Screening Tool for Reported Incidents of Bullying

In the Companion Guide for the 8 Keys to End Bullying Activity Book, I offer professionals and parents a tool for screening reports of bullying and determining an initial course of action.  The Screening Tool, offered below, may be used in schools, youth organizations, small groups, homes, or any setting in which allegations of bullying occur regularly and responsible adults need to discern between levels of 51Sbx9-cYKL._SY498_BO1,204,203,200_aggression, in order to respond appropriately.

As the directions indicate, “Yes” responses to the four questions give a strong indication that bullying behavior has occurred and needs to be more thoroughly investigated by a a trained professional, such as a School Administrator or Counselor.

“No” responses, on the other hand, indicate that a problematic behavior that has not risen to the level of bullying has likely occurred.  These behaviors are likely best addressed by the adult who receives the report from the child, according to school, group, or family rules.

All young people deserve their reports of bullying behavior to be taken seriously by adults.  Whether or not the behavior is determined to be bullying, all children benefit from feeling heard and understood. 

Screening Tool for Reported Bullying Behavior


1. Was the behavior carried out on purpose?

Yes                                          No



2. Was the behavior intended to cause harm? (Harm may be physical, verbal, relational, social, emotional, and/or via electronic communication)

Yes                                          No



3. Have there been patterned and pervasive acts of this behavior? (Repeated aggression is defined as an average of two or more incidents per week, over the course of two or more weeks.)

Yes                                          No


3a. Does the behavior include electronic communications that can be viewed an unlimited number         of times by an unlimited number of people?

Yes                                          No



4. Does an imbalance of power exist and/or is the target of the behavior unable to stop the bullying behavior from continuing?

Yes                                          No


If the answers to Questions 1-4 are all YES, please refer this incident to a trained professional within 24 hours.  Please include a brief summary of the incident on the following page.


If you provided a NO response to any of the Questions above (not including 3a), the person completing this form should: (Check when completed:)

  • Address the unwanted behavior with the young person according to school, group, or home standards of conduct. Every effort should be taken to address the behavior with the young person as soon as possible.


Please view the full form in the 8 Keys to End Bullying Companion Guide, available here.

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