New Jersey Statewide Navigation Bar
New Jersey Home My New Jersey People Business Government Departments NJ Department of Law & Public Safety Home
Graphic Office of Bias Crime and Community Relations
Law Enforcement link Community Relations Link Frequently Asked Questions NJ Bias Crime HomeContact OBCCR

Frequently Asked Questions about Bullying

Are name-calling and teasing forms of bullying?

Applying the definition of bullying behavior, name-calling and teasing are included as "attempts to inflict physical and/or psychological distress." Though perhaps not as obviously painful as physical bullying, name-calling and teasing can be just as harmful when they result from an "imbalance of power" between the bully and the victim. For example, children's name-calling with terms such as "queer" or "fag" is definitely a form of bias-based bullying.

How can we stop bullying on the playground?

Bullying intervention should be seen as one part of a systemic preventionintervention-protection (PIP) approach. The entire school COMMUNITY must be included. Teachers, students, administrators and parents are part of the school community. Stopping bullying in any environment, whether on the playground, in the classroom, or in the hallway requires that:

1. Student bystanders and victims feel empowered to report the situation to adults, understanding the difference between:
• "tattling" to harm someone and
• "telling" to protect someone (or yourself).

2. And that adults will respond by:
• stopping the bullying behavior immediately (intervention),
• providing consistent consequences for the students behaving as
• including disciplinary consequences and reports to parents,
protecting/supporting the victim.

How can we empower children who are being bullied?

The experience of being bullied may have long-term consequences, depending on the duration, the level of bullying violence, and how it is related to the victim's identity,. A victim is empowered by a shift in the school community's norms which make totally clear that bullying is not permitted, that every person has a right to feel safe, that everyone has a responsibility to help others feel safe. Providing victims with the chance to tell their stories and ask their questions is also empowering. Assuring that victims know they are not alone also empowers children who are being bullied.

How can we help children who are behaving as bullies, especially when their parents may be reinforcing bullying behavior?

Not all children who behave as bullies are alike. Some are acting from more deep-seated emotional problems, while others are experimenting with limits and/or enjoying the feeling of "power over" others. Some victims may act aggressively and appear to be bullies themselves. Clearly parents need to be informed of their child's bullying behavior. While they may be in denial or may defend their child, parents respond more positively to a concern for their child than to an accusation or an implied condemnation. Parents also need to understand that the long-term consequences for children behaving as bullies can be very serious. Research shows that about 1/4 of children identified as bullies in elementary school have a criminal record by age 25-30 (depending on the study). Often, parents are defending themselves (and their parenting skills) when they act defensively about their children.


Division: DCJ home | DCJ news | guidelines | units | contact info | most requested | visit other DCJ Web-sites
departmental: lps home | contact us | news | about us | faqs | library | employment | programs and units | services a-z
statewide: njhome | my new jersey | people | business | government | departments | search

New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice
Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex
25 Market Street, P.O. Box 085
Trenton, NJ 08625-0085
(609) 984-6500

Technical problems? Please contact Webmaster
Copyright State of New Jersey, 1996-2003

New Jersey Home Contact Us Privacy Notice Legal Statement