BULLYING is typically a form of repeated, persistent and aggressive behaviour directed at an individual or individuals that is intended to cause (or should be known to cause) fear and distress and/or harm to another person’s body, feelings, self-esteem, or reputation. BULLYING occurs in a context where there is a real or perceived power imbalance. (Based on the Ontario Ministry of Education definition; for the full definition, refer to www.edu.gov.on.ca)
BULLYING, discrimination, and sexual harassment are all intentionally harmful behaviours, physically and/or psychologically. They tend to be repetitive and persistent behaviours. BULLYING, discrimination, and sexual harassment leave victims feeling afraid, helpless, vulnerable, traumatized, rejected, isolated, and less than others. Victims feel powerless to resist, and perpetrators derive what they perceive as status and gratification.
Physical BULLYING: hitting, kicking, punching, tripping, shoving, spitting, stealing, damaging property.
Weight-based teasing: BULLYING based on body shape/size.
Verbal BULLYING: name calling, mocking, taunting, put-downs, sexist, racist, or homophobic comments, threats, humiliating someone, making people do things they don’t want to do.
Social BULLYING: excluding others, spreading gossip and rumours, setting others up to look foolish, damaging friendships, rejection of someone, rolling eyes and other demeaning gestures, dividing people from one another, isolating someone, making sure others do not spend time with a certain person.
Cyberbullying: sending or posting harmful material or engaging in forms of social aggression using the Internet or other forms of digital technologies. Remember that cyberbullying is BULLYING in a different location.
flaming: online fights and arguments using electronic messages with angry and vulgar language.harassment: repeatedly sending mean, offensive, and insulting messages to an individual.
denigration: showing disrespect for someone online; sending or posting gossip or rumours about a person to damage his/her reputation or friendships.
impersonation: pretending to be someone else, and sending or posting material to a person in trouble or to damage that persons’s reputation or friendships.
outing: sharing someone’s secrets or embarrassing information or images online.
intrusion: over-the-shoulder surfing, sharing/stealing passwords, or unintentional or unauthorized use of a web camera.
trickery: tricking someone into revealing secrets with the intent to embarrass him/her online.
exclusion: intentionally and cruelly excluding someone from an online group.
cyberstalking: repeated, intense harassment and denigration that includes threats or creates significant fear.
Threats including Cyberthreats: sending or posting direct threats or distressing material statements that alludes that the person may be considering harming someone else or harming him/herself.
Discrimination is the unfair treatment of a person or group because of differences such as race, ethnicity, age, religion, gender, sexual preference, or socio-economic status. Discrimination means prejudging or stereotyping people, and being bigoted and intolerant of differences. It can make a child or family feel unwelcome, marginalized, excluded, powerless, or worthless in a school or community.
Sexual harassment is any unwanted and unwelcome behaviour about sex or gender that interferes with a person’s life and makes him/her feel uncomfortable, even if the harasser claims to be only joking. The following are examples of sexual harassment:
Weight-based stigmatization is “negative weight-related attitudes and beliefs that are manifested through stereotypes, bias, rejection, and prejudice toward children and adolescents because they are overweight or obese.” Obesity is one of the “most stigmatized and least socially acceptable conditions in childhood.” (Russell-Mayhew, McVey, Bardick, Ireland, “Mental health, wellness, and childhood overweight/obesity,” J Obes., 2012)