Bullying occurs when someone hurts or scares another person on purpose.
It can be tough to protect/defend yourself against bullying. Bullying is wrong and it is normal to feel upset, worried or afraid. As bystanders, it can be uncomfortable to watch/witness someone being bullied.
We all have a role to play in reducing bullying in our schools and communities.
Bullying can include:
- Physical threats/acts such as pushing, hitting
- Verbal attacks such as name calling, putdowns, making fun of someone
- Emotional injuries that make you feel afraid, inferior, worried or excluded.
Cyber bullying is the use of text, social media app/internet to spread rumors, make threats or attack someone online.
Victim: walk away, tell a trusted adult, avoid being confrontational, stick with a supportive friend group.
Bystander: Get the attention of an adult/peers, there is strength in numbers; stay with the individual being bullied, speak up and tell those who are bullying to STOP.
Bully: Think about how your actions affect others, know that it is never too late to change your behavior, apologize and make healthier choices for yourself and others. Speak to a trusted adult/counselor about your feelings.
Being a good friend involves being a good listener and being trustworthy. If we know a friend is being bullied and they are in danger, you need to get a trusted adult involved as soon as possible. Try explaining to your friend that without asking an adult for help, someone may get hurt or the bullying may get worse. If you are comfortable doing so, you can volunteer to go with your friend to speak with a teacher, guidance counselor, or parent.
Cyberbullying or online bullying can be just as harmful as or worse than bullying in person. Victims of cyberbullying often cannot find a safe space to get a break from the harassment as we rely on the internet each and every day.
Tips to reduce cyberbullying include:
- not sharing passwords/ personal information with others,
- being selective over who you chat with/accept friend requests from
- never sharing comments or photos online that we would not want to become public.