Are you being bullied?
Do you know someone who is being bullied?
Are you a bully?
IS IT BULLYING?
It is if you feel hurt because someone or a group of people are:
- Calling you names
- Threatening you
- Pressuring you to give someone money or possessions
- Hitting you
- Damaging your possessions
- Spreading rumours about you or your family
- Ignoring you
- Using text, email or social media to write or say hurtful things about you (cyberbullying)
- Spitting, Kicking and Pushing
It is bullying if you feel hurt because of things said about where you are from or your culture, religion or beliefs, gender, sexuality, disability, special educational need, appearance or specific issues in your family. This could also occur whilst travelling to and from school e.g. on the school bus.
WHAT CAN SCHOOL DO?
Our School does not tolerate bullying. This is what we can do about bullying:
- Work to make sure that the person being bullied is safe
- Work to stop the bullying happening again
- Provide support to the person being bullied
- Take actions to ensure that the person or people doing the bullying learn not to harm others
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Talk to someone you trust and get them to help you take the right steps to stop the bullying.
If you feel that you are being bullied:
- Try to stay calm and look as confident as you can
- Be firm and clear – look them in the eye and tell them to stop
- Get away from the situation as quickly as possible
- Tell an adult what has happened straight away
- If the individual or group continue to bully you keep a diary of the incidents
If you have been bullied:
- Tell a teacher or another adult in your school
- Tell your family
- If you are scared to tell a teacher or an adult on your own, ask a friend to go with you
- Keep on speaking until someone listens and does something to stop the bullying
- Don’t blame yourself for what has happened
When you are talking to an adult about bullying be clear about:
- What has happened to you
- How often it has happened
- Who was involved
- Who saw what was happening
- Where it happened
- What you have done about it already
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU SEE SOMEONE BEING BULLIED?
Don’t ignore it. Bullying can be very serious for the person who is being bullied and they could get hurt or feel upset enough to hurt themselves:
- Tell a responsible adult e.g. teacher; parent/guardian
- Encourage the person being bullied to report it
ARE YOU THE BULLY?
STOP. Bullying can be very serious for the person who is being bullied and they could feel upset enough to hurt themselves. You could get into trouble and in some cases bullying is a crime and could get you into trouble with the police.
- Think about why you are bullying someone and how it would make you feel if you were being bullied in the same way
- Talk to a friend, parent, teacher or another responsible adult about how you feel and get some help to stop being a bully
- Understand that colleges, universities and employers regularly look at social media sites like Facebook and if you are a bully you may harm your education and job prospects
DON’T GIVE POWER TO BULLIES
Bullies want to achieve power and be seen by others as stronger and better. If you respond it could get you into trouble and a bully can boast about it to others. Stay calm and report the bully.
Cyberbullies use the internet or mobile phones to send hurtful messages, photos or post information to cause trouble. Cyberbullying can also include causing alarm or distress by threatening, harassment, intimidation, impersonating others, humiliation and in some cases be a criminal offence.
There are things that you can do to avoid being a target of cyberbullying:
- Protect yourself. Never provide any information or images in electronic form that could be used against you.
- Look at your own comments and posts. If you find that people are attacking you, this may be because of your own comments. Are you annoying people or hurting their feelings? Comments and messages that are written can lead to misunderstanding of what you actually mean. The people that are reading your comments can not ‘hear’ your tone or ‘see’ your body language so take care to be clear.
- Find some new friends. If you are trying to fit into a group of people who are treating you badly, it might be easier to simply find some nicer friends. Life’s too short to waste time trying to be friends with mean people.
The internet can actually help you if you are being bullied.
There is written evidence of the bullying activity.
A very important rule: Never Respond!
A bully wants you to get upset. If you get mad and strike back in an attempt to hurt the bully as badly as you were hurt, it just won’t work. All it does is give the bully a ‘win’. Responding can also make you look bad and you could set yourself up for trouble. People who see your response may think you are the one who is causing the problem. If someone shows your message to an adult, you could be the one who gets into trouble.
DON’T BE A CYBERBULLY
People lose their temper from time to time. Many people have sent a message by phone or on the internet that was angry and wrong. This does not make you a bully. If you have sent an angry or hurtful message, apologise. If you have posted anything that is angry or hurtful remove it and apologise. Try to make things right.
Bullies don’t just lose their temper and make a mistake. Bullies set out to put other people down so that they can make themselves feel more important. Bullies try to defend their actions in a number of ways, including that they were not doing anything wrong, just playing around or joking. If you are behaving like a bully, the most important question is to ask yourself why? What are you trying to gain by putting others down?
What you should understand about cyberbullying is that whenever you use electronic communications you are leaving traces – cyber footprints – that lead right back to you. Even if you are doing this under a ‘different name’ eventually, people will be able to figure out who you are and you could get into trouble with your parents, school or even the police
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO IF YOU ARE CYBERBULLIED
Remember the most important rule, never reply but do take action. Always save the evidence. Copy the posts and comments, save any chats but don’t keep looking at it as this will only make you feel worse.
Decide if you need to involve an adult. Sometimes you can make things right on your own – or at least you might wish to try to do so first. It is not a sign of weakness to tell an adult. Even adults sometimes ask for help when a person is doing something that is harming them. Adults may take action like calling the police, hiring a solicitor or complaining to their boss. Asking for help from someone is a sign that you are not willing to accept harm being done to you and are willing to get help to protect yourself.
Tell an adult if:
- You are really upset or are not sure what to do
- You have been threatened with harm or the cyberbullying appears to be a crime
- The cyberbully is sending or posting things that is causing trouble and could affect your reputation, friendships or future education and career opportunities
- The cyberbully is also bullying other people
WAYS TO STOP CYBERBULLYING
- Ignore the cyberbully
- Block the cyberbully from your network/friends list
- Stop going to any group where you are being cyberbullied
- Remove the cyberbully from your buddy or friends list
- Have your parents contact the cyberbully’s parents (if you know who they are). Your parents may talk with the parents or send them a letter. If a letter is sent it may be helpful to include a copy of the posts or comments that have upset you. This can be the best way to get the cyberbullying to stop.
- Send a complaint to the Website or service. Most sites and services don’t allow bullying behaviour. You can usually find an email-contact on the home page. Explain what has happened and provide copies of the comments or posts that have upset you. Ask for these posts or comments to be removed and that the bully is removed from the site.
- Talk to someone at school. If the cyberbully goes to your school and especially if the cyberbully is also bullying you at school, tell your teacher, head of year or headteacher, or another adult at the school, and provide copies of the comments and posts.
- Contact the police. You may need your parents to help with this. The cyberbullying could be a crime. Universities and employers regularly check social media sites and so being involved in cyberbullying behaviour, could affect the chances of the bully furthering their education or getting a job.
BE A FRIEND
Cyberbullies love an audience. Most people do not like to see others being bullied, but are not sure what to do. Here are some things you could do:
- Speak out against cyberbullying in your online communities
- Help the person being bullied and encourage them to report the cyberbullying
- Report the cyberbullying to the school the person being bullied attends. You can copy the comments and posts and report them without saying who you are if you don’t want to
- Tell your parents and ask for their guidance