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Bullies Come in All Shapes and Sizes

August 27, 2015
Girl holding anti-bullying sign

At the beginning of a school year we must prepare physically by shopping for new school supplies and getting up-to-date on our immunizations. But, we can also prepare mentally. Now is a perfect time to talk to your kids again about bullying. School can be hard physically, but it can also be mentally taxing for children in preschool all the way to college.

Typically defined as repeated, unwanted and aggressive behavior, bullying encompasses making threats, spreading rumors, physical/verbal abuse and exclusion.

We tend to have the stereotypical imagine in our minds of the classic bully: Big burly kids with large fists and a loud laugh. However, bullies can come in all shapes and sizes – especially today during the age of the internet.

This past 2015 Legislative Session, HB 131 (dubbed “The End to Cyberbullying Act”) passed the Georgia General Assembly. This bill expands the definition of bullying to include cyberbullying, making it unacceptable to use school equipment or school property to harass another person.

According to StopBullying.gov, 20% of American students grade 9-12 felt bullied at school in 2013. This is heartbreaking. Stop for a few minutes each week and talk to your kids about the effects of bullying. Over time, we should be able to decrease that number and create a more accepting environment for our schools and our society.

About the Author

Bethany McDaniel is the Interactive Web Content Manager for GeorgiaGov. She graduated from Berry College in Rome, Ga., with degrees in Visual Communication and History.

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