Bullying is a common problem in many communities. Bullying happens more often in the lower grades, but it’s also a big problem in high school.
Types of bullying
You may be a victim of one or more of these five types of bullying. • Verbal bullying
can include calling names, teasing and spreading rumours. • Emotional bullying
is leaving someone out of things (games, team sports), making fun of them or humiliating them, and threatening them. • Racial bullying
is about racist comments or graffiti. • Sexual bullying
means unwanted contact or rude personal comments. • Physical bullying
is related to physical violence, hitting, pushing, stealing.
All types of bullying are upsetting and painful. Bullying can happen in school, the community, or even on your street. Bullying can lead to many problems.
• You may feel mad, sad, or start to feel depressed.
• You may develop low self-esteem and withdraw from friends and family, making you feel lonely.
• You may become uncomfortable at school and start to miss classes, have trouble with school work, or drop out all together.
You should know that …
• Bullying isn’t your fault.
• Bullying isn’t the same as teasing. It’s a form of aggression against you. It’s not normal and not acceptable.
• Unfortunately, the problem won’t go away by itself. You might suffer a long time if you ignore it.
What can you do?
Talk about your problem to your parents or someone you trust, like a school counsellor, the school nurse, a teacher, etc. It’s not a sign of weakness to get help. You can’t solve this problem by yourself. The bully is usually not alone, and that’s what makes them look powerful. The bully has a behaviour problem and a problem with being aggressive. Someone who bullies needs adult and professional help.
If bullying happens at school, you or your parents should talk to your teacher or the school principal. It is the school’s responsibility to take action against this form of violence, document here
It could be useful to consult a counsellor or a psychologist if you’re really upset or depressed, or want someone to talk to about how you feel.
You can also “bully proof” yourself.
• Learn to walk away rather than take the abuse.
• Stay with a group. Bullies prefer one-on-one contact.
• Talk directly, briefly and with confidence to the bully. Role play with your parent or another adult or friends to practice how you can look confident and assertive. But don’t resort to violence against the bully; the situation could simply get worse.
• You can increase your self-esteem and self-confidence by joining activities that you enjoy. Drama clubs are good to help express yourself.
You and your parents can also make sure your school has a no-tolerance policy toward bullying and that they enforce it. It’s up to the school, the adults in your life, and yourself to make sure your environment is safe.