When most people hear of the term “bullying” they think about several things at once: school, a classmate, school fights, name-calling, relentless harassment, and many other unpleasant memories. However, how many people think about why the bullying behavior exists and continues in the first place?
Institutionalized bullying is a framework to expand the definition of bullying in schools beyond student to student interactions. It refers to the way the bullying of young people, parents, and even teachers are perpetrated, reinforced, and or normalized by those in positions of power in our schools and how the education system feeds into the School-to-Prison Pipeline. This can happen either by being complicit through inaction or explicitly engaging in harmful and exclusionary practices. Students, parents, and teachers can be bullied by School Resource Officers/School Safety Agents, Police, Principals, Deans, and other Teachers but these interactions are rarely addressed even though it can have the same or even worse impacts on those being bullied.