1. Go to an adult:
Your parents or other family members; your teacher; your principal; a school counselor or another trusted adult. Explain what is happening and how it is making you feel. Sometimes children who are bullying stop after being confronted by a teacher or principal because they are worried about the consequences.
2. Get a Buddy.
Two is better than one if you want to avoid being bullied. Make a plan to be with a friend or two on the walk to school, on the bus, at recess or at lunch. Offer to do the same if a friend is being bullied. If you can’t be with a friend, change your route or your routine and only use restrooms when someone else is in them.
3. Ignore the Bullying.
If you can, ignore the threats. Pretend you don’t hear and walk away quickly to a safe place. Children who are bullying want a reaction. Don’t give them one and this might stop the behavior.
4. Stand Up for Yourself.
Act as if you are brave and confident. Say “No” or “Stop That” in a loud voice, then walk away, or run if you have to. If you do what a student who is bullying you wants, it will encourage them to keep bullying you.
5. Don’t bully back.
Don’t hit, kick or push back to deal with someone bullying you or your friends. Fighting back just satisfies the person who is bullying and it’s dangerous because someone could get hurt. You are also likely to get in trouble too.
6. Don’t show that you are upset or angry.
Students who are bullying like to get a reaction. Keep calm and control your emotions; the bully might leave you alone.
7. Fight back with humor.
Make a joke of the negative comment. The person bullying you might decide you’re too clever to pick on.
8. What did you say?
Ask the person bullying you to repeat what they just said. Often those who are bullying aren’t brave enough to repeat what they said. You also can throw someone off guard and take control of the situation.
9. Keep a record
Write down what is happening to you, including dates, times and locations. It can make it easier to prove what has been happening.
What Are Your Rights?
Children who are being bullied are discriminated against because of their race, nationality, color, gender or disability have rights under federal laws. Those laws do not current cover children who are discriminated against because they are LGBTQ. If you are being bullied because of any of the other factors listed, tell your parents or another trusted adult that they can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.
Help Prevent Bullying
1. You have power.
Bystanders have power to stop bullying. Bullying is often a group sport, it can’t go on if others don’t join in.
2. Speak up.
If it is safe, tell the person who is bullying to stop it. Make it clear that you don’t support what is happening. If you don’t feel safe speaking up, walk away and encourage others to do the same.
3. Tell an adult.
Go to a parent, relative teacher, counselor, principal or other trusted adult and tell them what is happening to another child.
4. Be a friend.
Befriend the student who is being bullied. Talk with them, sit with them at lunch or on the bus, walk home with them and play with them at recess. Encourage them to report what is happening.
Are You Bullying Others?
1. Trying to fit in?
Many times, students who bully others feel pressure to be popular or worry that they will be bullied if they don’t join in. Consider how your actions make others feel. If you are hurting others, stop.
2. Get help.
Are there problems going on in your home that are causing you to act out? Sometimes children who bully others come from homes where everyone is angry and shouting all the time. Some children who bully have been bullied by others, including adults. Get help. Go to a trusted adult, teacher, school counselor or principal and explain what is going on.
3. What Is Your Future?
Many times students who bully end up in trouble. If they keep acting mean, they end up with few friends. They think they’ll end up being popular, but others just think of them as troublemakers. A number of students who bullied others eventually end up in trouble with the law.
4. You Can Change.
Many children who bully others find ways to stop and become much happier. That can happen to you. Get help from teachers, counselors and other adults who love and support you.
If you are feeling sad, depressed or hopeless, please get help. Go to a school counselor or ask your parents or another trusted adult to help you get professional help. If you are feeling suicidal, please immediately call one of the suicide hotlines:
In Southern Arizona, contact SAMHC (Southern Arizona Mental Health Corporation) at 1-520-617-0043 to make an appointment or their 24-hour crisis line at 1-520-622-6000 or 1-800-796-6762. You can also call a national toll-free suicide hotline:
The National Hopeline Network: 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2433)