Bullying is a widespread issue in our schools and communities
that can affect the quality of the school environment, a
students’ academic and social outcome, and can cause victims
emotional and psychological trauma, and, in extreme cases, lead
to serious violence. UACF is dedicated to providing information
to help parents and teachers ensure that children understand the
appropriate way to treat others, and are not victimized by cruel
or threatening behavior.
Children with disabilities—such as physical, developmental,
intellectual, emotional, and sensory disabilities—are at an
increased risk of being bullied. Any number of factors— physical
vulnerability, social skill challenges, or intolerant
environments—may increase the risk. Research suggests that some
children with disabilities may also bully others as well.
Bullying is common, but it should not be viewed as a normal part
of growing up. It is more damaging to children than previously
thought. Bullying has a negative effect on a student’s ability to
Kids who bully use their power—such
as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or
popularity—to control or harm others. Bullying is a
form of violence. It can be physical, verbal, psychological, or
sexual. Bullying may also occur through the Internet or other
forms of technology and is known as cyberbullying.
Parents and caregivers are a child’s first role models. As such,
children will often imitate actions and words that they learn at
home. It is important to remember to speak and act in a way that
promotes respect and to handle conflict and problems in a way
that is fair and peaceful. Being a positive role model means
teaching children respect and peaceable behaviors by example.
Cyber bullying or online bullying is a term used to refer to
bullying over electronic media. Cyber bullying is willful and
involves recurring or repeated harm inflicted through electronic
text. Cyber bullying can be as simple as continuing to send
e-mail to someone who has said they want no further contact with
the sender. Cyber bullies may also include threats, “putdowns” or
hate-motivated speech. Cyber bullies may publish the personal
contact information of their victims.
There is currently no federal law that specifically applies to
bullying. However, in some cases when bullying is based on race,
color, national origin, sex, disability, or religion, it overlaps
with harassment and schools are legally obligated to address it.
Each state addresses bullying differently with most state and
local lawmakers taking action to prevent bullying and protect our
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If you or a loved one is in immediate crisis, please call 911
or visit the nearest emergency room.
The UACF Hope Line is a message system for parents and caregivers
that provides resources and connections to individuals in your
community that may be able to assist you in finding appropriate
support services for your child’s mental health needs. Feel free
to leave a message on the UACF Hope Line and your call will be
returned as promptly as possible.