What should I do if I’m being bullied?
- Remember: bullying and harassment don’t happen because you deserve it. It’s okay to feel scared when you’re threatened, and it’s okay to feel sad or angry about being picked on by person who is bullying you — but don’t blame yourself.
- Write down what happened — keep a journal of events/incidents.
- Get support from your friends — but don’t gather them together for a fight or to get revenge.
- Tell the person who is bullying or harassing you to stop — if you feel safe doing so.
- Bring a friend or stay in your group and avoid being alone in situations where the bully might target you.
- Tell your parents or another adult you trust so they can support you. If you don’t get the support you need, tell someone else.
- If the bullying or harassment doesn’t stop, keep telling until you get help.
- Learn about your school or club harassment policy. If there is one, ask that it be followed. If there isn’t one, ask why there isn’t, or get a supportive adult to ask why there isn’t.
- Make a formal complaint to the principal, the organization’s leader, or someone else in authority.
- Ask what will happen to resolve your complaint.
- If you feel scared, angry or confused at any time — even after it’s over — ask for counseling or other support.
Who is a bystander?
If you see bullying, you have the power to stop the behaviour. Youth who bully love an audience. People who stand by and do nothing make bullying worse if they support or cheer the person who is the bully. When a youth who is a bystander stands up to the person who is bullying and tells them to knock it off, the bullying often stops.
How you can help stop bullying
- Stand up for your friends who are targeted.
- Refuse to go along with bullying or harassment — youth who laugh, agree or cheer only encourage the behaviour. Instead, take the side of the youth who is being targeted.
- Be assertive but not aggressive. Using insults or fighting back will make the situation worse.
- Gather your friends to help speak out against bullying and harassment.
- Always make sure you are safe. If it is not safe to intervene, report what you see or hear to an adult.
- Ask your school to form an anti-bullying committee with representation from teachers, parents and students.Collectively, you can make a big difference!
How you can help stop cyberbullying
- Make sure you and your friends are using proper netiquette when using the Internet. This means being kind, courteous, honest and polite when online.
- Don’t forward hurtful email to your friends.
- Don’t allow your friends to take cell phone photos or videos of the personal moments of others.
- Don’t visit sites that are defamatory and put down other students.
- Speak out against cyberbullying, particularly if you are in a chat room.
- Don’t buy into the vicious rumours that are spread online to destroy a student’s reputation. Stand up for that student online and in person.
- Report cyberbullying to a trusted adult such as a teacher, someone in administration or your parents.
- If you know someone is being threatened online, call the police.
- Call the providers of Internet and cell phone services and report cyberbullying.
- Don’t do or say anything online that you would not say in person.
- Protect your password and make sure you know who someone is before you add them to your friend list.
- Remember what you post online stays online forever.
- Create open forums in your school to raise awareness of the issue of cyberbullying.
- Don’t engage in online exchanges with cyberbullies and encourage your friends not to either.
- Don’t erase or delete messages — they can be saved in a file if you need them for evidence when you are making a report against a cyberbully.
- Block the sender’s email — right click on the address — click on block.
TIPS for PARENTS
- Teach your children that if they see someone being bullied, they should not watch, laugh or join in.
- Pay attention to the relationships in your children’s groups. Ensure all children are included and that inappropriate behaviours are addressed.
- Help kids see the value of offering empathy and support to those who are bullied.
- Work with your child’s school to educate others about the problem of bullying.
- Be a good example for your children. Model respectful behaviours at home and in your daily interactions.
How parents can help stop cyberbullying
- Familiarize yourself with online activities. Learn about the websites, blogs, chatrooms and cyberlingo that your children are using.
- Keep the computer in a common area so you can monitor activities.
- Keep open communication lines with your children so they feel comfortable talking to you about cyberbullying experiences. Let them know that you are there to support them.
- Recognize that online communication is a very important social aspect in kids’ lives. Do not automatically remove their online privileges if you find out about a cyberbullying experience.
- Talk to your children about what is acceptable behaviour online and offline.
- Report any incident of online harassment and physical threats to the local police or your Internet Service Provider.
- Report any bullying that occurs over your child’s cell phone to your phone service provider. You may have to change the phone number if the problem does not stop.
Everyone has rights and responsibilities
Your rights are to:
- be treated fairly and with respect
- feel safe
- be included in groups and activities
- ask for help when you need it
- say ‘no’ to unwanted behaviour
- make your own decisions (with support from the adults you trust)
- be protected from bullying and harassment
- make truthful complaints
- be informed of complaints made about you
- have both sides of an issue or argument heard
- be informed of consequences that affect you
- have a fair appeal process
- have a supportive adult speak for you.
Your responsibilities are to:
- treat others fairly and with respect
- include and welcome others
- help protect yourself from harm
- respect other peoples’ boundaries
- give help when needed
- listen when others say, “No”
- not overpower, bully, harass or abuse anyone
- control your anger
- report mistreatment of other people
- listen to yourself and get help if something seems wrong
- let people make their own decisions.
Ratting versus telling: there is a difference
- Ratting is done to get others in trouble.
- Ratting hopes to create a problem for someone else.
- Telling is done to get help, to take care of yourself or someone else.
- Telling tries to solve a problem.
- Ratting says, “I want to hurt!”
- Telling says, “Please help!”
From Beyond The Hurt, © Canadian Red Cross Society, reproduced with permission. For more information on the Canadian Red Cross Beyond The Hurt bullying prevention program for youth, contact the Canadian Red Cross office nearest you, visit www.redcross.ca/respected, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.