CBS News aired a special report Friday, September 16th about bullying. "Bullying: Words can Kill" focused on Rhode Island middle school students but its message is relevant for New Hampshire.
Bullying is difficult to identify since it takes on different meanings for different people. In New Hampshire's bullying law, HB 1523, which was signed into law June 15, 2010, bullying is defined as:
I.(a) "Bullying" means a single significant incident or pattern of incidents involving a written, verbal, or electronic communication, or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at another pupil which:
(1.) Physically harm a pupil or damage the pupil's property;
(2.) Cause emotional distress to a pupil;
(3.) Interfere with a pupil's educational opportunities;
(4.) Creates a hostile educational environment; or
(5.) Substantially disrupt the orderly operation of the school.
(b) "Bullying" shall include actions motivated by an imbalance of power based on a pupil's actual or perceived personal characteristics, behaviors, or beliefs, or motivated by the pupil's association with another person and based on the other person's characteristics, behaviors, or beliefs.
"Bullying: Words can Kill" took a look at all of the key people in a school bullying situation: threatened child, bully, parents, and school personel. It examines common scenarios both at school and online (cyberbullying) and how it affects all involved.
For video clips from the show and national bullying resources, visit CBS News.