The dictionary definition of harassment is "to bother persistently." That is a very brief and dry definition of a complex and often misused word. In this day and age many people use this term too freely. Many of these people are just interested in money they can get from lawsuits. In this essay I hope to better explain what harassment is.
First I want to give and example of the misuse of the term harassment. Johnny makes fun of Bill's T-shirt one day in the halls. Bill gets mad and pushes Johnny into a locker. Bill then goes to the principles office and complains that Johnny is harassing him. In this case I do not think this would be harassment because Johnny has not been picking on Bill persistently. Also Bill retaliated by pushing Johnny into a locker. This is an example of what I don't believe to be harassment.
Another example of this would be people that have never liked each other. For instance, Bill and Johnny have hated each other since third grade. They yell and make fun of each other every day in the halls. One day Johnny decides to get smart and go to the principal and tell him that Johnny is harassing him. This again is another case that I don't think would qualify as harassment. Since both the kids have hated each other and been nagging each other for years, I do not think you could single out one of the two as a harasser.
My third example will be one that I do think is harassment. Johnny doesn't have many friends yet because he just moved last year. Ever since he started coming to school, Bill has been constantly making fun of him. Johnny is afraid that all of...