School Bullies and Bullying
TEASING AND BEING TEASED ARE NORMAL PARTS OF GROWING UP. BULLYING is not. However, educators may be hard-pressed to differentiate between the two, and they may either overreact to normal teasing interactions between and among students or fail to react to incidents of true bullying, thereby giving tacit [permission] for the bullying to continue.
The essence of bullying is a power imbalance between the bully and victim. Whereas teasing is an interaction designed to provoke and may include elements of hostility, teasing occurs between children closely matched in size and physical ability. The teasing victim may even [pop] her tormentor, and tussles may result. The victim of bullying, on the other hand, feels powerless to retaliate; and if she finally takes action, homicide or suicide may be the outcome. Children who come from already unstable home situations may find bullying especially devastating.
Bullying harms both the victim and the bully Bullies become atrisk for poor relationships later in life. Bullies are more likely than nonbullies to go on to become criminals and to end up in jail by the time they reach their twenties. The families of both victims and bullies become part of the problem, sharing the heartaches of the victim or suffering the carried-over aggression of the bully.