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What is Bullying?

There are often misconceptions regarding the definition of bullying. Some behaviors and/or actions that do not meet the definition of bullying are often times referred to as bullying. Three specific characteristics that identify bullying are as follows:

  • The behavior must be repeated. Bullying does not just happen once
  • The bullying is intentional and intended to harm
  • The bullying is directed to someone with less power

The Duval County Public School policy 10.2 defines bullying as systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress on one or more students. It is further defined as unwanted, purposeful and repeated written, verbal, nonverbal, electronic or physical behavior, by a student or adult, that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile or offensive educational environment; cause discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the individual’s school performance or participation; and is characterized by an imbalance of power.




Innocent in motive

Purposeful – a choice to hurt someone

Equal power – teaser and person being teased swap roles

Imbalance of power

Is discontinued when person being teased objects

Continues (repeated) and includes fear of further taunting

Maintains basic dignity of everyone involved

Involves humiliating, cruel, demeaning comments

Sources: Colorado, 2004, The Ophelia Project, 2012

Contact Us

Heather Watson, School Psychologist
Duval County Public Schools

1701 Prudential Drive
4th Floor Room
Jacksonville, FL 32207-8182
Office: 904-390-2131
Fax: 904-390-2585