What is bullying?
Bullying is hurting someone else through actions (like hitting someone or breaking their things) or words (teasing, harassing, or threatening). The bully may be bigger, stronger, or more popular than the victim.
Bullying can happen in many places, such as home, school, or at work. It can happen once or be repeated many times.
Both boys and girls can be bullies
Bullying can happen at any age, from preschool through adulthood
Many students are bullied through email, text messages, and social media (this is called cyberbullying)
Bullying or being bullied isn't a normal part of childhood
Sexting is digitally sending sexual messages or photos to someone. Sexting can lead to bullying if someone wants to hurt or embarrass the person whose pictures or sexual messages were shared.
How can I tell if someone is being bullied?
People who are bullied may be:
Have poor self-esteem
A young victim of bullying may be embarrassed to tell an adult. Teachers and parents often don't realize that a child is being bullied. Many victims are physically and/or emotionally harmed by bullying.
Bullies learn negative behaviors that, if not corrected, can lead to further violence. Bullies are less likely to remain in school, be employed, or have stable relationships as adults, and are more likely to be imprisoned in later life.
What should I do if I am bullied?
Bullying is wrong. If someone bullies you, you can:
Tell an adult
Change your daily activity so you avoid the bully
Talk to a therapist or counselor
Pretend to ignore the bullying so the bully loses interest
If the bullying happens at school, tell school officials.
What should I do if I see someone else being bullied?
Don’t ignore the bullying. The most important thing to do when you see bullying is to address it right away.
If your child is bullied:
Tell school officials
Remind your child that bullying is never okay
Tell your child to try to ignore the bully
Talk to the bully’s parents (but don’t act angry at them and focus on the bad behavior of their child), and ask the bully to apologize and stop the bullying
Get your child counseling