Be more than a bystander. Stop Bullying.
What is Bullying?
Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.
In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:
- An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
- Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.
- Bullying is the Same Thing as Conflict.
- Most Bullying is Physical (Involves Hitting, Shoving, Kicking).
- Bullying isn’t Serious. It’s Just a Matter of “Kids Being Kids.”
- Bullying Doesn’t Happen at My Child’s School.
- Bullying is Mostly a Problem in Urban Schools.
- Bullying is More Likely to Happen on the Bus than at School.
- Children and Youth Who Are Bullied Will Almost Always Tell an Adult.Children and Youth Who Bully are Mostly Loners with Few Social Skills.
- Bullied Kids Need to Learn How to Deal with Bullying on Their Own.
- Most Children and Youth Who Observe Bullying Don’t Want to Get Involved.
What is Cyberbullying?
Instead of happening face-to-face, Cyberbullying happens through social media and the use of technology such as computers, cell phones and other electronic devices. Cyberbullying peaks around the end of middle school and the beginning of high school.
- Always think about what you post. You never know what someone will forward. Being kind to others online will help to keep you safe. Do not share anything that could hurt or embarrass anyone.
- Keep your password a secret from other kids. Even kids that seem like friends could give your password away or use it in ways you don’t want. Let your parents have your passwords.
- Think about who sees what you post online. Complete strangers? Friends? Friends of friends? Privacy settings let you control who sees what.
- Keep your parents in the loop. Tell them what you’re doing online and who you’re doing it with. Let them friend or follow you. Listen to what they have to say about what is and isn’t okay to do. They care about you and want you to be safe.
- Talk to an adult you trust about any messages you get or things you see online that make you sad or scared. If it is cyberbullying, report it.
Together We Can Stop Bullying
Are you being bullied or know someone that needs help? Do you see bullying at your school?
Treat Everyone with Respect
Follow the Golden Rule, by treating others the way you want them to treat you. No one should be mean to others, so think twice before doing or saying something that could hurt someone.
Stand Up for Others
When you see someone being bullied, take action to stop it, safely.
If you or someone else you know is being bullied, ask a trusted adult for help. If it is an emergency, call 911.
- 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.
- If speaking up seems too hard or not safe, walk away and stay away. Don’t fight back. Find an adult to stop the bullying on the spot.
There are things you can do to stay safe in the future, too.
- Talk to an adult you trust. Don’t keep your feelings inside. Telling someone can help you feel less alone. They can help you make a plan to stop the bullying.
- Stay away from places where bullying happens.
- Stay near adults and other kids. Most bullying happens when adults aren’t around.
It’s more important now than ever before for parents, educators and youth advocates to start the conversation early about bullying, especially when it comes to social networking and social media tools. Parents need to know what sites and tools are most popular, so they can monitor their student’s online lives.
We know that our students are transient online, always on the search for the newest, coolest tools. For that reason, we encourage our community to be ever vigilant regarding bullying and suicidal behavior. Regardless of the platform or whether it’s in the schoolyard, on the bus, on the computer or mobile device, please stay vigilant.
Teaching students how to remain safe, no matter what the tool or site is, is our goal. When students are empowered to make good decisions when using social networking sites and tools, they remain safe.
We encourage parents to be actively involved, monitoring their children’s lives, including their time online. Using software and options from cellular carriers may be helpful.
If you are concerned about your child’s behavior:
- Start by reporting to your school: teacher, counselor or principal.
- Resources are available through our YESS program, an educational partnership with our law enforcement agencies, as well as in the Student Wellness section of the District website.
If there is an immediate threat to your child or other students, call local law enforcement at 911.
The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides a 24 hour crisis line for those who are thinking of suicide. They also help those who are feeling hopeless or helpless or know someone that is.
Metro Crisis Line
Metro Crisis Services offers a hotline for those struggling with a mental or emotional problem, getting into trouble with drugs or alcohol, having family or relationship problems, or problems at work or school. Support and guidance is free and confidential.
SAFE2TELL is designed to help YOU anonymously report any threatening behavior that endangers you, your friends, your family, or your community.