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There are many different types of bullying in middle school, and almost all kids are vulnerable to bullying of some type. Usually people tend to classify bullying by its features or its medium, such that cyber bullying is considered different than schoolyard bullying, and verbal harassment is different than physical harassment. It is important to remember, though, that what all these types of bullying have in common is malicious intent and damage to the victim. If the intended victim is well equipped to deal with bullying in middle school, then the problem is much less severe.
One of the most common types of bullying in middle school is teasing. Children who are just beginning to develop their individuality often see the individuality of others as a threat and select those individual qualities as a subject for torment. Teasing between two individuals can usually be resolved amicably without parental involvement, but bullying in middle school often evolves into mob-like behavior in which one student is the victim of a large group who relentlessly teases him or her. The precise subject of the teasing is never as damaging as the victim's feeling of isolation, making group bullying extremely dangerous.
Cyber bullying in middle school is relatively common because even young students often use the Internet unsupervised. Middle school students sometimes do not feel that their actions online can have real-world consequences or that they will ever be held accountable for those actions. Bullying online can take place on social networking sites, through email, or through any other communications medium. Sometimes spreading malicious rumors online can take place on a website the victim may not even know about.
Physical harassment is a large component of bullying in middle school. Sometimes the threat of physical violence is all that is needed in order to terrorize a student. Most schools take physical bullying much more seriously than emotional, social, or verbal bullying because there is an objective problem that can be addressed.
Bullying in middle school can take a number of other forms as well. Children are often very creative in the lengths they will go to terrorize one another. For example, a group giving a student the silent treatment might be considered bullying, even though no explicit threats are made. The key to combating bullying in middle school is preparing students to engage in interpersonal interactions successfully and keeping parents involved when things get out of hand. By staying in the student's social loop, even disguised forms of bullying cannot escape a watchful parent.
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