Definitions Related to Bias, Injustice and Bullying

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For educators, parents and family members of elementary age children

The following definitions include words relating to bias, diversity, bullying and social justice concepts and are written for elementary-age children.

Aggressor
Someone who says or does hurtful things.

Ally
Someone who helps or stands up for someone who is being bullied or the target of prejudice.

Brave
Doing something you would not normally do that may be physically or emotionally hard.

Bullying
When a person or a group behaves in ways—on purpose and over and over—that make someone feel hurt, afraid or embarrassed.

Bystander
Someone who sees bullying or prejudice happening and does not say or do anything.

Communication
Sharing thoughts, feelings or information to another person or group.

Community
A group of people who live in the same area or who share common characteristics or interests.

Cooperation
People working together and sharing tasks to do something or for a common goal or purpose.

Culture
Refers to the patterns of daily life that can be seen in language, arts, customs, holiday celebrations, food, religion, beliefs/values, music, clothing and more.

Custom
A way of behaving that is usual and traditional among people in a group or place.

Discrimination
Unfair treatment of one person or group of people because of the person or group’s identity (e.g. race, gender, ability, religion, culture, etc.). Discrimination is an action that can come from prejudice  

Equality
Having the same or similar rights and opportunities as others.

Equity
The quality of being fair or just.

Inequality
An unjust situation or condition when some people have more rights or better opportunities than other people.

Injustice
A situation in which the rights of a person or a group of people are ignored, disrespected or discriminated against. 

Miscommunication
Failure to communicate clearly. 

Multicultural
Including many different cultures.

Name-calling
Using words to hurt or be mean to someone or a group.

Nonverbal communication
Aspects of communication, such as gestures and facial expressions, which do not involve speaking but can also include nonverbal aspects of speech (tone and volume of voice, etc.). 

Prejudice
Judging or having an idea about someone or a group of people before you actually know them. Prejudice is often directed toward people in a certain identity group (race, religion, gender, etc.). 

Segregation
The practice of keeping people of different races, religions, etc., separate from each other. 

Social Change
When elements of a society are altered or changed in some way, including the changes in society’s institutions, behaviors, rules or social relationships. 

Stereotype
The false idea that all members of a group are the same and think and behave in the same way. 

Target
Someone who is bullied or treated in hurtful ways by a person or a group on purpose and over and over. 

Teasing
Laugh at and put someone down in a way that is either friendly and playful or mean and unkind. 

Transgender
A term for people whose gender identity differs from how they were assigned at birth (e.g. assigned girl or boy).

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