Is bullying always wrong? Question

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  • Accepted Answer

    Wednesday, April 13 2016, 09:12 AM - #Permalink

    According to, “Bullying” is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose.
    There is no general law against bullying but there are specific acts that are often part of bullying which are made illegal. These would include:

    A. Endangerment: Arizona Revised Statute Section 13-1201 makes it a class 1 misdemeanor to recklessly endanger another person with a substantial risk of imminent physical injury. If the risk of imminent death, then the endangerment becomes a class 6 felony.

    B. Threatening or intimidating: Arizona Revised Statute Section 13-1202 makes it is a class 1 misdemeanor to threaten or intimidate by word or conduct to cause physical injury to another person or seriously damage their property. It becomes a more serious class 6 felony if this is done in retaliation for a victim reporting criminal activity or for simply being involved in an organization that is established for the purpose of reporting or preventing criminal activity or, if the person who threatens or intimidates is a gang member.

    C. Assault: Arizona Revised Statute 13-1203 makes it illegal to intentionally, knowingly or recklessly cause any physical injury to another person or intentionally place another person in reasonable apprehension of imminent physical injury or knowingly touching another person with the intent to injure, insult or provoke such a person. Generally these are misdemeanors but these acts can become felonies under certain circumstances such as if the acts cause serious physical injury, if they are done using a gun or a dangerous instrument like a knife, if the victim is physically restrained, or if the person who does this is 18 years or older and the victim is under 15 years old.
    Unlawful Distribution of Images: Arizona Revised Statute 13-1425 makes it illegal to share “private” images of another with the intent to harm or harass. A violation of this crime is a class 5 felony and it is considered a class 4 felony if the image of the person is recognizable.

    What this means to you:

    Bullying is wrong and if the bullying includes any of the things described above, it can also be illegal.
    The term bullying is broad and can include being hurt, scared or embarrassed by someone. If you or a person you know is being bullied report it to a teacher, parent or trusted adult.

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