There are many signs of bullying, and children may not exhibit them all.
Some of the warning signs regarding bullying include unexplainable injuries, lost or destroyed clothing, books electronics or jewelry, frequent headaches or stomach pains, faking illness, change in eating habits (suddenly skipping meals or binge eating), declining grades and self-destructive behaviours such as running away from home. In a majority of cases, bullying stops within seconds when peers intervene or do not support the bullying behaviour.
Cyberbullying: As a greater number of schools transition to providing lessons, homework and tests on digital devices, students spend much more time online. This connectivity can have positive results but can also open students of all ages up to various dangers.
One of those dangers is a more invasive form of bullying called cyberbullying. The global organization DoSomething.org says nearly half of children have been bullied online, with one in four saying it has happened more than once.
Cyberbullying occurs in many different forms:
Harassment: A broad category, but generally refers to a constant pattern of hurtful or threatening online messages sent with the intention of doing harm.
Flaming: An online forum or group conversation, achieved by sending angry or insulting messages directly to the person. Similar to harassment, but harassment usually involves privately sent messages.
Outing/Doxing: Sharing of personal and private information about a person publicly.
Trickery: Similar to doxing, but the bully will befriend their target so they feel a false sense of security.
Once trust is established, the bully will abuse and share the victims secrets and private information.
Cyberstalking: A serious form of cyberbullying that can extend to threats of physical harm to the child being targeted and can include monitoring, false accusations, threats and is often accompanied by offline stalking.
Trolling: A bully seeks to intentionally upset others by posting inflammatory comments online and can be used as a tool to cyberbully when done with malicious and harmful intent. These bullies tend to be more detached and do not have a personal relationship with their victims.
Fraping: Someone logs into another’s social media account and impersonates him or her.
Masquerading: Bullies create fake profiles so they can harass someone anonymously, and is likely someone the targeted person knows well.
Exclusion: Students can be bullied simply by being deliberately left out, such as not being invited to groups or parties while they see others being included, or left out of message threads that involve friends.