone’s back). The type of bullying can affect the way parents describe or approach their child or a school about a bullying incident. Generally, there are four types of bullying behaviors:

Verbal – Includes name calling, taunting, constant teasing or making threats;
Physical – Includes hitting, punching, shoving, spitting, or taking or damaging personal belongings;
Psychological – Includes spreading rumors, purposefully keeping people from activities and breaking up friendships or other relationships; and
Electronic – Includes using the internet, mobile phone or other electronic equipment to intentionally harm others. Also known as, “cyberbullying.”

Cyberbullying is a new form of bullying that is being used with the advancement of technology. It takes place using electronic devices or equipment such as cell phones, computers and tablets; and communication tools, such as social media sites, text messages, chat rooms and websites, to intentionally harm someone. Under the ABR, cyberbullying falls under the category of an “electronic communication,” which is defined as “a communication transmitted by means of an electronic device, including, but not limited to, a telephone, cellular phone, computer, or pager” (See N.J.S.A.18A:37-14).

Cyberbullying can be especially damaging to the victim. Young people who are cyberbullied
often also are bullied in person. Cyberbullying can happen anytime of the day or night and can reach victims even when they are alone.

The cyberbully can be difficult to find. The cyberbully has the ability to send hurtful messages and images quickly to a wide audience, and can do this without anyone knowing he or she did it. The messages and images are hard to stop or delete once they have been posted or sent.

Some examples of cyberbullying include:

• Using online social networking sites, such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, to make hurtful postings about someone. This can include calling a person a name, writing a rumor or posting personal information;
• Using instant messenger services to repeatedly harass someone or contact someone who is not interested in communicating with the person;
• Sending hurtful or unwanted text messages to someone’s cell phone;
• Showing recorded or live video of someone’s private life on the internet.
• Intentionally excluding someone from an online group.

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