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Long Island, New York

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Michael Levine
Michael Levine
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Bullying

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In an on-going case, the plaintiff was assaulted on January 16, 2008 by two defendants at their high school. Almost 30 % of youth in the United States are involved in bullying as either a bully, a target of bullying, of both. In a brand new national survey of students from grades six through ten, 13 % reported bullying others, 11% reported being the target of bullies, and another 6 % said that they bullied others and were bullied themselves.

Risk Factors for Being Targeted by Bullies:

1) High Anxiety Levels

2) Insecurity

3) Low Self-Esteem

4) Socially Isolated and Lack Social Skills

There are several ways to prevent bullying:

1) Raising Awareness about Bullying

2) Increasing Teacher and Parent Involvement

3) Establishing Strong Social Norms against Bullying

4) Providing Support and Protection for all Students

Since 1999, 16 states have passed laws to prevent harassment, intimidation and bullying in school. The primary intent of almost all these legislative efforts is to define bullying, to establish school or district-level policy that firmly prohibits such behavior, and to communicate that policy to students and their parents.

Because legislatures are beginning to pass laws prohibiting bullying behavior in school, it has become necessary to define the behavior that is prohibited. A significant challenge to crafting a clear definition of bullying is determining behavior that has crossed the line and should be punished–and to what degree–versus behavior that has not. The task of precisely defining bullying becomes even more difficult when other factors are considered, including the following:


1) Differing circumstances surrounding each incident;

2) Differing school expectations for student behavior;

3) The intent and motivation behind the bullying behavior;

4) Degrees of "victimization," which become more difficult to measure when physical injury is not present; and

5) The resources available to deal with the problem.