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Rana, N. (2008). School bullying: Introducing the issue. Journal of Education and Research, 1, 62-68.

According to Rigby, Smith and Pepler (2004), the most tragic outcome of peer victimization is suicide. According to several researchers, bullying has been identified as a problem in many countries, including the United States, Canada, and France and has taken a front seat in the research arena in many of these countries (Smith, et al., 1999). Victims and those who passively witness the attacks or threats tend to become anxious and distressed as well (Davies, 1986) Researchers have defined the phenomenon encompassing varied aspects such as physical, behavioral, psychological and social. According to Hazler (1992), most adults and even some educators have indicated that verbal harassment should not be considered bullying and are not as severe as physical forms. Some researchers use Olweus’s (1986) definition, “a student is being bullied or victimized when he is exposed repeatedly and over time to negative actions on the part of one or more other students.’’ This definition stresses the behavioral aspect of bullying. According to this researcher, negative action is when someone intentionally inflicts injury or discomfort upon another. On the other hand, Besag’s (1989) definition of bullying “the repeated attack by those in a position of power, on those who are powerless to resist, with the intention of causing distress for their own gain or gratification” (p. 4), lays emphasis on psychological domination and power structures existing amongst individuals or groups. Bjorkquist, Ekman and Lagerspetz (1982) note that bullying is “a special case of aggression which is social in nature” thereby implying that the phenomenon encompasses wider interactions involving society or community. Overall, three factors

are implicit in any bullying activity: (a) it must occur over a prolonged period of time rather than being a single aggressive act; (b) it must involve an imbalance of power, the powerful attacking the powerless; and (c) it can be verbal, physical or psychological in nature.