Bullying in elementary schools is nothing new, though some of the methods by which bullying takes place are relatively new. From physical abuse to verbal harassment, bullying in elementary schools can take place among any population of students in any school. Alienating certain students can also be considered bullying, as can intimidating or threatening a student, regardless of the intent. More recently, cyber-bullying has become a widespread tactic for bullying in elementary schools. This type of bullying involves sending messages via the Internet, cell phone, or other technological device to intimidate, threaten, or otherwise display aggression toward a student.
The most recognized form of bullying in elementary schools is physical violence, in which a student is struck, pushed, bumped, or otherwise contacted with malicious intent. This is a dangerous form of bullying that can result in physical harm being inflicted on a student. Most bullies look for opportunities to take part in physical bullying when adults are not present or paying close enough attention, such as on the playground, in bathrooms, or in crowded hallways. Taking a student's possessions and destroying them can also be considered physical bullying.
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While prevalent, physical bullying is not the most common form of bullying. Verbal bullying in elementary schools can be just as damaging to a student, and it is far more common than physical violence. Taunting a student; threatening him or her; or making fun of a student's gender, religion, appearance, socioeconomic status, or mannerisms are all forms of verbal bullying. Such bullying tends to spread quickly, as other students tend to catch onto the verbal abuse and participate as well, often without thinking of the harm or consequences. An indirect form of verbal bullying includes spreading rumors or talking about a student behind his or her back in a negative manner. This may lead to another form of bullying in elementary schools: social alienation, which occurs when a student is excluded from a group or from the rest of the class and made to feel inferior or different from everyone else.
Cyber bullying has become a common type of bullying since new technologies have become readily available to students. This may include sending threatening e-mails, text messages, picture messages, or other types of cyber communication meant to degrade, taunt, or threaten. A practice known as "sexting" has also become a popular form of bullying; this involves spreading nude, semi-nude, or otherwise racy photos of students to other people through phones or the internet.