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.