Bullying is a serious issue that pervades schools throughout Illinois. According to Stopbullying.gov, 28 percent of students in grades six through 12 state that they have been bullying victims and approximately 30 percent of young people admit that they have bullied others.

Bullying comes in many different forms

When most people think of bullying, they envision one child hitting, punching, kicking or physically harming another. However, one of the reasons why student bullying is such a widespread issue is because it comes in many different forms. In addition to physical bullying, bullying can happen in the following ways:

  • Verbal bullying—Bullies who verbally abuse others use words, name-calling and hurtful statements to gain power over their target. Usually, a bully engaging in verbal abuse uses insults to belittle, demean and emotionally harm another person.
  • Relational aggression—This type of bullying occurs when bullies manipulate another child in order to sabotage their social standing amongst their peers. For example, a child may be the victim of relational aggression if their bully ostracizes them from their friends or spreads rumors about them.
  • Cyberbullying—Cyberbullying occurs when students use the internet, a cell phone or another type of technology to harass, threaten or embarrass another person. Posting harmful images, sending mean emails or texts or threatening another person online are all forms of cyberbullying.
  • Sexual bullying—Sexually bullying consists of harmful and humiliating actions that are designed to sexually target another person. Sexual name-calling, vulgar gestures, unwanted touching and crude comments are all examples of sexual bullying.
  • Prejudicial bullying—Bullies engage in prejudicial bullying if they base their prejudices on people who are of a different race, religion or sexual orientation than them. Oftentimes, this type of bullying can lead to hate crimes.

Stopbullying.gov states that verbal and social bullying are the most common types of bullying and that cyberbullying happens less often than all the others forms of bullying.

Where does bullying occur?

Most bullying occurs inside of schools, on school playgrounds and on school transportation vehicles. In a large study, states Stopbullying.gov, 29.3 percent of middle school students reported that they were bullied in the classroom, 29 percent were bullied in the hallways of their school, 19.5 percent were bullied in gym and 12.2 percent were targeted by bullies in the bathroom.

Regardless of the type of bullying that a child endures or where it happens, this abusive behavior can result in serious emotional, physical and psychological consequences. Parents who suspect their child is bullied at school may benefit from speaking with an attorney who can provide legal solutions to end these harmful situations.