Bullying in high school is a type of repeated abuse that is commonly physical, sexual, or homophobic in nature. It can also be emotional, verbal, or carried out over the Internet or via mobile phones, which is known as cyber bullying. The words high school bully often bring to mind a stereotypical bully who pushes smaller classmates into lockers or garbage cans, but bullying is frequently more than physical interactions. Gossip, verbal harassment, and text messaging that involves hurtful or inappropriate comments to classmates are all forms of bullying that take place every day in high schools. Many preteens and teenagers begin bullying during high school, sometimes unaware that their actions are abusive and often considered a crime.
Physical bullying in high school can include the stereotypical abuse frequently seen in comedy films and situation comedies, like wedgies, physical injuries, and stealing money or items. Shoving, malicious pranks, and de-panting someone also fall under physical bullying. While these acts of abuse tend to be lighthearted on screen, they can—and frequently do—cause psychological trauma and feelings of depression and humiliation when performed in the real world.
Sexual bullying can be physical or non-physical, and both preteens and teenagers are at risk in school. This type of bullying in high school can involve groping, the use of sexually insulting language, and compulsion or persuasion to do something sexual. Sexual bullying can be traumatic for the student who experiences it firsthand and those who witness it.
Homophobic bullying includes all other forms of bullying, such as physical, sexual, and cyber, that are carried out because of the victim’s sexual orientation. The victim may be made to feel unwelcome or harassed to change his or her sexual orientation due to the bully’s personal or religious beliefs. Teachers might also express disapproval of a student’s orientation and vice versa.
Emotional and verbal abuse are especially common in high schools. Verbal bullying in high school normally consists of harsh language or negatively commenting on a person’s clothing or body. Emotional bullying in high school, however, can mean giving someone the silent treatment, spreading inappropriate or unkind rumors, and purposefully provoking others by whispering or laughing in front of them. These acts of repeated abuse are not carried out solely or even primarily by male students. Girls bullying other female classmates is also common through the use of gossip, online bullying, and physical confrontations.