Historically, bullying was not seen as a problem that needed attention, but was accepted as a fundamental and normal part of childhood. Bullying is deeply embedded in our culture. There are bullies not only on the school playgrounds but bullying tactics are routinely used in both the public and private sector.26-28Bullies may be company CEOs, university presidents, politicians, teachers, police chiefs, or religious leaders. Bullies may achieve results in business by increasing profits, dominating markets or maintaining positions of power.
In the last two decades, however, the attitudes toward bullying have been changing. The emergence of cyberbullying has affected attitudes.
Additionally, school bullying has come under intense public and media scrutiny recently amid reports that it may have been a contributing factor in shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, in 1999, at Santana High School in Santee, California, in early 2001, and in other acts of juvenile violence, including suicide.
There has also been an increased concern internationally about school bullying over the last thirty years. This concern is rooted in human rights. It has been evidenced by an awareness of, and legislation against, forms of discrimination based on sex, race, age, religion, disability and sexual orientation.
As a result of these trends, schoolyard bullying and cyberbullying are seen as serious problems that warrant attention. Numerous anti-bullying
programs and zero-tolerance policies have proliferated as schools attempt to reduce and control bullying.29,30In order to develop and implement effective anti-bullying programs, it is important to define bullying.