What is bullying?

Bullying can mean many different things, some ways of bullying are:

  • Being pushed or pulled about
  • Being called names
  • Being teased
  • Being hit or attacked
  • Having your bag or others things taken away from you
  • Having rumours spread about you
  • Being ignored and left out
  • Being sent nasty text messages

Where bullying might happen

  • at school – in the yard, in class, in the toilets
  • on the way to and from school
  • on the bus
  • at the youth centre
  • at work
  • on the internet
  • through mobile phones

Why do Bullies do it?

  • They may have their own problems – they may feel upset or angry, perhaps they don’t fit in or maybe they are having problems at home.
  • Maybe they get bullied themselves, perhaps by someone in their family or somewhere out of school.
  • They are scared of getting picked on so they do it first.
  • Many don’t like themselves and so take it out on others
  • They want to seem tough and show off.

Bullies figure out which buttons to press and how they can upset you, this might be:

  • your weight or your looks
  • the colour of your hair
  • your family
  • your school work
  • if you are popular
  • If you work hard
  • If you have a disability
  • if you are a different religion
  • if you wear glasses or a hearing aid
  • if you have dyslexia
  • if you have been off school because you are ill.

If you are being bullied

  • Try to stay calm and look as confident as you can
  • Walk away from the situation as soon as you can
  • Tell an adult what has happened, it could be a teacher, a mentor, a youth worker or a family member
  • If you are scared of telling an adult on your own ask a friend to go with you
  • If you feel like you are not being listened to keep saying it until you are heard
  • Keep a diary of what the bullies are doing and saying, when and where they are doing it.
  • If you have a mobile phone be careful who you give your number to. It is a criminal offence to send threatening and offensive phone messages and if it continues it can amount to harassment. The police can and do take action.
  • If you are bullied on the way home, vary the ways you walk home, try to leave school a little earlier or later. If you catch the bus try to sit near the driver or other adults. walk with other people even if they are a little older or younger than you.
  • Think of comments to say back to the bullies, something sharp and quick, even something simple like ‘yeah whatever’ might show the bullies that they are not bothering you.