BULLYING: What You Should Know

Bullying is different from peer conflict

It occurs when a student, or group of students, repeatedly hurts or humiliates another student. Bullying and harassment often cause lasting physical and mental harm, marginalize diverse students, and negatively impact the entire school culture.

students have been electronically bullied
will skip school each day because they don’t feel safe
of students who are frequently bullied are expected to end their education at the secondary level.

If you are being bullied

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If there is no one that you feel safe talking to and you have thoughts that your life is hopeless, please call this hotline to speak with someone. You are not alone, and there is always hope.

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You are not alone!

With 1 out of 3 students being the target of bullying, it is a worldwide epidemic. Many have thought of bullying as a rite of passage, but in fact, it has serious mental and physical consequences that have long-lasting effects. If you are feeling bullied, you are not alone! Here are some ways to reach out:

  1. Create a No Bully club at your school. Find other students who care and invite them to form a campaign team to make your school bully-free. Use your first meeting to figure out what types of bullying are most frequent at your school. Use the No Bully definitions of bullying to help you.
  2. Find an ally. Tell a parent, a neighbor, a relative, a friend, or a school counselor. Being bullied feels many times worse if you try to endure it alone.
  3. Find a student-focused Facebook group on bullying. If you search Facebook you will find several groups you can join.
  4. Write a petition. This should call on your school principal to end bullying at your school. You, or your campaign team, can create this online at www.change.org
  5. Bring No Bully to your school. You, your parent, or a teacher can request that No Bully comes to your campus.
  6. Parents and Educators: Reach out to comparitech for free advice on preventing LGBTQ cyberbullying. Research has found members of the LGBTQ community are more likely to be bullied online compared to their peers.
  7. Check out Straight for Equality: Free guide to be a straight ally.
  8. Join PFLAGThe first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies. There are over 400 chapters and 200,000 members and supporters.  PFLAG is committed to creating a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued, and affirmed.

The costs of bullying

Bullying can cause its targets physical and emotional harm. It can have long-lasting mental health effects, similar to child abuse in severity and long-term persistence, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, shame, and suicidal ideation.

Bullying adversely affects school performance. Students who bully are at an increased risk of school absenteeism, drug abuse, and criminality.

Bullying is part of a continuum of violence. Unless interrupted, students who bully in the middle years of school are more likely to engage in dating violence and sexual harassment in the final years of school and beyond.

Bullying brings massive social costs. Particularly at risk are students from racial and ethnic minority groups and religions, LGBTQ youth, and students with physical and mental disabilities. As nations across the world struggle to affirm social justice and integrate immigrant youth, bullying remains the vehicle by which diverse youth are isolated and marginalized.

The ways bullying occurs:

Physical bullying is when a student uses physical force to hurt another student by hitting, pushing, shoving, kicking, taking a student’s belongings, or stealing their money.

Verbal bullying is when a student uses words or gestures to humiliate another student by threatening, taunting, intimidating, insulting, sarcasm, name-calling, teasing, slurs, graffiti, put-downs and ridicule.

Relational bullying is when a student isolates another student from their peer group by leaving them out, gossiping, spreading rumors, and scapegoating.

Cyberbullying is when a student uses a cell phone, text messages, e-mails, instant messaging, chats, and social media to bully another student in any of the ways described above. It also includes breaking into a student’s electronic account(s) and assuming that student’s identity in order to damage their reputation.