The New Jersey school system does not just talk about bullying but also harassment and intimidation so what is the difference?
Bullying has three main indicators.
- Imbalance of power – This is someone who is bigger, stronger, smarter, more popular, it can be a group versus just one person.
- Intent to harm – this is not an accident or a conflict. This intentional, they’re looking for you to or from school, in the hallways; in the bathroom but more importantly they are looking for you away from people in authority like teachers or parents.
- Repeated – Bullying is about victimization. When things happen once we can call it aggressive behavior physically, mentally or emotionally.
Harassment is similar to bullying because someone hurts another person through cruel, offensive and insulting behaviors. Yes there is an imbalance of power and intent to harm but harassment is different from bullying in that it is a form of discrimination.
Types of discrimination can be Disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation. Religious belief
Harassment can be done once it does not have to be a repeated action like bullying.
This is why some people believe that bullying can be done once. Actually it may have been harassment.
Intimidation and Bullying can be viewed as violent behavior towards an individual, which can take place in a number of settings such as the school, workplace, or even on streets. Intimidation can be considered as an act of frightening someone into doing something. Bullying, on the other hand, can be viewed as an act of domination of another through the use of force or threats.
Example: “you better do this or ill get you later “or “when I tell you to do it, you better do it”
Once again intimidation can be done once where bullying is a repeated action as noted earlier in this blog.
The biggest problem when it comes to these behaviors is education. Using the right words and understanding their meanings.
At reportbullying.com our commitment is to teaching students to speak up but when they choose to speak up they use the right words. In today’s society so many people think everything is bullying, that is why I believe teachers have so much trouble dealing with it because so many times it is just a conflict or it wasn’t intentional.
The next time a student or your child speaks up… is it harassment, intimidation, bullying or just a conflict. It is always important to follow up after a child speaks up to reassure them that you take this matter seriously but after investigation you find it was just a conflict this is the time for a teaching moment. Many times student becomes bullies from not being able to deal with conflict. That is why we offer follow up exercises to teach students the difference between H.I.B and a conflict.