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Cyber Safety Glossary
Definitions of Bullying - Cyber Safety - Retaliation:


Bullying is defined as repeated exposure, over time, to negative actions from one or more other students. Negative actions can include physical, verbal, or indirect actions that are intended to inflict injury or discomfort upon another including hitting, intimidation, taunting, exclusion, or spreading rumors.
From, Direct From the Field: A Guide to Bullying Prevention, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2007.

The repeated use by one or more students of a written, verbal or electronic expression or a physical act or gesture, or any combination thereof, directed at a target that: 
  • causes physical or emotional harm to the target or damage to the target’s property;
  • places the target in reasonable fear of harm to himself or of damage to his property;
  • creates a hostile environment at school for the target;
  • infringes on the rights of the target at school; Or
  • materially and substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school.
From, "Review of Sample Plan and Policy Elements", John Bynoe, Associate Commissioner, Department of Elementary & Secondary Education



Cyber-bullying has been defined by the Center for Safe and Responsible Internet Use to mean “being cruel to others by sending or posting harmful material using the Internet or a cell phone.”
It can take various forms:
  • Flaming: online verbal attacks or fights via electronic messages
  • Harassment: repeated messages of an intimidating character directed to a target.
  • Cyberstalking: repeated messages of an intimidating character that make a person feel afraid for his or her own safety.
  • Denigration: online “put-downs” including sending or posting hurtful gossip or rumors to cause the target embarrassment
  • Impersonation: using someone’s email account to send out messages, supposedly from the account holder, that reflects badly on that person and may cause trouble, shame, or embarrassment.
From, Direct From the Field: A Guide to Bullying Prevention, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, 2007.

  • bullying through the use of technology or any electronic communication, which shall
  • include, but shall not be limited to, any transfer of signs, signals, writing,
  • images, sounds, data or intelligence of any nature transmitted in whole or in part by
  • a wire, radio, electromagnetic, photo electronic or photo optical system, including, but
  • not limited to, electronic mail, internet communications, instant messages or
  • facsimile communications. Cyberbullying  shall also  include 
  • the creation of a web page or blog in which the creator assumes the identity of another person or the knowing impersonation of another person as the author of posted content or messages, if the creation or impersonation creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v), inclusive, of the definition of bullying.
  • the distribution by electronic means of a communication to more than one person or the posting of material on an electronic medium that maybe accessed by one or more persons, if the distribution or posting creates any of the conditions enumerated in clauses (i) to (v) inclusive, of the definition of bullying.
From, "Review of Sample Plan and Policy Elements", John Bynoe, Associate Commissioner, Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

Retaliation is defined as any form of intimidation, reprisal or harassment by a current student or former student under the age of 21 directed against a person in response to an action that person has taken or knowledge that the person has.
From, "Review of Sample Plan and Policy Elements", John Bynoe, Associate Commissioner, Department of Elementary & Secondary Education