What Is Bullying?
The Definition of Bullying
- Punching, shoving, and other acts that hurt people physically
- Spreading bad rumors about people
- Keeping certain people out of a "group"
- Teasing people in a mean way
- Getting certain people to "gang up" on others
- Sending mean text, email, or instant messages
- Posting nasty pictures or messages about others in blogs or on Web sites
- Using someone else's user name to spread rumors or lies about someone
Take a look at Webisode 5 to see an example of cyberbullying. There are many ways that young people bully each other, even if they don't realize it at the time.
Why Do Kids Bully?
- Because I see others doing it
- Because it's what you do if you want to hang out with the right crowd
- Because it makes me feel, stronger, smarter, or better than the person I'm bullying
- Because it's one of the best ways to keep others from bullying me
What Should You Do If You Are Being Bullied?
How to deal with bullying:
- Tell your parents or other trusted adults. They can help stop the bullying.
- If you are bullied at school, tell your teacher, school counselor, or principal. Telling is not tattling.
- Don't fight back. Don't try to bully those who bully you.
- Try not to show anger or fear. Students who bully like to see that they can upset you.
- Calmly tell the student to stop...or say nothing and then walk away.
- Use humor, if this is easy for you to do.
- Try to avoid situations in which bullying is likely to happen. You might want to
- Avoid areas of the school where there are not many students or teachers around.
- Make sure you aren't alone in the bathroom or locker room.
- Sit near the front of the bus.
- Don't bring expensive things or lots of money to school.
- Sit with a group of friends at lunch.
- Take a different route through hallways or walk with friends or a teacher to your classes.
What Can YOU Do If You See Someone Being Bullied At School?
- Think about what may work for you:
- Don't just stand there. . . SAY SOMETHING!
- Kids who bully may think they're being funny or “cool.” If you feel safe, tell the person to STOP the bullying behavior. Say you don't like it and that it isn't funny.
- DON'T BULLY BACK! It won't help if you use mean names or actions, and it could make things worse.
What if I don't feel safe telling a bully to stop?
- Say kind words to the child who is being bullied, such as “I'm sorry about what happened,” and “I don't like it!” Help them understand that it's not his or her fault. Be a friend. Invite that student to do things with you, such as sit together at lunch or work together on a project. EVERYONE NEEDS A FRIEND!
- Tell the student who is being bullied to talk to someone about what happened. Offer to help by going along.
- Pay attention to the other kids who see the bullying. (These people are called bystanders.”) Are any of them laughing or joining in with the bullying? If yes, these kids are part of the problem. Let those students know that they're not helping! DON'T be one of them!
Tell an adult. (This is IMPORTANT!!)
- Chances are, the kid who is being bullied needs help from an adult. The kid who is doing the bullying probably does, too. Often, the bullying does not get reported. But, who should you tell? Think about who you could tell in your school:
- Teacher (which one would you talk to?),
- School counselor,
- Cafeteria or Playground Aide,
- School nurse,
- Bus driver, or
- Other adults you feel comfortable telling.
- If you need help telling, take a friend along.
Why don't some kids tell when they see bullying?
- They may not want others to think they are “tattling.”
- They may be afraid that the kids who bully will pick on them next.
- They may think that their friends will make fun of them for trying to help.
What if the bullying doesn't happen at school?
Some information and resources on this page are from Stop Bullying Now! http://www.stopbullyingnow.hrsa.gov.