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Remember that old schoolyard jingle, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”? That was not and certainly is not the truth today. Three-quarters of all children say they have been bullied or teased.[1] Bullying and teasing are similar, but one of the key differences between them is intention. Teasing becomes bullying when it is a repetitive behavior with the conscious intention to harm or hurt another child.[2] Bullying is one of the largest problems in schools, where the percentage of students reporting bullying at least once a week has steadily increased since 1999, according to the FBI.[3] Bullying can make kids feel hurt, scared, lonely, embarrassed, and sad. In addition, it can also make kids fearful of and unwilling to attend school. Here are some tips on how to deal with bullies at school.

1.Tell your Parents

Tell your parent(s) or someone you trust about the bullying.[4] If you are being bullied, it’s very important to tell an adult first and foremost.

Tell your parents the entire story. Parents are here to help and want to know what is going on with you. Your parents, moreover, may then be able to get in touch with staff at the school in order to try to stop the bullying. This is important particularly if you don’t feel comfortable telling your teacher or fear retribution from the bully.

It’s useful if you keep a diary of everything that happens. That way you can let your parents and other adults know about specific incidents.

2.Report bullying and victimization incidents to the school.

Report bullying and victimization incidents to the school. Inform teachers, principals, and other school helpers.[7] These individuals have the power to intervene and help stop bullying.[8] Sometimes bullies stop as soon as a teacher finds out because they’re afraid they’ll get in trouble.

Teachers are especially important resources if you’re being bullied. They can provide protection from bullying by letting you stay in the classroom during recess or by setting up a buddy system on your behalf.

It’s important to let your school know about any bullying incidents because there may be other kids being bullied by the same person

3.Talk openly about bullying.

Just talking to someone about your experience can bring you a bit of relief. Good people to talk to include a guidance counselor, sibling, or friend. They may offer some helpful solutions, but should not be approached in lieu of telling your parents or school personnel. Just talking about what you’re experiencing and feeling can help you feel less alone.

Some children have reported real success from peer counseling programs at their schools.

4.Don’t be afraid to speak up.

Telling an adult is not tattling. Bullying is not a small or trivial matter; it is wrong and it helps if everyone who gets bullied or witnesses someone else being bullied speaks up.[12]

Remember that you cannot tackle bullying by yourself. No one can, not even adults. Getting help is the right thing to do when dealing with abuse, bullying, harassment, or assault.


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