Stop Using the "B-Word'

by Chris Scheufele, Brooks Gibbs, Jeff Veley | Chris in the Classroom Podcast

Bullying prevention specialists sit down to discuss the negative impacts of the word “bullying”.  Learn why this one word can derail progress when it comes to helping targets of social aggression.

Today, the words “bully” and “bullying” are legal words, as there are anti-bullying laws in every state in America.  Labeling a child a “bully” is naming them a perpetrator in a criminal offense.  Many parents are unaware this language requires an investigation, by law.  This can quickly turn into a legal battle between parents, as both attempt to prove that their child was victimized and did not retaliate.

The word “bullying” describes subjective harm (like name-calling) and objective harm (like assault or destruction of property).  Some say that even the Holocaust was an incident of bullying.

When it comes to using clearer language, Jeff suggests using the words “social aggression” or “dominance behavior” in replacing “bullying”.