What is Bullying?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
- An Imbalance of Power: Children who bully use physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
- Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
- Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
Types of Bullying
Where and When Bullying Happens
Bullying can occur during or after school hours. While most reported bullying happens in the school building, a significant percentage also happens in places like on the playground or the bus. It can also happen travelling to or from school, in the youth's neighborhood, or on the Internet.
Frequency of Bullying
There are two sources of federally collected data on youth bullying:
- The 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) indicates that, nationwide, 20% of students in grades 9?12 experienced bullying.
- The 2009 School Crime Supplement (National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics) indicates that, nationwide, 28% of students in grades 6?12 experienced bullying.
*Information from stopbullying.gov
Anti-Bullying Laws & Policies
What term is used in the Texas anti-bullying laws?Bullying: Harassment is covered separately.
Do these laws cover cyberbullying?Yes.
What groups are listed under Texas state law?The following groups are listed under Texas state law? Although bullying is not limited to behaviors targeting these attributes:
- National origin
- Socioeconomic status
- Academic status
- Gender or gender identity
- Physical appearance
- Health condition
- Sexual orientation
Schools that receive federal funding are required by federal law to address discrimination on a number of different personal characteristics. Find out when bullying may be a civil rights violation.
- Texas Education Code Annotated §21.451. Staff development requirements
- Texas Education Code Annotated §25.0342. Transfer of students who are victims of or have engaged in bullying
- Texas Education Code Annotated §28.002. Required curriculum
- Texas Education Code Annotated §37.001. Student code of conduct
- Texas Education Code Annotated §37.083. Discipline management policies; sexual harassment
- Texas Education Code Annotated §37.0832. Bullying prevention policies and procedures
- Texas Education Code Annotated §37.123. Disruptive activities
- Texas Education Code Annotated §37.124. Disruption of classes
- Texas Education Code Annotated §37.152. Personal Hazing Offense
- Texas Education Code Annotated §37.153. Organization Hazing Offense
- Texas Education Code Annotated §37.154. Consent Not a Defense
- Texas Education Code Annotated §37.155. Immunity from prosecution available
- Texas Education Code Annotated §37.156. Offenses in addition to other penal provisions
- Texas Education Code Annotated §37.157. Reporting by Medical Authorities
- Texas Education Code Annotated §37.217. Community education relating to internet safety
- Texas Health and Safety Code Annotated §161.325. Mental health promotion and intervention, substance abuse prevention and intervention, and suicide prevention
From the Texas Education Agency