Back in February, I wrote about emerging research into relational aggression—the gossip and rumor-mongering that can happen even in plain sight of teachers.
This sort of “hidden” bullying has remained a hot topic for educators as school comes back into session, and I joined a recent conversation with Karin Frey, a University of Washington bullying researcher, and Stan Davis, founder of the group Stop Bullying Now, on the social dynamics of harassment and even bullying among friends.
Examining relational aggression, as opposed to direct physical violence has thrown into relief a mistaken notion of bullies as hulking misanthropes lurking at the back of the classroom. While some are, Frey said, “others are extremely socially skilled and very good at hiding their intentions and actions from teachers. ...Those kids are rarely problems in class.”
You can hear more insights about what this bullying looks like and how educators can confront it via BAM radio’s Body, Mind, and Child show.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Inside School Research blog.