Social Bullying

Social Bullying

What is social bullying?

As mentioned in our bullying prevention programs blog post, the social bullying definition is a form of emotionally aggressive bullying behavior, sometimes referred to as indirect aggression, relational aggression, or covert bullying. It is a form of bullying that can be more difficult to detect because it can occur behind the victim’s back, or it can take the form of public humiliation.

Social Bullying Statistics

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s national survey of student safety in secondary schools:

  • 16 percent of all students reported being the subject of rumors
  • 5 percent reported being excluded from activities on purpose within the last school year
  • Females reported higher rates of social bullying victimization than male students, with 20 percent of females experiencing exclusion by peers, compared with 13 percent of males
  • Across grade levels, 6th grade students reported the highest prevalence of bullying of any form (39 percent) as well as the highest rates of social bullying victimization

Social Bullying Examples

According to an In Brief by Safe Supporting Learning, social bullying can be proactive, or used to achieve or maintain social position, gain attention, or alleviate boredom. It can also be reactive, or retaliatory, in nature, in response to a perceived threat or to feelings of anger, jealousy, or betrayal. Below are examples of direct and indirect forms of social bullying from the In Brief:

  • Leaving someone out on purpose
    • Direct verbal: Telling other children that they are not wanted in the group
    • Indirect verbal: Telling other children to exclude a particular person from games or other group activities; social exclusion bullying
    • Indirect nonverbal: Walking away or ignoring particular children when they attempt to join the group
  • Telling other children not to be friends with someone
    • Indirect: Telling other children that you do not understand why they are friends with a particular person
    • Direct: Telling other children that you or your friends do not want to be friends with them anymore
  • Spreading rumors about someone
    • Indirect: Telling others negative things about a particular person in order to damage or sabotage that person’s close relationships or social reputation (e.g. writing rumors or insults about someone on a bathroom wall or spray painting an insult or slur on someone’s locker)
  • Embarrassing someone in public
    • Direct: Embarrassing or insulting other children over the internet or making embarrassing comments about others when they attempt to approach the group

what-is-social-bullyingHow to Prevent Social Bullying

The In Brief describes 10 ways schools can help to prevent bullying that engages students, families and all school staff:

  1. Adopt school policies that recognize and prohibit social bullying
  2. Train school personnel to respond to social bullying incidents effectively
  3. Implement whole-school, multi-tiered prevention approaches
  4. Provide adequate adult supervision during instructed time
  5. Use professional development and policy to promote effective classroom management
  6. Introduce positive behavioral interventions as an alternative to punitive disciplinary approaches
  7. Provide support to students who have been bullied
  8. Use data to support monitoring and accountability
  9. Involve families and communities
  10. Integrate and sustain prevention efforts

How Just Say YES Can Help

Book a Just Say YES bullying prevention program today for your campus. Students will come to understand the four different types of bullying, how to prevent bullying by treating others with kindness and respect, and what to do if they see bullying or are victims of bullying behavior. As for our educator and parent programs, audiences will learn how to keep the lines of communication open with students, how to properly address bullying behavior to the bully, and how to support kids who are being bullied.

Contact us today to learn more about our bullying prevention programs!

Just Say YES Bullying Prevention Programs

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