Bullying consists of negative acts carried out repeatedly over time. There is an actual or perceived imbalance of power in a bullying situation that allows the bully to attack the less powerful.

There are three basic types of bullying:

  • Physical: hitting, kicking, pushing, choking, punching
  • Verbal: threatening, taunting, teasing, starting rumors, hate speech
  • Psychological: social exclusion, intimidation, spreading rumors

Characteristics of a bully

  • Aggressive and impulsive
  • Over confident and tough
  • Low tolerance for frustration
  • Inclined to use violence more than other children

Characteristics of a victim

  • An actual or perceived imbalance of power
  • Victims tend to be quiet, passive with few friends
  • Victims do not respond effectively to aggressive actions
  • Victims are ashamed, often do not tell an adult

Some Bullying statistics

  • Studies in have show that at least 15% of students in schools are involved
  • About 9% are victims
  • About 7% bully others repeatedly
  • More students in younger grades are victimized
  • Boys are more likely to be bullied than girls


Arizona has a new law that requires schools to have policies on bullying, harassment and intimidation. The message is clear: create an environment where bullying is not tolerated. Each school is required to have a procedure for students, parents and teachers to confidentially report bullying behavior to a school official to trigger investigation, punishment and prevention of further bullying behavior (A.R.S. §15-341). If the bullying acts threaten or actually cause injury to a person or property, then more severe penalties are called for and carried out under Arizona’s criminal laws (A.R.S. §13-2911).


The Arizona Department of Education has information and resources for bullying prevention for students, parents and teachers.

The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center is a “one-stop shop” website for information on youth violence prevention, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other federal agencies.

The National Mental Health Information Center’s website provides information about mental health including bullying and aggressive behavior.


Laws may have changed since the last time this article was updated. The current and most up-to-date laws can be accessed here.