Bullying Is a Big Problem
Every day thousands of teens wake up afraid to go to school. Bullying is a problem that affects millions ofstudents, and it has everyone worried, not just the kids on its receiving end. Yet because parents, teachers, and other adults don't always see it, they may not understandhow extreme bullying can get.Bullying is when a person is picked on over and over again by an individual or group with more power, either in terms of physical strengthor social standing.Two of the main reasons people are bullied are because of appearance and social status. Bullies pick on the people they think don't fit in, maybebecause of how they look, how they act (for example, kids who are shy and withdrawn), their race or religion, or because the bullies think their target may be gay orlesbian.
Some bullies attack their targets physically, which can mean anything from shoving or tripping to punching or hitting, or even sexual assault. Others usepsychological control or verbal insults to put themselves in charge. For example, people in popular groups or cliques often bully people they categorize as different byexcluding them or gossiping about them (psychological bullying). They may also taunt or tease their targets (verbal bullying).Verbal bullying can also involve sending crueltexts, messages, or emails or posting insults about a person on Facebook or other sites — practices that are known as cyberbullying.
Studies show that people who areabused by their peers are at risk for mental health problems, such as low self-esteem, stress, depression, or anxiety. They may also think about suicide more.