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School Bullies: Understanding the Types, Characteristics, Consequences and Solutions

Bullying is an issue that can have a significant impact on the mental and physical health of students, their academic performance, and their ability to form healthy relationships. Unfortunately, it’s an issue that remains prevalent in many schools around the world. As such, it’s essential that educators, parents, and society as a whole take proactive measures to address this problem.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into the world of school bullies, exploring the different types of bullies, their characteristics, the impact that bullying has on their victims, and the different ways that society can deal with bullies.

Key Takeaways

  • Bullying is a prevalent issue in schools that can result in significant physical and emotional harm to the victims.
  • Different types of bullies include physical bullies, verbal bullies, relational bullies, and cyberbullies, each with unique characteristics and motivations.
  • Bullying can impact the victim’s mental health, academic performance, and ability to form healthy relationships. It can also lead to physical health problems such as headaches, stomach aches, and trouble sleeping.
  • Intervention and prevention programs, such as teaching empathy and social skills, can help reduce the incidence of bullying in schools.
  • Legal consequences of bullying can lead to suspension or expulsion, and in some cases, even criminal charges.
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Types of School Bullies

Physical Bullies

Physical bullies engage in direct, physically aggressive behaviors. They may hit, push, shove, or kick others.Physical bullying often starts in elementary school, peaks in middle school, and declines in high school.

Verbal Bullies

Verbal bullies use words to hurt their victims by teasing, insulting, or threatening them. They may spread rumors, use derogatory language, or criticize others publicly or privately.Verbal bullies often use words to manipulate others and gain power over them.

Relational Bullies

Relational bullies use their social status or popularity to control others. They might exclude their targets from social groups, spread rumors or lies about them, or use threats to prevent others from interacting with them.Relational bullying often occurs in adolescent girls, but can also occur in boys.


Cyberbullies use digital devices such as smartphones, computers, and tablets to harass, threaten, or embarrass their victims. Cyberbullying can take many forms, including sharing inappropriate content, spreading rumors or lies online, and impersonating the victim. Cyberbullying can happen anytime, anywhere, and can be difficult for parents and educators to detect.

Characteristics of School Bullies

Bullies can exhibit different personality traits and behavioural characteristics. Some common traits include:

  • Aggressiveness
  • Lack of Empathy
  • Low Self-Esteem
  • Insecurity
  • Need for Control or Domination
  • Lack of Social Skills
  • Presence of Mental Health Issues

While these traits do not always indicate that someone will become a bully, they are common among those who engage in aggressive behaviour towards others.

Consequences of Bullying

Bullying can have a significant impact on the lives of those who experience it.

  • Victims of bullying are at higher risk of developing anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
  • They may experience changes in eating and sleeping habits, as well as physical health problems such as headaches, stomach aches, and frequent illnesses.
  • Students who are bullied are more likely to face academic challenges, with lower grades and truancy.
  • Bullies themselves can also experience negative consequences in their social lives, mental health, and academic performance.
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Solutions for Dealing with School Bullies

Addressing school bullies requires a multifaceted approach that involves the entire community, including teachers, parents, students, and professionals. Some potential solutions include:

  • Interventions for bullies, such as counseling and behavioral therapy
  • Prevention programs aimed at promoting empathy, kindness, and social skills
  • Implementation of schoolwide anti-bullying policies and reporting systems
  • Parental engagement and support for both victims and bullies
  • Legal consequences for those who engage in bullying behaviour

It’s important to work together to address the issue of school bullying and create a safe and supportive school environment for all students. By taking proactive measures to prevent and intervene in bullying behavior, we can create a more positive future for our children.


What is the most effective way to deal with a school bully?

Intervention in the form of counseling or therapy can help the bully address the cause of aggressive behavior. This approach, along with prevention programs aimed at developing empathy, kindness, and social skills, can significantly reduce the likelihood of bullying behavior.

How can parents and teachers help prevent bullying in schools?

Parents and teachers can support prevention programs that teach social skills, empathy, and kindness. They can also monitor their children’s behavior and intervene if they suspect bullying behaviour. Encouraging open dialogue about bullying and creating safe spaces for discussion can also empower students to speak out and help prevent bullying.

Is it possible for a victim of bullying to overcome the experience?

Yes, with support and intervention, victims of bullying can recover from the negative effects of bullying. Counseling, therapy, and support groups are all effective ways of helping victims of bullying overcome the trauma they have experienced.

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