October 20, 2019
Find help. Find hope. Find solutions.
Editor's Note:  "Borderlines," BAMHS' periodic column, provides ideas and suggestions for healthy living, better family life and successful strategies for coping with life's challenges. Our newsletter is updated frequently! Check back often.
Schoolyard Abuse
Posted: August 18, 2010
Last Updated: August 18, 2010


For many bullying at school is a childhood fact of life. Bullying becomes a school age trial for children to endure or deal with as able. But, bullying has deeper social and mental consequences for both the victim and the perpetrator in their lives when bullying goes unchecked. Victims of bullying can suffer depression and loss of self-esteem, and perpetrators can continue to carry out aggressive behaviors learned by grade school bullying into other relationships in their lives.


Bullying is defined as conscious, willful, deliberate, hostile and repeated behavior by one or more people, which are intended to harm others. Bullying can take many forms including:

·         Physical violence is the most obvious form of bullying and consists of kicking, hitting, pinching, and hair pulling

·         Verbal abuse can accompany physical abuse and includes taunting, name-calling, spreading rumors, and persistent teasing.

·         Emotional intimidation is closely connected with the first two forms of bullying and can include threats and intimidation.

·         Extortion is when money or possessions are stolen or demanded by a bully.

·         Exclusion from the peer group is when a child is deliberately excluded from group activities such as class parties or birthday parties. This is one of the most common bullying used by girls.


Boys tend to report more physical forms of bullying; girls tend to bully in indirect ways, such as gossiping and exclusion. Both boys and girls victims of bullying reported symptoms of depression, including sadness and loss of interest in activities and school. Bullying can cause children to feel unsafe in the places they should feel safest. It lowers the victim’s self-esteem and confidence. Many children can become physically ill or complain of illnesses like stomach problems and sore throat to stay home.


According to social researcher Debra Pepler in a 1997 study of grade school bullying, bullying occurs every seven minutes on a single school playground, and once every 25 minutes in class. These figures may not seem astounding, but bullying is often hidden from teachers. Teachers’ lack of awareness was apparent in playground research where teachers intervened in only one of twenty-five bullying incidents, reported Pepler.


If your child asks for help with a bully you should take it seriously. Don’t tell the victim to deal with the situation.  Research has shown that server bullying is rarely solved by the victim. Experts say to remember your child is a victim and treat them with understanding and support. Talk to your child about why people bully and reassure your child that he or she is not to blame for the bullying. When your child asks for help they have usually tried all the alternatives, such as confronting the bully or ignoring the bully. Persistent bullying takes a united stance from the parents and the victim. Pepler says that parents should inform teachers, school counselors and the principal of the situation and keep logs of the bullying for proof of the incidents.


Luckily, bullying can also be dealt in a simple way. Bystanders can play a major role in allowing bullying occur and continue. Over half the time when another student intervenes the bullying stops within 10 seconds observed Pepler.


Children do not out grow bullying. As children grow they tend bully in different and more sever ways. Sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, child abuse, assault, gang violence, and elder abuse can be considered bullying as they combine power and aggression of the perpetrator on those in weaker or submissive roles.


To learn more about how to deal with bullying you can visit www.bullying.org, www.stopbullyingnow.comor call Border Area Mental Health Services. To reach Border Area Mental Health Services in Grant and Hidalgo Counties, call 388-4412; in Catron County, call 533-6649 for referral; in Luna County, call 546-2174.  For CRISIS, call 538-3488 or outside Silver City, call 1-800-426-0997.


You also may be interested in these articles:
Schizophrenia: The most misunderstood mental illness
The benefits of friends
Take a moment for you
Focus better
Ways to raise your self-esteem
Build a stronger relationship
This season give time, not money
Family and the Holidays
Ward off the Holiday Blues
Teaching Self-control to kids
Co-occurring depression
Copdependency: What does it mean?
How to cope with traumatic events
Verbal barbs
Stress solutions
Ease kids’ school anxieties
Get a handle on your vacation
Negative behavior in children
How important are friends?
Sit down to a family dinner
Depression & sleep
Anorexia and Bulimia
Warning signs in children
Finding friends
Tips for a happy healthy family
Feathering the empty nest
Positive resolutions work best
Handle the Holidays
Coping with Relatives during the Holiday Season
Seasonal Affective Disorder
Help children face their fears
The ten most common phobias
Fixes for fatigue
Illness and Depression
Ways to calm school anxiety
A different kind of stress
Communicate with your child
Build your coping skills
Tips for improving your family’s mental health
Border lines
5 ways to deal with stress
Supporting someone with depression
Understanding autism
Help children cope with loss
Coping with traumatic events
Marriage therapy grows up
More than teen angst
Ease the strain of traveling with kids
Mental illness: the stigma that shouldn’t be
When words hurt
Road Rage: Getting it under control
Panic Attacks
Building a strong family
Controlling Anger
Tips for a stress free morning
Communicate better in relationships
Closeness in relationships
The 5 keys to stronger relationships
Severe illness can cause depression
Balancing family and work

Outpatient Services
Family Programs
Substance Abuse Services
CCSS/Case Management
Community Corrections
Community & Special Projects

Contact Us
More about our community

En Español

Try our games!

© 2008 by Border Area Mental Health Services and Putting the Web to Work. Front-page photo copyright by Bob Pelham, Pinos Altos Cabins, and used by permission. All rights reserved. For the privacy and comfort of our clients and staff, the photographs used in this site are representative and do not show specific individuals associated with BAMHS.