by Greg Toppo / May 2, 2013
MAY 1, 2013, USA TODAY, SAN FRANCISCO — Schools that want to do a better job fighting bullying ought to start with one key step, a group of researchers said Tuesday: Stop using the term "bullying."
Because it's "being used for everything from rolling eyes to 'not wanting to be your friend' to sexual assault, the word 'bullying' has really obscured our ability to focus on what's happening" to children, said Dorothy Espelage, professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Illinois.
Educators have been "spinning our wheels for decades" in a bid to treat bullying, but they're often hampered by policies that require mistreatment to be repetitive, for example, part of the classic definition of bullying. That focus also obscures whether specific acts are happening more or less, she said.