Have you ever read some of the statistics on bullying? It’s a wonder kids even get up and go to school some days! And a lot of teachers think that if they ignore bullying it will magically disappear! Yeah, right! The bully will grow magically more menacing, and the only thing that will disappear is your lunch money – or you! That’s right! There is a great deal of absenteeism because of bullying. You should NOT have to be afraid to go to school, but many kids skips school to avoid being picked on. Sometimes you’re afraid to tell on the bully – we know. You could get punched out for being a tattletale. So, what can you do?
Believe it or not, there are some strategies you can use against bullies that can be effective. The main thing is to remember the bully is in the wrong, and you are in the right. Bullies are losers, and they try to make others feel like losers.
- Agree with the bully If the bully is calling you names or disrespecting you, you can shrug it off and say things like, “You’re right” or “That’s true” or “I see what you mean.” Walk away. Be dismissive. Pretend you don’t care. Sometimes, if they don’t get you to respond, they will give up and leave you alone.
- Ask questions When the bullying consists of teasing or name-calling, ask questions such as, “How do you know I’m stupid?” or “What exactly do you mean by stupid, anyway?” or “Do you know any other people who are stupid?” or “Have you compared me to them to find out who is more stupid?” Again, this is you trying to act like you really don’t care.
- Use Fogging Fogging is used to confuse the bully. For example, if the bully called you fat, you could reply with, “You may be right, I could lose a few pounds.” Or if the bully called you ugly, you could say, “I could be better looking.” Seeing that it doesn’t bother you (even though it does – we know!), will make you a less likely target.
- The Broken Record Repeat the same response over and over again. For example, after everything the bully says, respond with, “That’s your opinion.”
Now, these techniques are for situations where you are being verbally bullied or teased. For more serious kinds of bullying, such as hitting or other violent behavior (even just the threat of violence), you must report it. Even if it falls on “deaf ears,” keep telling adults until someone listens. You’re thinking, “That’s only going to make it worse.” No. Keep telling until someone LISTENS and ACTS. You should report ALL types of bullying, even if it’s just name-calling. Teasing can escalate into something much worse, so tell someone!
Who can you tell? Your homeroom teacher. History teacher. Coach. Guidance counselor. Principal. Math teacher. Bus driver. Police officer. Parent. Grandparent. Aunt. Uncle. You get the idea… TELL EVERYONE! No one has the right to bully or harass you for any reason. Not for your race, ethnicity, religion, height, weight, hair color, personality, shoe size, shirt color… now we’re being silly. But no, we’re being serious. Bullies go after you for NO REASON. They make something up to justify their anti-social behavior. Don’t take it. And if you see someone else being bullied, think about it… should you say something? Report it? Step in? Yes. Stick together.
“Each of us deserves the freedom to pursue our own version of happiness. No one deserves to be bullied.” ― Barack Obama
Cyberbullying has become a problem for kids everywhere.
- What is cyberbullying?
- It is deliberately hurting or humiliating someone’s reputation or feelings using electronic devices – computers, tablets, mobile phones, etc.
- It can also mean using the Internet – social media, instant messaging, e-mail, to publicly hurt someone.
- Who does it?
- Cyberbullies can be anyone – a friend, former friend, acquaintance – even a total stranger.
- Boys and girls of all backgrounds have been known to cyberbully.
- Who does it happen to?
- Anyone and everyone. Victims are boys and girls of all backgrounds.
- Children with disabilities are twice as likely to be bullied.
- Students reported that most cyberbullies attack victims based on the victims’ looks, body shape, race, and (perceived) sexual orientation. Some students have even reported being bullied for their religious beliefs.
- What are the effects?
- Victims can experience a wide range of problems as a result of cyberbulling: anxiety, problems in school, difficulty sleeping, and depression.
- Victims of cyberbullying might skip school, avoid social gatherings, etc.
- How can you stop it?
- Block the bully on social media, phone, etc.
- Never respond to anything he or she posts or retaliate in any way no matter how much you are tempted.
- Take screenshots of the evidence and report it to parents, teachers, or the police.
- Cyberbullying is against the law and is taken very seriously. There are serious consequences to people who cyberbully. Use the law to your advantage. Report it immediately.
We can’t overemphasize the need to TELL SOMEONE no matter what kind of bullying you’re dealing with. Don’t ever believe anything a bully says to you, about you, or about others. Bullies are pathetic losers who are just trying to drag others down to their level. Sometimes they seem to have a lot of friends, but those “friends” are just toadies who are afraid if they don’t go along with the bully that they will be bullied.
Don’t be a bully.
Don’t be a toadie.
And DO REPORT THEM!