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Tips for Students

What is bullying?

Definition: Bullying is when one person repeatedly does something mean or hurtful to someone else intentionally.


Bullying has three parts:

  1. BEHAVIOR: Bullying behavior is mean, with the intention to hurt another person physically, verbally (with words) or emotionally (hurt feelings)

  2. FREQUENCY: Bullying behavior happens repeatedly, sometimes every day.

  3. TARGET: Bullies often target someone who is smaller, younger, or weaker.

There are four different kinds of bullying:

  1. PHYSICAL: hitting, kicking, biting, pushing; also taking someone’s stuff

  2. VERBAL: name-calling, teasing, making fun of a person

  3. EMOTIONAL: telling lies about someone; spreading rumors; excluding someone (leaving them out)

  4. CYBER-BULLYING: is a type of “emotional” bullying. Cyber-bullying happens online when someone posts something mean or embarrassing about another person on social media; or when someone spreads lies through email, text messages or social media.


Cyber-bullying is when a person is mean to someone online, such as posting threats, lies or embarrassing pictures on social media or sending hurtful text messages. People who are cyber-bullied often feel frightened, angry and helpless. Victims feel as if there is no way to escape the bullying because it happens online, often in their own home.

 Because cyberbullies are not face-to-face with their victims, they don’t see the victims’ reactions or witness the pain and sadness that their actions cause.

Experts suggest that if you are being cyber-bullies, you should:

  • Tell a trusted adult, such as a parent or teacher

  • Copy and save the online posts or texts to show the trusted adult.

  • Do not try to reason with the bully or tell your side of the story.

  • Turn off the computer.

  • Block the person from your cell phone so he/she cannot text you.

  • If you see someone bullied online, do not join in or make any comment.

Spreading online rumors, gossiping and lies, and other forms of cyber-bullying, are cruel, thoughtless actions that hurt people deeply – even if you don’t see a wound or a scar. A good rule to live by is: Never say anything online that you wouldn’t want your grandmother to read. When you participate in cyber-bullying, you could be harming someone in a fatal way.

What bullying is NOT:

  1. Someone being mean or rude, once or twice

  2. An argument between two people

  3. Teasing that stops when the person knows they hurt someone’s feelings

  4. Someone wanting to be alone or choosing another best friend

Bullied people often feel:

  • Sad

  • Mad

  • Rejected

  • Afraid to go to school

  • Helpless

  • Alone

  • Scared

You have the power to stop bullying!

Practice the four R’s!

     RECOGNIZE what bullying is.

Ask yourself:

  • Is one person physically hurting someone?

  • Is one person OLDER of STRONGER than the other person?

  • Does one person repeatedly pick on another person?

  • Is one person verbally or emotionally being mean ON PURPOSE?

If you answer “yes” to these questions, you recognize it IS bullying.

         RECOGNIZE what bullying is NOT.

  Ask yourself:

  • Are two friends simply arguing?

  • Is one person just being bossy to other kids?

  • Did someone tell a joke one time about another person?

  • Did one person simply choose not to hang out or be friends with another person?

  • Did someone have a party and just include a few close friends?

If you answer “yes” to these questions, you recognize this is NOT bullying. These

describe everyday conflicts or choices that people sometimes make, without being

intentionally mean or hurtful.

        REFUSE to be a “silent witness”

  • DO NOT be a “bully bystander”. If a bully does not have people standing around watching, he or she might not act like a bully.

  • DO NOT be mean to someone just because someone else tells you to.

  • DO NOT laugh when someone tells a mean joke about another person.

  • DO NOT send or pass mean notes. (This goes for text messages, emails and social media posts)

  • DO NOT be a “silent witness”. Speak up and tell a trusted adult when you see bullying.

        REJECT being a bully victim

  • If you think it is safe to speak to the bully, be calm and say, “Stop it. I don’t like when you talk to me that way”.

  • Walk away confidently.

  • Leave and go to where a friend is (or a group of friends)

  • If rejecting the bully doesn’t work, and the bully continues, tell a trusted teacher, parent, coach or other adult​

        REPORT bullying!

  • If someone bullies you or someone else, REPORT it!

  • Tell a teacher you trust, or a school counselor, or even the principal.

  • Talk to your parents or another family member – whoever you feel safe telling.

  • Make sure you ask someone to take action to help stop the bullying

How do you stop a bully?

Practice the four-step S.T.O.P. method

SStand up for yourself. Say, “Stop it!” and “leave me alone.” (Then walk away with confidence)

T Tell and adult. (Run away if you think the bully might hurt you)

O go to Other friends or people nearby.

P Be Proud of yourself.

Building Self-confidence

Did you know that when you feel good about yourself it can help you stand up to a bully? “Self-confidence” is feeling good about yourself. The fact is bullies usually don’t pick on people who show that the are self-confident. Self-confidence can also help you stand up for yourself.


How do you look self-confident?

  • Keep our head up; don’t look down.

  • Keep your back straight and tall – don’t slouch or hunch over.

  • Walk quickly, don’t drag your feet.

  • Keep away from people who are mean or are troublemakers in school

Having Self-Confidence

  • We all have times when we don’t feel good about ourselves. That’s when you should be extra kind to yourself and remember the positive things about YOU.

  • If you didn’t get a good grade on a test, remind yourself of a time when you did better.

  • If you did not do well at sports practice, remind yourself of your value to the team. Are you a good sport? Do you have a positive attitude? Do you practice with your teammates?

  • Remember the ‘inside of you”. Think about these characteristics: honest; kind; generous; responsible; trustworthy; curious; helpful. Which one describes you?

Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

Have you ever looked at the cover of a book and thought it wasn’t going to be very fun to read? And then once you started reading it, you enjoyed it? It’s the same with people: we can’t always tell who they are inside just by looking at the outside.


The best way to choose friends is to learn about who they are on the inside.


Here are some of the “outside-only” things that bullies use to judge people.

Sometimes bullies say mean things about a person’s:

  • Skin color

  • Size (tall or short)

  • Hair color

  • Glasses or braces

  • Language

  • Weight

  • Intelligence

  • Culture

  • Differences – such as someone who uses a wheelchair or hearing aid

It is NEVER okay for someone to tease or bully you for these things or anything else!



All kinds of people fill this world. They look different from each other. They come from different parts of the world. They are good at different things. One way for YOU to become the best person YOU can be is to show kindness to people who are different than you.

Here are some “inside” things about people. These are characteristics you may want to think about when choosing a friend.

  • Stands up for you

  • Caring

  • Includes you

  • Honest

  • Happy

  • Keeps promises

  • Trustworthy

  • Generous

  • Shares

  • Cheers you up

  • Kind

What else can you add to this list?

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