Bullying is a BIG Problem

We all experience some differences with other classmates as during our school years. When either an individual or group with more power constantly picks on a person, physically or socially, it can have devastating effects. Bullying is ANY unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated over time and is intentional. The behavior hurts or harms another person physically or emotionally. Victims of bullying have difficulty stopping it and struggle to defend themselves. Examples are making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, or excluding someone from a group intentionally.

Bullying focuses on making someone else feel inadequate or it may focus on belittling. Harassment, physical harm, repeatedly demeaning speech and an effort to push someone out of a group or to be ignored are some examples. This behavior is active and done with the intention of bringing another person down.

Bullying is relentless. We can usually take one episode of teasing or name-calling or being shunned, but this repeated behavior can put a person in a constant state of fear. Victims often find their schoolwork and health suffering. They feel that they are different, powerless, unpopular and alone.

Mean behavior can hurt, even if people are only joking, and even if the people doing it are your friends. No one deserves it. Each day, millions of students wake up afraid to go to school. Bullying is NEVER okay, cool or acceptable.

Who Bullies?

Both boys and girls do. They may be outgoing and aggressive or could appear reserved. They may try to manipulate people in subtle, deceptive ways like anonymously staring a damaging rumor just to see what happens. Bullies like to dominate others and are commonly focused on themselves. They exhibit poor social skills and poor social judgement. Often they have no feelings of empathy or caring toward others.

Bullys believe they have the right to push people around. Most bullies are actually insecure, putting others down to make themselves feel more interesting, to fit in, or to feel more powerful or in control. Some intimidate because they have been victims of bullies themselves possibly by a parent, sibling or other adult. They may have personality disorders that hinder their ability to understand normal emotions like built, empathy, compassion or remorse and would benefit treatment from professional mental health providers.

What Can You Do?
*Speak up against bullying and get involved. *Talk about it.
*Report it to an adult. *Believe good things about yourself.
*Stand up for others that are bullied. *Speak confidently to the bully and
*Be a friend when you notice bullying. practice your confidence.
*Walk or run away if a bully tries to hurt you!

What Not to Do:
Don’t get into a physical fight with a bully or try to retaliate.
Don’t believe the insults about you.
Don’t be in a place where a bully might target you, including physical location as well as online.
Don’t believe that you deserve to be picked on!

Remember: Some kinds of bullying may be a crime. If you or someone you know if a victim of bullying, tell someone! No one deserves to be hurt.

To know more about bullying websites visit www.stopbullying.org, www.kidshealth.org, or www.pacer.org/bullying. (National Bullying Prevention Center)

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