Conflict vs. Bullying

During a conflict, name-calling, threats and other conduct that might look like bullying can occur. However, a conflict and bullying are very different.

Unlike bullying, during a conflict people are equally involved in some type of disagreement. Conflict is considered mutual, meaning everyone is more or less evenly involved.

Bullying, on the other hand, involves one or several people (the bullies) intentionally committing a mean or violent act against another person(s) or group of people (the victims). When bullying occurs, there is no mutual participation in a disagreement; it is one-sided. Bullying victims have a hard time defending themselves. The victims want the bullying to stop, but the bully continues the behavior.

Conflicts and bullying can interrupt the school day, damage property and cause injuries to the people involved. However, when the behavior involves a conflict, the school will take action based on its code of student conduct instead of the ABR.

Bullying occurs when:

• One or more students are victims of unwanted or uninvited aggression, as the behavior applies to the definition of harassment, intimidation and bullying in the ABR;
• The aggressor’s behavior would lead a person to reasonably believe that the aggressor is motivated by a desire to physically or emotionally hurt someone;
• The aggression is one-sided; and
• The behavior is not an attempt to positively or negatively address or resolve a problem

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