What is Bullying?
Bullying occurs when a student repeatedly attempts to hurt, humiliate, or exclude another less powerful student. In the state of Colorado, according to HB 11-1254, “Bullying” means any written or verbal expression, or physical or electronic act or gesture, or pattern thereof that is intended to coerce, intimidate or cause any physical, mental, or emotional harm to any student. “Bullying” is prohibited against any student for any reason, including but not limited to any such behavior that is directed toward a student on the basis of his or her academic performance; or against whom federal and state laws prohibit discrimination upon any of the bases described in section 22-32-109 (1)(11)(1).
- Physical bullying, when a student uses physical force to hurt another student by hitting, punching pushing, shoving kicking, sitting, pinching, getting in their way, or holding them down. It is also bullying to interfere with another student’s belongings, to take or break their possessions, and to demand or steal money.
- Verbal bullying, when a student uses words to hurt another student. This includes threatening, taunting, intimidating, insulting, sarcasm, name-calling, teasing, put-downs, and ridiculing. It is also verbal bullying when a student uses hostile gestures such as making faces, staring, giving the evil eye, eye-rolling, and spitting.
- Relational bullying, when a student tries to hurt another student’s friendships and relationships through deliberately leaving them out, spreading gossip and rumors about them, giving them the silent treatment, ostracizing, or scapegoating. This also includes writing words or creating cartoons, posters, or drawings designed to hurt another student.
- Cyber-bullying occurs when students use cell-phones, text messages, e-mails, instant messaging, chat rooms, blogs, and social media to bully another student in any of the ways described above. Examples of cyber-bullying are sending threatening or insulting messages texts, posting embarrassing pictures and information about others on blogs or social media, impersonating another student online, forwarding to others a text or e-mail that was meant for your eyes only and spreading hurtful rumors.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion… People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love...For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
— Nelson Mandela