High School

Kinds of Bullying

  • Verbal: Name-calling, put-downs, and unwelcome teasing.
  • Physical: Hitting, pushing, and destroying property.
  • Emotional: Gossiping, threatening, starting rumors.
  • Social/Relational: Using friendships and relationships to exclude others and to hurt people to get what you want.
  • Cyberbullying: Using any form of technology (cell phones, Facebook, email, etc.) as a tool for bullying.
  • Dating Abuse: Using any form of bullying in the context of a dating relationship. Read more about teen dating violence.

The Truth

  • Bullying hurts everybody: targets, peers and bystanders, and the bullies themselves.
  • It is hard to learn in a place where there is bullying.
  • It is hard to do well in sports and extracurricular activities in a place where there is bullying.
  • It is hard to feel happy or safe where there is bullying.
  • Bullying can hurt for years after it happens. Lots of people never forget that they were bullied and how badly it made them feel.

» If You Are Being Bullied...

  • Take a deep breath, look the person who is bullying in the eye and say, “I don’t like it when _____. Stop or I will tell _____.” Look confident, stand up straight and hold your head high. Practice this before you do it!
  • Find a friend to be with and who will stick up for you. Tell them you need their help.
  • Distract the person who is bullying you by giving a compliment: “Thanks for caring about what I wear. I’ll try to remember your advice next time I go shopping.”
  • Distract the person who is bullying you by asking a question: “You really want me to get lost? Where would you go if you were me?”
  • Avoid people who act like bullies when you can. Think “safety first.”
  • Go to an adult who will listen to you (it is NOT tattling when you are being hurt!).
  • If someone is physically threatening or hurting you, make a lot of noise, get away fast, and tell an adult.
  • If a weapon is involved, get away fast and tell an adult immediately.
  • If you have received any kind of text message, email, or other form of communication via technology, save or print the message and show it to somebody. It may hurt to hold on to it, but having that proof of communication will be a critical way to get the help you need. Make yourself familiar with social networking sites’ privacy policies and reporting techniques. Users who abuse these sites and use them to hurt others can be blocked from being able to use them again.

Remember: We all deserve respect. Keep trying!

» If You Are a Bullying Someone...

  • Stop and think! Will what you say or do hurt someone or their feelings?
  • Try just walking away.
  • Find an adult who will listen. Talk to them and ask for help!
  • Think about the long-term consequences. Is the behavior that you’re showing now really worth risking being banned from attending the prom, being kicked off of your sports team, or not getting into the college of your choice? Your actions may seem small at the time, but they may lead you down a path that you wish you hadn’t taken.

Remember: Treat others like you want to be treated.

» If You See Someone Being Bullied...

  • It can be hard to know exactly how to react when you see a bullying situation occur. Remember, that you may not be able to put an end to the entire problem, but you can help somebody’s day to be much better than it was. Even if you make just a 10% improvement in somebody’s day, you will have made a huge difference to how they were feeling before.
  • Invite the person who is being bullied to join you and your group.
  • Say something good to and about the person who is being bullied.
  • Make friends and stand by them.
  • Go to an adult who will listen to you. There is a difference between being a “snitch” and reporting. Reporting is when you tell an adult or professional what is going on to keep somebody out of trouble or from getting hurt. If you are concerned about your own safety or reputation, find a way to effectively report a situation in private or anonymously.
  • Don’t laugh at bullying behavior or give the person acting like a bully any attention for his/her behavior.
  • Say something, do something, or tell someone.

Remember: Bystanders can dramatically change a bullying situation. Would you rather be the person who stood by and didn’t react, or be someone’s hero?