What is Bullying?
- Intentional (done on purpose with the intent to cause hurt or harm)
- Imbalance of power (you feel like you cannot make it stop)
Our school district policy defines bullying as systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt or psychological distress. Bullying is further defined as unwanted and repeated written, verbal, or physical behavior, including any threatening, insulting, or dehumanizing gesture, by an adult or student, that is severe or pervasive enough to create an intimidating, hostile, or offensive educational environment; cause discomfort or humiliation; or unreasonably interfere with the individual’s school performance or participation.
Everyone deserves a safe and secure learning environment.
Bullying is different from conflict – Conflict vs. Bullying
- Conflict is a disagreement or argument in which both sides express their views.
- Bullying is negative behavior directed by someone exerting power and control over another person.
Are You or a Friend Being Bullied?
Ask yourself these questions:
- Has someone repeatedly said or did something hurtful to me, even when I have asked them to stop?
- Do I think someone is intentionally saying or doing things to me in order to hurt or cause harm to me?
- Is someone using their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm me?
- Am I having trouble stopping the mean behavior from the other person?
If the answer is YES to these questions, you need to report what is going on to either your parent or an adult at school.
I’m Being Bullied! What Do I Do Now?
- 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.
- Try not to show anger or fear. Students who bully like to see that they can upset you.
- Look at the kid bullying you 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 kid bullying you off guard.
- Try to avoid situations in which bullying is likely to happen.
What NOT to do if you are bullied. DON’T:
- Fight. You will just get in trouble and you could get hurt.
- Do nothing. You need a plan, and you need some help, so TELL someone.
- Skip school. This problem is not going to go away.
- Hurt yourself. This is not your fault.
Report Bullying Right Away!
Telling an adult that you or a friend is being bullied, isn’t tattling. Tattling is when you tell on another kid to get him/her into trouble. Telling is when you tell something that helps someone get out of trouble or keeps someone from getting hurt! So, if you or a friend is being bullied:
- Tell someone. Tell your teacher. Tell your parents. Tell a friend. Tell the principal or your guidance counselor. These people will listen and help you decide what to do. If this is happening, tell an adult!
- If the person you told cannot help you or does not do anything, find someone else! Never keep being bullied a secret!
- Your parents can report bullying for you. Ask them to talk to your school principal or your teacher.
- You can report bullying yourself. There are several methods for reporting suspected bullying incidents:
- You can make a report in person to a trusted adult at school.
- You can complete the Bullying and/or Harassment Form(the schools also have copies of this form available for you to complete)
- You can make a report using the online form available on the school district website. Here is a link so you can print a report form or use the online form:
- When you report bullying make sure you tell who the person is who is doing the bullying, how you are being bullied, when it happens, and where it happens.
My Friend is Being Bullied! What Can I Do?
- It is good to try to help. Don’t make the person who is being bullied feel worse by laughing or doing nothing.
- Tell an adult right away.
- If you can, tell the person who is bullying to stop. Explain that it is wrong to bully people. State what you don’t like and how you want it fixed. For example, “I don’t like it when you pick on Mike; it’s not funny. You need to stop.”
- Walk away with the person who is being bullied.
- Talk to the person who is bullied; tell them that you will be his/her friend. You can never have too many friends!
Here are some more resources for you
Stop Bullying.gov website for Teens – http://www.stopbullying.gov/what-you-can-do/teens/
Stop Bullying.gov website for Kids – https://www.stopbullying.gov/kids/what-you-can-do/index.html
Pacer Center – Teens Against Bullying – http://www.pacerteensagainstbullying.org/#/home
Pacer’s Kids Against Bullying – http://www.pacerkidsagainstbullying.org/#/home