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There are four basic and distinct types of bullying: physical, verbal, social and reactive.

Physical bullying can involve hitting, kicking, pinching or pushing. It can also manifest as tripping, spitting or making rude hand gestures or otherwise attacking others and can sometimes go as far as to be legally termed assault and battery. This type of bullying can also involve an assault on someone else’s property, such as when the victim has his or her personal property taken or severely damaged.

Verbal bullying refers to the use of words, either spoken or written, to harm others with name calling, insults, making sexual or bigoted comments, harsh teasing and taunting, mimicking or verbal threats. This is where cyber bullying comes into play, with posts on any of the various social media platforms, including by email, that are meant to degrade someone or harm one’s reputation.

Social bullying, also called relational bullying, focuses on excluding someone from a peer group, usually through verbal threats, spreading rumors and other forms of intimidation. This type is most often seen on school playgrounds or within sports groups or school organizations.

Reactive bullying involves the bully responding to being a former victim by picking on others. 

According to information found on the website Stopbullying.gov, kids who are bullied can experience negative physical, social, emotional, academic and mental health issues. Kids who are bullied are more likely to experience:

- Depression and anxiety, increased feelings of sadness and loneliness, changes in sleep and eating patterns, and loss of interest in activities they used to enjoy. These issues may persist into adulthood.

- Health complaints.

- Decreased academic achievement - GPA and standardized test scores - and school participation. They are more likely to miss, skip or drop out of school.

Kids who bully others can also engage in violent and other risky behaviors into adulthood. Kids who bully are more likely to:

To see the full article, check out this week's edition of the Linn County News or check out the online version here

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