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Help our kids thrive and cut out bullying!

What Is Bullying?


Verbal bullying includes any sort of teasing, taunting, name calling, or threatening by way of speech or written word.


Physical bullying includes undesired and/or violent contact. Examples include hitting, kicking, punching, pushing, tripping, and spitting upon others.


Relational bullying is an attack on someone’s character or reputation. This includes spreading rumors, sharing embarrassing pictures or information, teasing, and purposeful exclusion.


Cyberbullying is verbal and relational bullying that does not occur in person, but over the internet, social media, and texting. It includes teasing, taunting, name calling, threats, spreading rumors, sharing unauthorized images or information, teasing, and purposeful exclusion.


Sexual bullying is a type of bullying and harassment that occurs in connection with a person’s sex, body, or sexual orientation, or with sexual activity. It can be physical, verbal, or emotional.

A group of children at school standing up and supporting each other against bullying.

Children and youth with disabilities

Children and youth with disabilities and special health needs are especially vulnerable to bullying. Learn how they are affected by bullying, if it’s covered by federal law, and what you can do.

What can be done?

As a Parent:

There is a lot you can do as a parent to prevent bullying from happening to your child or to prevent your child from becoming a bully.

  • Talk about bullying — what it is, why it’s wrong, what to do.
  • Teach them to avoid being alone in places where adult supervision is limited.
  • Explain how to use the internet and social media in a responsible way.
  • Supervise activities online.
  • Set clear rules regarding consequences for inapproriate use of technology and inappropriate behavior. Follow through.
  • Reinforce positive behavior.
  • Make sure your child’s school has a bullying prevention program.
  • If your child is a victim of bullying, get help. You can speak to the school district, the Department of Education (DOE), the Department of Justice (DOJ), or an attorney. It may also be helpful to have your child speak to a mental health provider.
  • Help your children understand the needs and challenges of those with special health care needs and how their words can be especially hurtful.
  • Educate yourself on the long-term mental and physical health impacts of bullying.

As a Leader:

Being a leader means setting a good example. Whether you are an educator, an administrator, or a student, there are ways to prevent bullying from occurring.

  • Talk about bullying and how to be a friend.
  • Start a bullying-prevention pledge.
  • Provide supervision when and where it is necessary.
  • Report bullying.
  • Encourage acceptance.
  • Reinforce positive behavior.
  • Advocate for policies that support bullying prevention for children with and without special health care needs.
  • Educate yourself on the long-term mental and physical health impacts of bullying.

As a Friend:

It can be difficult to stand up to bullying, but it is better to do what is right, rather than what is easy. Here are some ideas for how to prevent your friends from being bullied or becoming bullies themselves.

  • Avoid being alone or letting your friends be alone in settings where there is no supervision (in school bathrooms, for example).
  • Do not respond to bullies. Ignore them.
  • Speak to someone you trust if you are being bullied or see someone being bullied.
  • Educate yourself on the various types of bullying and how you should react to each of them.
  • Have open and honest discussions with your friends about bullying and the part you all play in bullying prevention.
  • Seek out groups and clubs that promote acceptance of all students and surround yourself with positivity.
  • Be sensitive to victims of bullying who have special health care needs.

Need Assistance?

If you or someone you know is thinking about self-harm or hurting others, please call Delaware’s Lifeline by dialing 1-800-262-9800 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline by dialing 1-800-273-8255.

Additional Resources

Below are resources and outside services that can help.

Delaware’s Contact Lifeline

If someone is hurting you, reach out to lifeline crisis responder services. They respond anonymously and confidentially to human needs, statewide, 24 hours a day.

Teens Health

Healthy relationships are all about respect and trust. But how do you recognize an abusive relationship? Know the signs.

Department of Education (DOE) School Climate and Discipline Office

Assistance provided to all Delaware public schools in their efforts to provide every student with a safe, secure, and supportive learning environment as it relates to best practices, school safety, bullying, and student conduct and discipline.

© 2024. Delaware Division of Public Health.