Many of us can remember not being invited to a party or social function. We may also remember days when we were not picked for the kickball team or maybe sat alone at the lunch table. Part of this behavior may be due to the normal developmental insensitivity that many children exhibit toward their peers. But purposeful social isolation and the ongoing attempt to separate and intentionally exclude individuals should be seen as a viable weapon in the bully’s arsenal.
When someone made fun of us by making comments about the way we dressed, or possibly our actions in a given situation, it hurt. It still does.
Labeling one another is often a kind of short hand for how we organize the world. But continuously substituting someone’s real name with some sort of critical label or nickname has an emotionally painful impact that bullies understand all too well.
Taunting with its ongoing attack and intimidation elements is a powerful bully’s tool. It can take place through inflammatory text messages, social media or through close physical proximity to the bully.
Ongoing Physical Contact
Bullying is rarely about a single incident, the shove delivered unseen in the school corridor, the fight that resolves the issue or any single physical encounter. Bullying is far more related to patterns. And those patterns often become escalated, leading to the potential for serious physical harm.
Bobby Kipper and Bud Ramey have co-authored two books and numerous articles on the crisis in youth violence plaguing our culture, addressing “best practices” for making a difference in the gang crisis and bullying epidemic that is impacting an entire generation. Over 4,400 young people committed suicide last year, largely due to the bullying epidemic. Their books, No BULLIES : Solutions for Saving Our Children from Today’s Bully and No COLORS : 100 Ways to Stop Gangs from Taking Away Our Communities, offer advocacy for at-risk youth.
Bobby Kipper, Director and Founder of the National Center for the Prevention of Community Violence, is a career law enforcement officer with extensive experience in the area of preventing youth and community violence nationwide. His background includes working on a number of key national initiatives with the White House, Congress, and the Department of Justice.
Bud Ramey is the 2010 Public Affairs Silver Anvil Award winner of the Public Relations Society of America—the highest public affairs recognition in the world. His grassroots public affairs and humanitarian successes and advocacy for at-risk youth stretch across three decades.