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Bullying vs. Peer Mistreatment
Posted by Scott Heydt on Friday, February 14, 2014
Under: Bullying and Its Effects
In January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Education (ED) released a
uniform definition for bullying.
It reads as follows:
Bullying is any
unwanted aggressive behavior(s)
by another youth or group of youths who are not siblings or current dating partners
that involves an
observed or perceived power imbalance and is repeated multiple times or is highly likely to be repeated.
Bullying may inflict
harm or distress
on the targeted youth including physical, psychological, social, or educational harm.
This definition serves as a starting point for conversations among educations, practitioners, parents, and policymakers. A uniform definition ensures we're all in alignment with what we see.
What requires caution, though, is waiting until the repetition, or likelihood of repetition, occurs before intervening. This is where the work of Stan Davis and Charisse Nixon's
Youth Voice Project
becomes imperative. In their recently published findings, they emphasize that cruel behavior causes harm. That harm occurs whether it is intended, whether a power differential exists, or whether it is repeated. They state,
"When deciding how to respond to a behavior, we can be more effective if we look at one variable only: the potential form harm in that action (pg. 3)."
The result is a focus on recognizing and addressing
at every level. Instead of playing "find the bully", we watch for harmful actions---we address harmful actions. Taking a stance against bullying is a powerful message. Taking a stance against peer mistreatment is transformational.
Bullying and Its Effects
Let's Change Our...
"youth voice project" bullying bully "peer mistreatment" "stan davis" "charisse nixon" "uniform definition for bullying"
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