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Student being bullied

Bullying is a pattern of behavior which involves an imbalance of social, physical or other power. It is directed repeatedly towards specific and general targets or subjects. Bullying can be defined in many different ways depending on its context.

The subject of bullying includes "the appalling silence of the good people".[1] When witnesses know what to do—and they do it, the action becomes part of a process which defuses a bad situation.[2]

Bullying is not only violence against the bullied person. It's also bullying when other people hide it from those in power (teachers, bosses), other people who see it ignore it or when the bully is helped get away with it.

School teachers and staff have tried to learn ways to stop bullying even when they do not see it themselves. They have learned that bullying can be easy to hide.

Some US states have laws against it.

What happens

Bullying can happen at school, work, at home, on the internet (cyber-bullying) or somewhere else.

A purpose is part of what makes bullying what it is. The process of bullying develops in many ways, including

Bullying may be a combination of one or more of these tactics. For example, Lance Armstrong explained "Yes, I was a bully. I was a bully in the sense that I tried to control the narrative and if I didn't like what someone said I turned on them." In other words, when someone said something Armstrong didn't like, "We ran over her, we bullied her."[4]

Bullying behaviour include the misuse of power or position and making comments or threats about job security.[7]

Bullying also includes moving the goalposts by setting objectives which subtly change and cannot be defined or explained in ways that can be reached.[7]

Culture of bullying

When bullies and bullying are ignored, a "bullying culture" develops with long-term harmful results.[8]


Charities help anti-bullying. There are also laws against bullying in the UK such as section 89 of the Education and Inspections Act 2006.

Related pages


Newspaper headlines about bullying
  1. Axelrod, Rise B. and Charles R. Cooper (2011). Axelrod & Cooper's Concise Guide to Writing, p. 333; Ansbro, John J. (2000). Martin Luther King, Jr.: Nonviolent Strategies and Tactics for Social Change, p. 227.
  2. Olson, Elizabeth. "Campaign Tries to Help Defuse Bullying," New York Times, October 23, 2012; retrieved 2012-10-26.
  3. Tompson, Teri et al. "Victims of Lance Armstrong's strong-arm tactics feel relief and vindication in the wake of U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report," New York Daily News, October 20, 2012; retrieved 2013-1-20.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bazelon, Emily. "Lance Armstrong Was a Bully—and That Hardly Covers It," Slate (US). January 18, 2013; retrieved 2013-1-20.
  5. Brumfield, Ben. "7 lessons Lance Armstrong's confession has taught us," CNN, January 19, 2013; excerpt, "It was about controlling the narrative ... 'If I didn't like what somebody said ... I tried to control that and said that's a lie; they're liars,' Armstrong said"; retrieved 2013-1-20.
  6. Macur, Juliet. "How Lance Armstrong's Wall Fell, One Rider at a Time," New York Times (US). October 20, 2012; excerpt, "Lance Armstrong ... using guile and arm-twisting tactics that put fear in those who might cross him ..."; retrieved 2013-1-20.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Royal College of Psychiatrists, "On Bullying and Harassment" retrieved 2012-2-19.
  8. Thomson, Rebecca. "It profession blighted by bullying," Computer Weekly, April 2008; retrieved 2012-10-25.

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