Dealing With Bullies

October 3, 2016

You don’t have to let yourself be a victim, and you don’t have to stand by and watch bullying happen to someone you know.  Here’s what you need to know about bullying.

“Bullying” is another name for harassment.  Bullying can be physical - one or more students hurting another.  More often, bullying is verbal and includes persistent threatening, teasing or gossiping, in person or over the internet.

It’s not your fault.  A bully doesn’t pick on you because of something you did.  The bully is picking on you because of the way he or she feels.  Some people bully others as a way of feeling popular, showing off or making themselves look tough.  Often they have been the victims of bullying themselves.  So if someone is bullying you, don’t think it’s your fault.

You aren’t helpless. Some parents may tell their children to strike back at bullies.  Usually that creates more problems than it solves.  Here are some things you might try:
-Tell a friend. It’s tougher to pick on a person who has someone there for support.
-Walk away.  It’s harder to bully someone who won’t stand still to listen.
-Chill out.  Bullies seem to target kids who respond to their taunts, so try not to show any emotion. It’s not fun to bully someone who doesn’t seem to care.
-Write it down.  Keep track of what happens - dates, times, places.  Write down exactly what the bully says.  When you are ready to tell an adult, you’ll have proof.

Tell an adult. If you’ve tried some of the things on the list above and the bullying hasn’t stopped, it’s time to tell an adult.
Nobody likes to admit that they’re being bullied, and some kids think they’re being “tattletales” if they tell an adult.  That’s not true.  Kids have a right to be safe.  Often, a bully has more than one victim, so if you don’t tell, the bully may keep on harassing other people.
Schools can do things to stop kids from bullying, but they can’t take action if they don’t know what’s happening.