Dealing With Bullying
What You Can Do
Are you being bullied? Do you see bullying at your school? There are things you can do to keep yourself and the children you know safe from bullying.
• Treat Everyone with Respect
• What to Do If You’re Bullied
• Protect Yourself from Cyberbullying
• Stand Up for Others
• Get Involved
Stop Bullying on the Spot
When adults respond quickly and consistently to bullying behavior they send the message that it is not acceptable. Research shows this can stop bullying behavior over time. There are simple steps adults can take to stop bullying on the spot and keep children safe. Some of these are:
• Intervene immediately. It is ok to get another adult to help.
• Separate the children involved.
• Make sure everyone is safe.
• Meet any immediate medical or mental health needs.
• Stay calm. Reassure the children involved, including bystanders.
• Model respectful behavior when you intervene.
Avoid these common mistakes:
• Don’t ignore it. Don’t think that children can work it out without adult help.
• Don’t immediately try to sort out the facts.
• Don’t force other children to say publicly what they saw.
• Don’t question the children involved in front of other children.
• Don’t talk to the children involved together, only separately.
• Don’t make the children involved apologize or patch up relations on the
Get police help or medical attention immediately if:
• A weapon is involved.
• There are threats of serious physical injury.
• There are threats of hate-motivated violence, such as racism or homophobia.
• There is serious bodily harm.
• There is sexual abuse.
• Anyone is accused of an illegal act, such as robbery or extortion - using force to get
money, property, or services.
Stand Up for Others
When you see bullying talk to a parent, teacher, or another adult you trust.
Be kind to the child being bullied. Show them that you care by trying to include them. Sit with them at lunch or on the bus, talk to them at school, or invite them to do something. Just hanging out with them will help them know they are not alone.
What to Do If You’re Bullied
There are things you can do if you are being bullied:
Look at the bully and tell him or her to stop in a calm, clear voice. You can also try to laugh it off. This works best if joking is easy for you. It could catch the bully off guard.
If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away. Don’t fight back. Find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot.
There are things you can do to stay safe in the future, too.
Talk to an adult you trust. Don’t keep your feelings inside. Telling someone can help you feel less alone. They can help you make a plan to stop the bullying.
Stay away from places where bullying happens.
Stay near adults and other kids. Most bullying happens when adults are not around.
Treat Everyone with Respect
Stop and think before you say or do something that could hurt someone.
If you feel like being mean to someone, tell an adult how you feel and they can help you find ways to be nicer to others. Keep in mind that everyone is different. Not better or worse. Just different.
If you think you have bullied someone in the past, apologize. Everyone feels better.